AP NEWS

Party Perfect

September 16, 2018
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Attendees enjoy a Bella Luce Garden Party at the home of Gary and Jina Ward in 2016 in Huntington.

As summer winds down, it’s a good time to consider having a garden party in our outdoor spaces. For such a foray to be successful there are a few strategies that can be done in advance that are tried and true winners in producing a successful gathering.

The host of a garden party needs to have the space for the festivities ready for presentation. Most times part of many a gardener’s routine is to have weeds pulled, the lawn cut, the shrubs trimmed and the walks edged. For the efficient gardener, this part is already under control and will only need the touch ups to pull it together. If one is really on it they could stake their plants with identifying information so as guests wander the landscape they could know the names of all those backyard beauties that make this garden so delightful.

Once the grounds are in good shape, check out the sidewalks, decks and drive to see if they could use an extra scrub. If the power washer needs to be used, do it far enough in advance so any damaged plants have time to recover. While the cleaning frenzy is in full swing, take time to look over the lawn furniture to see if it needs a bit of a brush up. Any water features in the landscape should look fresh and clean as well.

The other readiness plans might include added lighting and that could require extension cords that may need to be staked so your friends don’t trip over them. Not everyone is going to want to stroll through the garden or stand throughout the party so make plans for extra seating, and that could be as simple as inviting friends to bring a lawn chair.

Prepare to banish the bugs. No one likes have their elbows chewed off by demented mosquitoes so do your magic to rid the yard of these pests. Go all out by hanging fly traps and bug zappers, spraying the area with a yard bug repellent plus have personal bug sprays sitting here and there for folks to use. An over-the-top planner might have some citronella plants already established in the garden to ward off mosquitoes.

The decorations should just be the garden but if no bloomers are evident in the landscape use potted plants.

Other choices might include strategically placed cut flowers in mason jars and watering cans.

If the outdoor space has a particularly beautiful display of garden flowers then make sure there is a way for guests to meander by or to even sit among those beauties.

The challenge to any garden party is the weather so prepare for it — have shawls ready to loan if it’s cool, electric fans wafting if it’s hot and a shelter ready if it rains. Checking the weather often is always a good idea so you will know what to have on hand.

Seeing to the garden’s appearance and the guest’s comfort are all do-ahead-of-time activities so last-minute duties can be devoted to food, drink and entertainment.

It’s all about smart planning!

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