Creates Lasting Memories for Guests
By Melinda Myers
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[July 11, 2014]
is filled with parties, gatherings, picnics and more. We all want to
make these occasions special and memorable for our guests.
Many gardeners tend to schedule events around peak bloom or harvest
in order to share the beauty and flavor from their garden.
Unfortunately nature does not always cooperate. It seems we are
saying “you should have been here last week” or “come back next week
when the flowers will be at their peak”.
No need to worry. It may be considered cheating by the purist, but
isn’t it all about creating a great space and event for our
guests? Consider adding some fun flower accents. Metal flower
sculptures like daisy
bouquet stakes, hollyhock stem stakes or aluminum fiddleheads
insure color throughout the season.
Or make it fun with faucet handle flowers (gardeners.com),
which are sure to spark some conversation amongst your guests.
You can also add some extra color with a bit of floral paint. Use
garden colors to paint seedheads of flowers past their prime. Just
cover the stem and leaves to insure only the seedheads get painted
for a more realistic look. It might fool your guests or give them a
good idea for their own garden.
Or stop by your local garden center. Many have flowering planters
and large size annuals that you can use to fill in voids and add
color to the garden.
Pot a few of these up and use them as centerpieces on the tables. A
search of the garage or visit to a thrift store may find reasonably
priced fun items you can convert into containers.
Keep your guests comfortable and the mosquitoes at bay with the
gentle breeze of a fan. Mosquitoes are weak fliers and the gentle
breeze of a fan can keep them away. Or step it up with the help of
geranium oil. It’s natural, fragrant and can help repel mosquitoes.
And be sure to include fresh-from-the-garden flavor in your
beverages and dishes. A pot of basil or mint near the party means
guests can flavor their own lemonade tea or mojito. The hollow stem
of lovage, cut down to size makes a great straw for your tomato
juice or bloody Mary. Your guests won’t forget the fun of sipping
their drink through this celery-flavored straw.
[to top of second column]
Then add some color and a gourmet touch to your salads with a few
edible flowers. Nasturiums, roses and calendulas are just a few to
consider. Just be sure they are edible and pesticide-free before
serving them to your guests.
Use fresh-from-the-garden or container herbs for grilling, salads
and your main course. And consider drying a few herbs or starting
cuttings from your plants to use as party favors.
Don’t let the sunset put an end to your celebration. Light up the
evening with solar
illuminated planters, solar pathway lighting and decorative
fiber optic lights. Or go old school and set votive candles in a
mason jar or tucked safely in the garden.
So set aside some time to take
a walk through the garden and plan a party or two for you, your
family and friends to enjoy its beauty.
[By MELINDA MYERS, Photo by
GARDENER'S SUPPLY CO.]
Gardening expert, TV/radio
host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of
horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books,
Miss Small Space Gardening and
Gardener’s Handbook. She
Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series and
the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments. Myers is
also a columnist and contributing editor for Birds
& Blooms magazine.
Myers’ web site,www.melindamyers.com,
offers gardening videos and tips.