Plant Nite at Cafe Lulu: Let's make a terrarium!
4 April 3:57pmCaitlin Knudsen • Milwaukee
We frequently go to brunch because even those of us who despise generational stereotypes still love shakshuka we don't have to make ourselves. A month ago we were at brunch sitting with our phones out (guilty!) beep booping around the Internet when we stumbled upon an event coming up in the neighborhood. Plants? Drinks? Dinner? Friends? Dirt? Ennui? Sign me up for Plant Nite.
Because nobody remembers anything important anymore and our generation is terrible at communication, we forgot about said event until it popped up on Facebook a few weeks later. My boyfriend got tickets just before it sold out. Aren't we a lucky bunch? I wonder if anybody has ever done a study about how frequently millennials cancel plans? Does anybody have a guess? I would put money on upwards of 50% of the time, but please prove me wrong. Since this was a pre-pay scenario, go we must because if there's something us millennials don't have it's money to spare. Heyyy student loans.
I know it's pretty common to do these drink/artistic endeavor event nights these days. It's a lovely excuse to socialize with people you are not able to have a seamless conversation with i.e. a second date or an outing with coworkers. Plus, you get to bring something home with you: a souvenir for whatever kind of evening you end up having. It’s really a, “Look at this great love terrarium I have to commemorate the best date ever” or, “That date sucked, but at least I have a plant to show from it. This plant won’t tell me about that witch Wendy he used to date” situation.
Tonight we ventured out in the sloppy March cloud vomit to Cafe Lulu for Plant Nite. If you haven’t eaten at Cafe Lulu, I recommend it. It’s one of those places where you can take anybody because they have something for everyone on the menu. It’s a real crowd pleaser. I would gladly bury myself in a vat of their blue cheese dipping sauce and I’m not even particularly fond of blue cheese.
Anyway, we meandered back to the Room of All Your Plant Desires and as we were fashionably late we were the one group that had to share a table with another group. Shared tables are like a game of Russian Roulette. One time, when I was in Germany, my brother and I sat at a shared table for dinner and spoke to an elderly man about all the atrocities the U.S. committed during WWII. Well, we listened and nodded in silence because sometimes “sorry” is not enough. Fortunately we sat next to a couple who were appropriately friendly and unobtrusive.
We were given some instructions on how to layer our glass terrarium with sand, rocks, bark, and dirt and we got to work. The sand in particular was all different colors like glittery pastry sugar, which is not really my style so I found the materials that imparted a more neutral color palette. I’m pretty much on the struggle bus at some point during any given day, so I didn’t entirely grasp how to layer the materials appropriately, but I’m happy with how my terrarium ultimately turned out.
We also received pointers on how to care for our succulents as well as propagate them. I grow a lot of plants, succulents included, so this portion was nothing new for me. However, the instructions for propagation were different than how I’ve always propagated mine, so do what you will with that. The final step was to adorn our terrariums with little knick knacks. I chose a squid. I don’t know why. It just called to me and who am I to deny voices from the universe. My boyfriend put what I assume is a spiked sea cucumber figurine on his. Isn’t the world a whimsical, magical place?
The whole ordeal was about an hour and a half and I would have liked much more time to meticulously construct my layers, but going forward it gave me some ideas should I ever want to make a terrarium again. We walked out into the swirling snow, protecting our baby succulents, half expecting to see a shattered terrarium on the sidewalk. Would I do it again? I think I would. If I don’t, at least I have this terrarium to remember that one time we survived communal seating.
You can scope out if Plant Nite is having an event in your area by going to their website.