Organizing Outdoor Parties
Designer and former fashion-model-turned-restaurateur B. Smith knows a few things about entertaining. B. shares her tips for pulling together a sophisticated and successful outdoor event.
- Choose a theme. Whether you're choosing to host a casual beach party or a more sophisticated fete, B. says choosing a theme is the first and most important step.
- Prepare well in advance. "Know exactly what you want to do and have an idea of how many guests are coming," B. says. "I always tell people who are not used to entertaining a lot to start small."
- Enlist the help of a friend. Whether it's your best friend or your next door neighbor's kid, engage someone who enjoys helping out to assist you in preparing for your party.
- Prepare for the unexpected. More guests may show up than anticipated or the weather may be bad, so prepare some extra food and have an indoor plan just in case.
- Keep a sense of humor. Hosting a party should be fun! Keep a positive attitude and know that not everything will go perfectly.
Katie says the garden can be any size from a window box to a section of your garden or even a separate area on your property. If you want to attract butterflies for a longer period of time, provide host plants like thistle, sunflowers, milkweed and broccoli for them to lay their eggs on.
Tips for Planting a Butterfly Garden:
Patches of plants that flower at the same time are more attractive to butterflies than a single plant with a few flowers.
- Try to avoid or minimize the use of insecticides and herbicides.
- Plant your flowers in sunny places and provide some rocks or stone walls where they can "bask" in the morning to warm up. Also provide a few sheltered areas, like shrubbery or brush piles, to protect them from wind and rain and to provide caterpillars with a nice place to pupate.
Rick says it's not only about the cuisine that is served, but also the whole experience that food brings to the event. He says food is the catalyst for a bigger, broader experience.
Starr says in addition to using biodegradable products, you should avoid plastic as much as possible and use LED lights to save energy when entertaining in the evening. Also, think about investing in some inexpensive flatware that you can reuse for future parties instead of buying new each time.