Food & Entertaining - Entertaining

Throw a garden warming for new homeowners

By
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.

 

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