Megan Steimer, owner Orchard Hill DIY Plant Co.Jun 29, 2023 12:55PM ● By Tricia Hoadley
Megan Steimer, who has owned Orchard Hill DIY Plant Co. since 2018, keeps to a four-state touring schedule that is nearly the exhaustive equivalent of a rock star on the road. From wineries in Cecil County to breweries in Delaware and at special occasion events everywhere in between, Megan’s do–it-yourself workshops are allowing guests to dig into soil, create their own terrarium magic and commune with others over the precious beauty of plants. Cecil County Life recently caught up with Megan at the Blue Elk Winery in North East to chat about her small business, the joy that she brings to others and a very musical dinner party she would love to have.
Cecil County Life: What inspired your start Orchard Hill DIY Plant Co. in 2018?
My mother was attending the St. Mary Anne’s Garden Market in North
East, and there was a woman who was selling succulents there.
Unfamiliar with them at the time, she brought some succulents home
and I made an arrangement for my grandmother as a Mother’s Day
gift. I then posted the arrangement on my Facebook page and received
a huge response from it. Because it was posted a few days before
Mother’s Day, I was asked by others if I could make similar
arrangements for them. I purchased a flat of succulents and made a
few arrangements. It just took off from there.
Your event schedule is amazing – four states over the last few months – so there is clear evidence that your business plan is working. Talk about your business plan. It must be constantly evolving as your company evolves.
plan has changed a bit over the years. I’m going where the business
naturally takes me. At first, I was the one making the arrangements
but in 2019, The Teal Antler, a local boutique in Elkton, was holding
a succulent bar event. I saw it advertised on Facebook so I took a
chance and reached out, asking if I could provide the succulents.
Funny enough, I had never heard of a succulent bar but did some
research and loved the idea of folks creating their own arrangement
by picking out everything from beginning to end like the planters,
succulents, and decorative toppings as I like to call it. I ended up
facilitating a two day event which sold out both times. I received
such amazing feedback and thought, maybe I’m onto something here.
These days, I’m constantly trying to come up with new plant
projects that are unique and allow lots of creativity.
Where do you get your floral items?
try to shop local as often as possible. Many times, I’ll get my
foliage from P & G Plant Company in Elkton. You will often see
them set up for Easter and Mother’s Day on route 40 in Elkton. I
get my succulents in Lancaster but also love to support Cherri Knoll
Greenhouse in Nottingham, Pa.
Each of Orchard Hill’s events seems to have their own original theme. How do you arrive at these ideas?
Before I decide what project to do, I consider a few variables like location of the venue, if I’ve been there before, and what time of year it is. I always try to offer a diverse selection of pots, plants, and decorations so that participants never make the same thing twice. We’ve had many repeat planters throughout the years because they know there is always something new. In the spring you’ll see dried fruits and floral, along with vibrant moss colors like pinks, purples, greens, and yellows. Summer brings lots of beach vibes so I provide nautical-based decor like shells, small pieces of driftwood, blue moss and stone, etc. During the fall you can find anything red, yellow or orange. My favorite is the little putka pods that look like mini pumpkins. During the winter, I have a variety of reds, greens, and neutrals so that folks can continue enjoying their arrangement after the holidays.
During a relatively short amount of time, you have already hit your mark with your events, but it hasn’t just been limited to wineries and breweries. Where else do we see the magic of what you’re doing here?
like to hold some workshops at coffee shops and creameries so
hopefully you’ll see some new spots on my events list later this
year or next. I’ve held workshops at a few restaurants, schools,
community centers, birthday parties and so on along with doing some
team building events. I used to do a lot of private parties but had
to limit that in order to carve out time to spend with my family on
How did you manage to navigate your business through the time of COVID-19? Obviously, you had to shut down your event schedule.
business relied heavily on the beauty of porch pick-up. I went back
to my roots – pun intended – and made arrangements and DIY kits
for porch pick-up at my former home in Fair Hill, where Orchard Hill
originated. I vividly remember putting a DIY kit together for a woman
who wanted something fun for her son to do on Easter. I sent her
photos of all the options to choose from so that everything could
still be customized. She was thrilled with the kit and left me a card
along with a beautiful bird's nest that she made out of wool as a
thank you. I still have both to this day as a reminder of the
kindness and generosity from a stranger.
There is something greater at work here, intangibles about Orchard Hill DIY Plant Co. that extend far beyond just the act of placing hands in dirt and mixing florals and succulents into a pot or a terrarium. In your opinion, what are those intangibles?
The tag line for Orchard Hill DIY Plant Co. is “Make a memory.” These events become special bonding moments for the participants. Oftentimes you’ll see mothers and daughters, best friends, co workers, husbands and wives etc. creating these arrangements together. My hope is through these workshops, memories are made.
For readers of Cecil County Life, tell them what they can expect to experience at one of your events.
When you come to a workshop with Orchard Hill, the expectation is that there are none. I do not expect you to show up at a certain time, I do not expect you to create your plant project a certain way, and I do not expect you to follow an itinerary of how your experience should go. I encourage participants to relax, let the weight of the world be lifted for a little while, and enjoy just being in the moment.
I feel like everyone is always on the go. We’re constantly staring at a screen and the day to day personal interactions are really fading. With our adult and kid friendly workshops, you can show up when you please, plant as you wish, and enjoy the company of others as much or as little as you’d like.
What is your favorite spot in Cecil County?
I love Fair Hill, the space and scenery it offers is my favorite part of Cecil County. I miss living out there. I also love the diversity the county offers between the rivers, farms, and small town vibes. Visiting each town’s main street is always fun for me but the revamp in downtown Elkton and downtown Rising Sun is amazing to see as a lifelong resident of the county. There are just so many favorite spots that it’s difficult to narrow it down.
You throw a dinner party and can invite anyone you wish – famous or not, living or not. Who will be seated around that table?
I would love to invite recording artists from the Laurel Canyon, California music scene of the late 1960s and 1970s. I love the entire vibe of the era and especially the music, so it would be so fun to be surrounded by talent like the Mamas and the Papas, Neil Young, The Eagles and so many others. I enjoy listening to stories and I’m sure there would be plenty of them to tell at this dinner party.
What items can always be found in your refrigerator?
When in season, I always have watermelon in the fridge, and you will always find ketchup and ranch dressing in the fridge door. I like my condiments!
To learn more about Orchard Hill DIY Plant Co. and learn about upcoming events, visit her Instagram page at @orchard.hill.diyplantco or on Facebook at OrchardHillDIYPlantCo
To contact Megan directly, email: [email protected].
- Richard L. Gaw