Food & Entertaining - Entertaining

Throw a garden warming for new homeowners

Kathleen Dore
Photography by
Mark Burstyn

Follow these tips to organize a planting party for a blank-slate yard

Party day essentials
  • Enough tools to share for the work at hand—spades, forks, trowels, buckets, etc.
  • Source of water (plus hose or watering cans) 
  • Extra pairs of gardening gloves
  • Soil amendments, such as compost, manure and mulch (either a bulk order for big jobs or a few bags for smaller patches)
  • Containers for potting up and suitable potting soil
  • Transplant solution
  • Cleanup equipment, such as bags for yard waste and garbage, broom and dustpan 
  • sunscreen
  • Dollar-store hats and bandanas
  • Chairs in shady spots (the new homeowner might not have garden furniture, so bring some along). If the garden has no shade, consider bringing patio umbrellas or renting a small canopy as well
On the menu
  • Big containers stocked with lots of cold drinks, such as lemonade or iced tea
  • Easy, no-cook snacks such as crudités and dip, cold, herbed vegetable pasta salad, antipasto platter and hard cheeses; seasonal fruit; cookies and squares 
  • Non-breakable patio serving ware such as brightly coloured paper plates, melamine platters, goblets and paper napkins (or bring out the real deal—china, glassware and linens)
  • Garden-themed decorations, if desired

Dig in
If new beds are being made or old ones refurbished, arrange for an advance crew of volunteers to prep them a week or two before the party. If necessary, rent a tiller to deal with nasty, compacted soil and larger areas.

For more modest plots, small patches of soil can be worked on the day of the party.


Read more in Food & Entertaining and Entertaining

Follow Style At Home Online



Latest Contests

more contests