Sunday, July 26, 2015

I Went to a Garden Party...

Actually, I was the host for the garden party. I've been wanting to do this for several years now, because I could think of nothing more delightfully summery than to stroll through my gardens with friends, as we sipped on drinks, and chatted about the weather, families, flowers... anything, really. And this summer, we did it.

Photo by Susan Pieper

With the unpredictable weather we'd been having, I knew I was taking a real chance that it would be suitable on July 23rd for spending the day outside, but that's what faith is for, right? And it could not have been lovelier.

Nearly 20 of us gathered in the backyard and by the day's end, looking back I think I can say it was the highlight of my summer, eclipsed only by grandson Maverick's birth two weeks later.

The Tower Garden provided plenty of leafy greens for our salads, and
celery for the Bloody Marys.

This summer was the first time I'd ever used a Tower Garden, and my intent was to serve a meal using the bounty from it and the rest of my garden, with a little help from the grocery store. Meghan Fronduti, my Tower Garden connection, encouraged me to do this and with Meghan in your corner, you think you can do just about anything.

My girl Jenny flew up from Texas for the party and she was such a help to me in pulling this off. I don't "do" parties, but if I can get Jenny to help me again, I just might do another one!

The Menu

We strolled and chatted and shared laughter and stories, and then settled down next to the pool for Curried Tuna Apple Salad on a bed of lettuce from the Tower Garden.

I made bite-sized biscuits containing petals from Calendula grown in my gardens out back. I used my friend Teresa O'Connor's recipe, and while the orange petals didn't really add flavor to the biscuits, they made them look pretty. They do add antioxidants and Calendula is often used as a more affordable substitute for saffron.

Not just a pretty face in the garden!

Various drinks were served, including water infused with cucumbers and strawberries (from the garden). There were Bloody Marys, with celery sticks harvested from the Tower Garden. This was a first for me for growing celery and while I had my doubts as to whether it was possible to grow it in the Tower Garden, it did beautifully!

For dessert, we had miniature cheesecakes, topped with blueberries from my Brazelberries® Peach Sorbet™ plants, grown in our Berry Barn.

After we finished eating, we all retired to a shady spot under one of our 200-year-old oak trees for a fun White Elephant type of gift exchange. In this instance, I provided the gifts, mostly from the bounty of swag bag items I've received over the years.

Photo by Meghan Fronduti

One member (not naming any names) liked her gift so well that she hid it and gave the stink eye to anyone who even looked her way with the intent of stealing it. It was all in good fun.

Crescent Garden provided a couple of containers that I fell in love with at
P. Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm in April. This one is "Eye Am" and it's
available in several colors.

The table arrangements were simple Ball jars filled with local wildflowers that
Jenny and I cut from the roadside nearby that morning - black-eyed Susans,
Queen Anne's lace, ironweed, and wild lettuce.

There's always a cat or two patrolling Our Little Acre.
Photo by Marsha Ross

The entrance to Max's Garden
Photo by Marsha Ross

Several people wore garden hats, including Marsha Ross and my mom.

Thank you, Meghan, for taking this photo of Jenny and me. We rarely get
our picture taken together, for some reason.

The day was warm and the pool was tempting, so Angie Bidlack, Sarah
Messmann and Kara Fritz took advantage of it.

The new kitchen saw its first party as the bar lived up to its name.

It was a beautiful afternoon with so many lovely guests, I'm not sure we could duplicate it, but I'm giving it some thought for next year. Thank you to everyone that attended, because without each and every one of you, this little get-together would not have happened.


RobinL said...

I've often thought of doing this, but part of what holds me back is the fact that none of my friends are actually gardeners. I shouldn't let that stop me, should I?

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