Updated: 11:39 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, 2011 | Posted: 4:50 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, 2011
Tips from Kevin Kepler, former horticulturalist, Cox Arboretum MetroPark:
Know what you planted and pick the time of year when your garden will be at its peak. For example, if you have perennials, they shine brightest during the months of May or June. If you have lovely ornamental grasses, later in the season is best.
Build the event around a special feature if you have one. Got a great bed of night-bloomers? Throw the party later in the evening. Have a beautiful herb garden? Set up the buffet near this feature and invite guests to give their meal a customized, fresh flavor.
Watch for wet grass. No one likes muddy shoes or sinking heels.
Be sure to let guests know where to park.
Use items from your garden to decorate. Use cutting from your own flower beds, or bunches of herbs, or bowls of fresh veggies, or even sticks and twigs bound with silk ribbon.
Try a themed party, like letting guests make their own salsa using veggies handpicked from your garden, or feature different recipes using edible flowers, or a “green” party showcasing sustainable practices.
Tips from Chris Jensen, Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark horticulturalist:
Do you have shelter from the sun for your guests? If not, a simple tent is available through many rental companies. If you choose to use a tent, avoid using too many candles for lighting. It could damage the tent, and without proper air circulation, the smoke could aggravate your guests.
Keep citronella candles around or offer bug spray to your guests to keep pests at bay.
If you need to stick to a certain time limit, consider hosting a party in the fall when it gets dark earlier. If you host a fall garden party, invest in some simple solar-powered lights to help guests find their way back to their vehicles.
If you have sweet items on the menu, such as fresh fruit, it may attract yellow jackets, which are drawn to the smell of sugary products. Keep buffet items like fruit or sangria covered.