Greenhouses are “popping up” across South Jersey

Voorhees-based workshop brings botany to businesses.

One of Pop-up Greenhouse’s wood box planters. Photo courtesy of Sue Marchesani.

From wineries to art studios, succulents have sporadically sprouted in unconventional places across South Jersey.

Such arbitrary bontanties are projects of Pop-up Greenhouse, a Voorhees-based DIY workshop that launched in May.

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Aligning with millennial trends such as beer gardens and DIY, the team brings the garden experience to various businesses, craft shows and festivals, bedecking ordinary places with lush plants. Aside from making and selling arrangements, the Pop-up hosts wood box planter workshops in such surprising sites.

“I envisioned women coming and having a drink in a beautiful setting with plants,” said co-creator Michelle Santos of Voorhees. “We bring the garden to you.”

But it does not solely attract adults, as the Pop-up features events oriented toward people of all ages.

For the first time, Pop-up Greenhouse is returning to its roots, as the first Voorhees workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 17 from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. at Yo Momma’s Frozen Yogurt Shop, located at 910 Haddonfield-Berlin Road.

This will also be the Pop-up’s inaugural dessert destination setting.

Like all of the Pop-up workshops, this family fun event will be customized to its particular setting. Participants will adorn their woodbox planters with various “toppings,” mirroring frozen yogurt toppings.

The four-step procedure encompasses the layering of soil, rocks, plants and then decorations.

“We bring a multitude of different things for them to choose from, like different colored rocks, different colored mosses — little embellishments,” said co-creator Sue Marchesani of Pitman.

Utilizing items such as salvaged wood box planters to vintage tea cups, the team strictly houses succulents within upcycled materials. Rumbling through yard sales and wholesales, Santos and Marchesani find inspiration from secondhand products, resurrecting forgotten items with greenery.

“We’re taking something that’s recycled and turning it into something new,” Marchesani said. “It’s cool to see something that was sitting on a thrift store shelf doing nothing, turned into something beautiful.”

Since succulents require low-maintenance, they serve as strong candidates for individuals unseasoned to flora.

“We love succulents for that reason, because they are great indoor plants,” Marchesani said “There is no ‘green thumb’ required.”

Due to its warm climate, the Pop-up receives its various succulents, including hens and chicks, jades and haworthias, all the way from California.

But Santos and Marchesani hope to find local gardeners, as a chief objective of the Pop-up is the networking and boosting of one local business with another.

In an era saturated in cell phone usage, the pure socialization of the process could be a component to its success.

“Maybe it’s the interaction,” Santos said. “It really forces you to interact, and maybe that’s what people are looking for.”

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