For the last two weeks, I have been tweaking and sprucing up the beds and borders, the patio furniture has a fresh coat of paint and the fountains are spouting clear water with a refreshing sound that not only delights humans, but the many songbirds who visit to splash and drink.
The menu has been given a green thumbs up by my friends and family members.
It is based largely on what is available and fresh from the garden. This includes tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, basil, tarragon, strawberries, celery, garlic, lemon balm, mint and more grown as local as is possible without setting up a tent in the garden.
Entertaining friends with what I grow is a huge part of gardening for me. To be able to share healthy, organic food with friends and family is the joy of gardening.
Here’s what will be served:
Mixed Greens and Pear Salad
The Contessa’s Chicken Tarragon Salad – made with celery and fresh tarragon from the garden
Homemade herb garlic and rosemary butter
Pretty Pink Strawberry and Lemon Cake – the cake is infused with lemon balm and the buttercream frosting blushes with fresh strawberries
Iced Tea made with herbs
The party’s color always starts with one striking piece. This year, it is a bold and beautiful hot pink tablecloth. It is such an upbeat pink that I was nervous to use it at first but now have come to adore the color. It adds pizzazz and screams…”It’s the summer! Where are your flip-flops!”
The patterned paper napkins for the appetizers have that color and I also found pre-folded lime green napkins for the luncheon. They look festive with my botanical plates which all have a different floral pattern.
It’s the little things that make a big impact. Drinks will be served with spiraling straws decorated to look like stems with flowers. The “flowers” are made from tiny, fluted muffin paper liners that were the pink color I needed and already made to look like a flower and sepals.
I twisted them around the straw and used floral tape to hold them in place.
The ice cubes each have an edible flower frozen inside. I’m using borage flowers for the pretty blue color, marigold petals, wedges of lime and tiny lemon balm leaves.
And for favors, I have made silly seed packets for everyone to take home and remember this day.
Now, it’s time for the party.