If you’re looking to try your hand at gardening or want to learn more about plants, Zack’s Big Tree Nursery is the perfect place to start with their new make and take succulent garden.

Zack’s Big Tree Nursery owner Conway Lopez said the nursery's goal is “to be something different, pleasant and something enjoyable.”

The idea for the succulent garden is simple: pick out a pot, find a few plants and dress it up, but it’s all about the fun along the way. It’s more than just shopping for plants — it allows for team bonding, a night with friends or a therapeutic activity to do solo.

Heather Spreen, general manager at Zack’s Nursery, said they learned of the idea from one of their employee's wives.

“She told us about it and we just started rolling with it,” said Heather Spreen. “We’ve seen it online — LA has done it. ... They do it in a boutique and call them baristas. We sort of mocked that.”

First, customers can pick out their pot, which will determine how many plants are needed to fill it. This can be done as a one-on-one project or with a group.

“With the bigger pots, you’ll need more to fill and then once you have your pot, then you go outside and pick how many succulents you want to fit in,” Spreen said. “Sort of like Build-A-Bear.”

For a smaller container of $12 or under, the total cost is $25, which allows customers to pick three littles and two smaller succulent plants.

If someone opts for the $30 container, they can choose two bigger plants with four smaller ones.

The next step is planting the succulents in the pot or container of choosing, while adding and packing tightly with the dirt and mulch provided.

Lastly, customers can decorate their succulent gardens with details of their choosing from the jars placed on the table, including moss, rocks and marbles.

Eventually, the nursery would like to become more of an event spot, hosting luncheons and parties, adding a catering element to it. They’ve also talked about working with Temblor Brewing and Elements Venue & Banquet Centre in the future.

The nursery offers more than just the succulent garden tutorials and smaller plant necessities.

“We’re not only indoor/outdoor plants, we have small trees, citrus trees, boulders, large 60-inch box trees, we relocate trees at certain times of the year. We’re pretty much a well-rounded nursery. You can get a one-gallon tree to a 60-inch box tree. We can pretty much fill your needs,” said Lopez.

Zack’s Big Tree Nursery is located at 4317 E. Brundage Lane, Bakersfield, CA 93307. To make an appointment or book a party, call (661) 348-4866.

A few tips when caring for succulents:

  • Read about the particular succulent you have before watering or fertilizing it.
  • Make sure you use the right soil.
  • Ensure that the roots are completely covered.
  • Don’t overwater it. The general rule is once or twice a week, depending on whether they’re indoor or outdoor.