Setting the scene
A potluck picnic may be practical, but it can be pretty, too. Pull a large kitchen table out onto the lawn to allow room for everyone to mill about. A plain white tablecloth sets off brightly coloured, mismatched plates. Garden flowers displayed in simple glass bottles and jars, and a string of swinging paper lanterns overhead add a jaunty note. A visit to the dollar store may yield tea towels or bandanas to use as generous napkins. While you're there, look for large, plastic platters or trays, handy for piling up barbecued chicken, burgers and hot dogs.
If possible, move the barbecue to a secluded area, away from traffic, games and little ones running about. If you're short on seating, ask people to bring their own chairs.
Picnics generate plenty of garbage throughout the day, so line a couple of clean, plastic garbage bins with bags and have an empty box ready for recyclables.