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Get your Garden Ready to Party

Aahh, summertime -- family gatherings, parties and impromptu get togethers. With time at a premium and lots of garden tasks to catch up on, how then can you whip your garden into shape with little or no time to spare? Turning again to a Fine Gardening article, here's a quick list to follow:


  • Determine where people will gather and focus your attention there -- around the patio, along the main walk, front of the border, etc.
  • Flowers attract interest, so work in areas that are currently in flower.
  • Tackle the most notable problems.  If it caught your eye, it may also be noticed by your guests.

Clean Up 

  • Remove unhealthy or dead plants, broken branches and any spent flowers.
  • Weed the obvious and near the front of the border.  Let the little weeds go. 
  • Mow, trim and edge the lawn.  If time is short, at least cut an edge -- it's like giving your garden 'bangs' a trim
  • Clean all hardscaping.  Sweep or power-wash patio, paths, fountains, time allows.


  • Make a good first impression. A lush container or a beautifully set table makes all the difference.
  • Add new color for interest with blooming or bright foliage plants in containers or to fill gaps in the garden.
  • If nothing else, apply a fresh layer of finely shredded mulch.  Install a few days ahead of time so the scent doesn't dominate the garden during your party.

As gardeners we sometimes focus on what still needs to be done.  Rest assured, our guests will compliment us for the beauty and tranquility that we have created.  It's not the minor's the overall effect.  Enjoy!

Reprinted from MODE Landscape Design Vol 3: Garden Party, May 2011

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