Design a Party Garden

Fill Your Garden With Color

by Sandy Swegel

Nope, a party garden isn’t a garden in which to have a party. This is a garden to make sure your parties are more fun and flavorful. It has been raining in Boulder for two solid weeks. We, fair-weather gardeners, don’t like to garden in the drizzle and cold, so the only gardening things to do has been to read garden books like an old favorite of mine, Amy Stewart’s The Drunken Botanist about “the plants that create the world’s great drinks.”

This started me thinking about what should I grow in a garden near the deck so that when we are making summer cocktails, I can just nonchalantly walk over the garden to pick a sprig or two.

There are the obvious Herbs:

Mint…for juleps and mojitos
lemon balm and lemon verbena for fruity drinks and rums.

For vodkas and gins, you can try some of the more pungent herbs
Rosemary (mix with grapefruit and honey for a “fizz”)
Lavender (also lovely in champagne)
and Vegetables:
cucumbers…Pimm’s cup and all kinds of coolers
cherry tomatoes for finger food

and Fruit
Strawberries: for cocktails and finger food
Lime or lemon in containers
Berries: from juniper to raspberries

and Flowers:
Violas, pansies, nasturtiums.

My favorite party idea came from a 2011 Martha Stewart magazine: floral ice cubes:

Use distilled water to keep the ice clear:
To suspend flowers in the cubes, work in layers: Fill an ice tray (one that makes large cubes so the ice will last longer) a quarter of the way with water, add flowers facing down, and freeze. Add more water to fill halfway, and freeze. Fill to the top, and freeze again.
Summer afternoons are on the way!
Photo credit

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