Garden Party

party1Sometimes there is a call for a party in the garden.  in this case, the Texas-born gentleman’s 60th birthday.  He invited 60 friends to celebrate with him; getting the garden ready for this many guests was my job.  As he particularly likes yellow, as in yellow cars, clothes and cowboy boots, and anything else, as long as it is yellow, yellow flowers it was.  A late August date meant sunflowers were available at our farmer’s market; yellow gerbera daisies in the centers of these arrangements suggested a little fireworks-appropriate for such an occasion.  The yellow food coloring in the water was pure fun.

party2The black and white cowhide patterned tablecloths on the buffet celebrated the beloved home state, and were a dramatic foil to all those yellow flowers. An overscaled buffet says welcome, Texas-style.  

party3A landscape should be designed to accomodate those once in a great while events-as those events can be so important in the scheme of things.  Even a small garden can be outfitted to comfortably seat unusual numbers of guests.  For this reason, I am fond of walls at seat height in gardens.  They do a great job of providing a place to sit for numbers of guests when needed, in addition to providing beautiful structure to a landscape.   

party5The fountain, holding forth with its own refreshing rendition of fireworks,  welcomes guests on a hot August night.   A giant pot filled with Miscanthus “Zebrinus” adds to the festivity.  Yes, that was planned in advance.  Advance notice I do not always get, but when I do get it, there’s time for touches like this.

party4As guests arrive, and start out to the garden, one can’t help but think of all the things a beautiful landscape and garden can be.  A setting for birthday celebration is one of many.  As good lighting can set and sustain a mood, special party lighting was in order.  

party6A garden designed for good traffic flow, and different places to visit, encourages people to sit for a while, and then move around.  The small tables encourage people of like mind and interests to congregate as they please.

part7Though we battled wind, votives in glass are such an inexpensive and festive way to light a party. the more, the better.  It is an easy way to mark steps, as the natural light wanes. Garden torches are not the most elegant garden accessory, but they are a great party accessory.

part8Good friends and family, big water, a little fire, a breeze, a garden – all the makings of a great party.

partylastDoes Milo not look like he is having a grand time?


  1. Wow, absolutely beautiful. I also loved the post above this one as well. Your design styles would make for a great guest lecture at various floristry training programs. Thank you for sharing, and it looks like everyone had a wonderful time.

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