A Garden Gathering
Story by Jenn Bakos
Photographs by Jenn Bakos & Ashley Herrin
This year, after what seemed like such a long winter, we were itching to bring our friends together to celebrate the coming of spring, warm weather, florals, and finally the beginnings of some of our favorite New England produce and confections.
Perhaps one of our favorite gatherings to date, our spring garden party was a huge success. We invited our friends both old and new, to enjoy an evening surrounded by ambiance created with the intention of easing into the season, and with a menu as local and seasonal as possible. What better way than to be surrounded by friends and light fare, along with a home made drink or two?
We decorated our little Boston backyard with succulents, veggie seedlings, herbs, and small floral arrangements. We wanted everything to look and feel fresh, as well as hand and home made – something you might be able to do yourself and host your own little garden gathering.
Our cheeses were hand selected and our fiddleheads were hand picked. We tried our best to gather all other ingredients from local shops and farmers’ markets. During the Spring, this becomes a much easier task as farmers markets return to the weekly itinerary and new produce is offered for our plates.
Throw your own Gathering with these tips!
- Salvaged boards and crates make excellent tables and shelves for different levels of appetizers, drinks, and decorations.
- Pick your poison! Supply a variety of beverage options, including a signature drink, and be sure to include a variety of vessels for serving. We used mason jars, a glass beverage dispenser, and low-cost vintage style pitchers.
- A mix of small, easy-to-eat, hors d’oeuvres is an essential part of any party. For our affair, we created a seasonal spring menu chalk full of foraged and local ingredients.
- Set a playlist ahead of time. A solid assortment of sweet tunes will add to the ambiance.
- Provide a parting gift – we decided to spread spring cheer with wildflower seed packets.
- Your garden party doesn't have to drain your wallet. Decorate your space with plants. We scattered wild flowers and succulents about on tables, the ground, and even hung some along a gate and trellis.
- If rain is in the forecast, which it typically is in New England, be sure to have a backup area for the party to continue.
- Mood lighting is key. Hang soft party lights or light candles to create soft lighting.