Covid 19 lockdowns are easing worldwide, the sun is out and the weather is beautiful! It's a wonderful time to host a little garden gathering or party.
After being in lockdown I think the adults are about as antsy as the kids. We all need to get out in the fresh air and reconnect with our friends and loved ones. Gardens are great backdrops for gatherings with their open spaces and beautiful scenery.
So, how can we make it really special, and enjoy the comfort and celebration of having our close friends and loved ones near us again? I recommend making the most of your green space and enjoying a garden party! Take in the fresh air and enjoy the beautiful garden while making the most of renewed socializing. Let's look at 5 ways to make your garden gathering extra special.
5 Ways To Make Your Garden Party Extra Special
1. A BEAUTIFUL FOCAL POINT
A beautiful focal point can be a great place to stage your party, for instance, around an outside campfire, or around your garden furniture. You know how much I like seating in the garden. Whether you already have a seating area in your garden, maybe some wood adirondack chairs, or you borrow your dinning room table, you and your guest will appreciate a nice place to sit while you visit and eat. Placing the seating in the midst of the garden gives the gathering an entirely new feeling. A dinning table in the garden seems extra special! Who wouldn't love eating in a beautiful garden?
After picking the perfect spot think about adding some lighting. There are many inexpensive solar lights that fit right into a garden setting. Strings of lights are very popular and once you have added them to your space you will know why. I have taken simple solar lights and added them to refurbished chandeliers to make several fun garden lighting options. Other options include individual lights that can be placed in garden beds or down the sides of a path.
Silly party games are makers of memories and good ol' belly rolling laughs! It can be a lovely idea to find some party games to play. Even if the adults don't want to participate (though I think they should) kids love playing games. Just watching the kids can be a great source of entertainment. They are so natural at being silly. The world can always use more laughter!
A garden scavenger hunt can be fun for adults and children. You could even have a harder version for adults and an easier version for the children.
Consider having a contest. Contests can include races, sherades, who can pick the most weeds? Ah, just kidding! But how about a contest to see who can make the most unique creature with freshly picked garden vegetables and found objects from the garden or yard?
3. GOOD FOOD
Good food does not have to be fancy food. If you want fancy then go for it! If you want good but simple to fit into your busy schedule then embrace it! Good food does not have to be fancy. Don't feel pressured to even have a full meal. Garden parties are an ideal place for finger foods and mini bites. I prefer to keep it simple so that I can spend more time with my guests however I do enjoy making mini sized food and treats. I don't know but something about mini versions makes things more fun. My kids agree too.
Sometimes it's good to have desert for dinner. Yep, you heard that right and I stand behind it 100%! Now, this is not something we do all the time but if we are trying to make our garden party special it's a great time to do things that don't usually happen. Like having several different kinds of dessert for dinner. A dessert buffet! Also, it always seems easier to prepare treats than a dinner. Why is that? Am I the only one? I never seem to be short on ideas for treats, dinner, yeah, those ideas seem to be elusive come dinner time.
4. GARDEN TASTING TOUR
If an entire dinner of deserts is a little over the top for you maybe you would like to preface it with a garden tasting tour. Think about what is ripe and ready to harvest in your garden. Make dips, crackers, or small meat bites to add to your guest's self harvested garden samples. Remember, simple is ok, even good. Think about how tasty a fresh picked tomato is with a dollop of mayo. Mmm yum! I included my favorite egg free mayo recipe below. It's perfect on those maters my friends.
Fellow gardeners will enjoy trying the different varieties you are growing and those without a garden will enjoy the garden fresh goodness. Maybe some will even leave as new gardeners.
5. CHOOSE A THEME
Picking a themeadds to the entertainment and can be a good conversation starter. You could have everyone come dressed as someone in history they find interesting. It can even be turned into a game where guests have to guess who their fellow guests came as. Think about all the conversations and how much we would learn from each other.
Another idea is save the pollinators. Bees and other friendly insects are in decline because of heavy pesticide and chemical use as well as other factors. Having a garden gathering around this theme is a wonderful opportunity to share with your guests the peril these friendly garden insects are in. Party favors can be packs of pollinator friendly flowers with a note card stating 3 things to do to help pollinators. Perhaps you would like to put little sign up through the garden with facts about the importance of pollinators and other good bugs for our garden and the world's food supply.
Maybe you would like to do a camp out theme. You can have a barbecue, the camp fire, and roast marshmallows all while still having the convenience of your kitchen and bathroom. You can even make your own marshmallows in advance adding toppings or or extra bits. Homemade marshmallow are easy to make and a super big hit with kids and adults. And! And gelatin is actually good for you so that helps the fact that we are basically eating a puff of pure sugar. Wink, wink. Here is the gelatin we use. It is 100% grass fed and finished beef gelatin.
I hope that you make the time to host a garden gathering, simple, grand, or somewhere in-between. I'm positive that you will cherish the memories for years. Oh, and don't forget the mayo recipe below!
Happy gardening my friends!
HOMEMADE EGG-FREE MAYO RECIPE
1/2 cup cow milk (I've tried coconut milk and it doesn't work. The original recipe that I used called for soy but I have never tried it.)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (lemon will work as well)
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1-2 tsp of agave nectar, honey or other sweetener
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup olive oil
a few dashes of cayenne and or paprika
*For a different variation add curry powder. I just add it to taste.
Put everything but the coconut and olive oil in a high powered blender. Turn the blender on to a low speed. I have a Blendtec and power mine up to 2. Slowly add the olive oil while the blender is running. It should take about 1 full minute to slowly pour the oil in. Now power up your blender to the next speed (a 3 for Blendtec) and slowly add the olive oil. If you add the oil in too quickly the emulsion will not work and the mayo will not thicken so be very careful to add it in slowly. It is better to take a little longer than to add it too fast.
once everything is blended and the mayo has emulsified give it a taste. I usually add a little lemon and maybe some garlic. Our favorite is to add curry powder.
We enjoy this mayo on multiple dishes however, in summer we regularly eat it on roasted veggie sandwiches. Enjoy!