Spring Afternoon Tea Party and Plant Swap

Spring Tea Party and Plant Swap: celebrate the beginning of gardening season with a spring tea party and plant exchange.

spring tea party


The Victoria Day long weekend is the traditional time to start planting outside where I live.  I look forward to getting into my garden over the long weekend every year.  I love to get my planters planted on my deck, and put in our little veggie patch.  Over the years, it’s become a bit of a tradition to kick off the season with a little spring tea party and plant swap over the weekend too.  My girl friends love it and look forward to it too.  It’s such a perfect way to celebrate the new season together.  spring tea party table

The Tea Table

I set the table for our spring tea party with a white color scheme in mind.  I layered my vintage lace tablecloth, and then added lots of pretty white spring flowers in vintage bottles, and white dishes.  Look for pretty vintage pieces like the tablecloth at the thrift store and antique store.  They add a lot of charm to the table.  We set the table with small plates to enjoy our dainty meal together.  Dessert plates are perfect for this.   I like to keep the number of guests for this party quite small and intimate.  So we set up this get together in the kitchen, but for a larger group you could use your dining room, or if the weather is warm enough you could host this party outside.

white spring flower arrangements in vintage glass bottles

Such a simple and pretty spring centerpiece with some of the fresh flower arrangements from my garden.  It’s the perfect time of year to pick spring blooms from your own garden to use on your table, and add a real feeling of springtime.

Party Favor

I thought it would be fun to do a little party favor for my guests to take home from the spring afternoon tea party so I made some little tiny bottles of wildflower seeds.

spring tea party table setting

I found an inexpensive box of mixed wildflower seeds, and then used a funnel to put them into these sweet little glass bottles with cork tops.

wildflower seed party favours

wildflower seed party favors

The labels are made from simple brown paper.  I put one at every place setting and everyone loved them this great idea.  Just a few easy steps to make the perfect little take home party favor.

diy wildflower seed favours


The Tea Bar

This year I set up the sweetest tea bar in the kitchen so guests could help themselves to their favourite tea.

There was classic English Breakfast, and Earl Grey tea bags.  There was also Chamomile Citrus, Green Tea with Pomegranate, Lemon Ginger, and Pure Green Tea.  I had a variety of different tea pots and the kettle boiled so we could make various kinds for everyone, and keep those hot cups of tea coming throughout the afternoon together

tea party tea bar

Of course we also had some traditional tea accompaniments; milk, sugar, honey and lemon.

tea party tea bar

I used my vintage milk glass pretty tea cups.  Sometimes it’s nice to get a little fancy with a pretty tea set, and tea party is perfect occasion for it.

white milk glass tea cup with tea steeping

white tea pot with tea bags



tea party decor tea sign

Everyone had so much fun choosing their tea and trying different flavors throughout the afternoon.how to host a spring tea party

Tea Sandwiches

We started our tea party off with some savory treats.  It’s traditional to begin an afternoon tea with tea sandwiches.  For our spring tea party we had:

For the tea sandwiches we began with traditional cucumber and cream cheese.

cucumber tea sandwiches

I love to make these and cut off the crusts for a dainty high tea treat or little finger sandwiches.

mini croissants with egg salad and lettuce tea sandwiches

We also had some egg salad sandwiches on mini croissants.

chicken salad toast cup tea sandwichesMy favourite little tea sandwich though had to be the homemade chicken salad in toast cups.  You can find the recipe for these Chicken Salad Toast Cups here.  Every good tea party starts with some delicious little tea sandwiches.

scones and tea party desserts on tiered tray

Scones and Clotted Cream

Years ago, I got to live in England for 8 months.  One of the delights I’ll never forget was going for a cream tea.  A cream tea consists of a beautiful pot of hot tea, and scones with butter, jam and clotted cream.  Scones are the traditional second course in an afternoon tea.  This sweet treat, just might be everyone’s favorite party.

clotted cream for a tea party

It’s hard to find clotted cream over here, but sometimes you get lucky.  If you can’t find any you can always substitute some whip heavy cream, it’s not quite as special but works in a pinch.

scone with jam and clotted cream

The Sweets

And every tea party should finish with some sweets.  Make your own, or pick some up at your local bakery, or do a combination.  It’s nice to offer a varitey.  We had

  • cherry strudel slices
  • pineapple angel food cupcakes with whipped cream
  • raspberry thumbprint cookies

I made a beautiful cream cheese and cherry strudel.cream cheese and cherry strudel

We also had some little pineapple angel food cakes.

silicone tea cup cupcakes

Aren’t these tea cup cupcake holders the cutest? And we topped them off with some whipped cream.  A little cupcake is always a great addition to a tea party menu.

spring tea party ideas

There were also some delicious almond thumbprint sweet little cookies.  We served lots of the sweets together on a tiered tray, which we made by stacking two matching cake stands together.  We used the larger cake stand as a little base, and then stacked the smaller one right on top, which worked perfectly.  It’s a lovely idea to have a variety of small items, so that guests can try a few different things.

raspberry thumbprint cookies

It was such a lovely afternoon together drinking  many, many cups of tea and enjoying all the food.  It was tea time afterall.

spring tea party ideas

The Plant Exchange

After our tea party, it was time to head outside to the garden for our plant swap.

The idea of plant exchange is to all bring one another a perennial plant from our gardens to share with each other.  You bring one plant for everyone and get to go home with as many new ones as well.  Some years everyone has had established gardens and shared some of their perennial babies or divided up a large perennial.  Other years, people with less established gardens have come and just picked up a new plant for everyone at the garden centre or even a package of seeds.  

I always try to invite a mix of old and new gardeners.  The new ones are full of enthusiasm and the old ones are full of wisdom.

how to organize a plant swapI made a simple name tag for everyone with some cardboard tags and twigs.  This just makes it a little easier to arrange everything as everyone arrives with their plants to share.

plant swap ideasAs everyone arrived for the party, they added their plants to everyone’s little groupings.  This is such a great way to share plants.

spring plant exchange ideas

We had so much fun enjoying an afternoon of exchanging plants, sipping tea, and enjoying treats together.  If you are a gardener, or your friends are, you might want to make this into a new tradition too.  I hope this gives you lots of sprint tea party ideas to use for your own spring tea parties.

how to host a spring tea party



With a lovely spring tea party and plant exchange to celebrate the beginning of gardening season, life really is a party!

More Tea Party Inspiration

You might also like How To Throw An Afternoon Tea Party For Adults here.

afternoon tea party for adults

Also check out How To Throw A Garden Tea Party here.

You might also like How To Host A Tea Party here.

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