20 July 2022
Summer is in full swing and you may have already had a party or two or it could be time for you to reciprocate on those you have attended. In any event, it might be a good idea to review a few tips that could make your time together even more pleasant.
De-Bug – The most annoying thing about the great outdoors is the insects. Unfortunately, insecticides don’t distinguish between good bugs (pollinators) and bad bugs (mosquitoes that can spread illness). Try some of these ideas:
- There are a number of plants that will repel many insects. Marigolds in pots or strategically planted around the patio or deck will help considerably and provide some nice color as well. Citronella plants or candles will keep the mosquitoes at bay. Use some fresh lavender and sage tied together with twine or ribbon make some nice scent and appearance. Other choices are basil, mint, rosemary, lemongrass, and garlic.
- An inexpensive box fan from the store can help shoo away mosquitoes. They don’t really weigh much and a light breeze can blow them away from your group.
- Dryer sheets can even be pinned to clothing!
Plan B – Always have one or more alternatives ready. A sudden summer shower or wind shift from gentle breeze to gale force can put a damper on things. Also, provide a place for a respite indoors for those who don’t tolerate the heat very well or who just want a quiet conversation away from the crowd.
Pet Safety – No matter how cute the canine or friendly the feline, it is a good idea to place them in their own safe space. Some people will find it annoying to have Fido begging for samples or have Kitty curling around their feet. For their own well being, keep pets occupied elsewhere.
Ambiance – There are many ways to enhance your décor and you will find lots of ideas on the net. Here are just a couple of hints.
- Music is fantastic. Just be sure that the majority of the folks enjoy the style of music you have chosen. Here’s a hint: Hip Hop and Bebop folks rarely agree. Keep the volume at a level that everyone can still converse without shouting.
- There are so many fun string lights to choose from. If you have a choice, opt for LEDs for lower electrical usage and longer life. Be sure to string them high enough or in places where they will not clothesline the taller of your guests.
- Place trash and recycle bins conveniently so that your final clean up is easier.
- For serving pieces go with acrylic and melamine. Serving boards with feet are easier to maneuver and can double as centerpieces. If you are having a sit-down meal, small individual cutting boards make wonderful charcuterie trays at each place setting to nibble on before the food is served or before dessert.
Finally, keep it simple and no fuss. Casual is the name of the game for outdoor entertaining. Set up a beverage bar and clearly mark the adult beverages from the general population. Keep the menu easy to manage and give you enough time to enjoy your own party.