ARE YOU READY TO PARTY?
I am. Spring is here, and even though I love to “just chill” in my backyard, I’m also looking forward to filling it with friends. Don’t get me wrong—watching the sun rise with a mug of coffee in one hand while deadheading with the other hand is my preferred way to start the day. But I also love hosting my “neighborettes” in the front garden with wine and snacks, and escorting dinner party guests through my constantly changing backyard is just as much fun. Like many of you, I enjoy sharing my garden. Perhaps you have shared it in a really grand way by hosting a family wedding or a birthday party among the flowers. Or maybe you’d rather cut the flowers and take them to someone else’s special event—a thoughtful way to pass along the sights and scents of your garden.
In this issue, we’ve chosen a few stories that we think will inspire a little garden partying. A Connecticut gardener shows us how she restored a beloved family garden for her daughter’s dream wedding—preparing for unpredictable weather by choosing plants and gardening techniques that made the event a success (page 84). We’re also featuring three gorgeous wedding arch or chuppah designs with step-by-step instructions (page 64), tabletop floral designs that are lovely but oh-so easy (page 80), and a charming story about farm-grown wedding flowers with instructions for making a hand-tied bouquet and a flower crown (page 92). And for those of you who love to share the first vegetables and fruits of your labors, we have some recipes for quick pickles that make fantastic additions to party food (page 100). No weddings in your future? These stories could help you set up a flower-filled baby shower or pre-prom party instead.
There’s one more really important way that you can share your garden. Our annual Country Gardens® Awards contest gives you the chance to share your garden with us—and perhaps even with all other Country Gardens readers. It takes us weeks to sort through the entries, but believe me, we love seeing what you’re up to in your yard. On page 5 you’ll find the instructions for entering your garden in the contest, along with some tips for making a good entry. And for the first time, you’ll be able to submit your entry electronically if you prefer, by sending us the link to it from a cloud-based service.
Let the party begin!