The LEAF Garden Party celebrates our mid-year milestones and everyone who has supported us. We host it at our Learning Garden and invite LEAF volunteers, partners and supporters to attend. This year, we even invited recent Backyard Tree Planting Program participants! It’s an evening of music, friendship and a collective appreciation for the urban forest.
I’ve attended three LEAF Garden Parties in the past, so I was well positioned to plan it this time around. Even so, I was thankful for my colleagues’ help and for Pinterest, too! This is what I learned while planning this spectacular event, through four easy-to-follow tips.
It wouldn’t be a summer garden party if it wasn’t held in a garden!
Ideally, pruning should be done in the fall or early spring to avoid causing stress. But, sometimes last minute adjustments are necessary. Create a welcoming environment by trimming branches that overhang or crowd up the space. Just remember to water and mulch the plants to give them the boost of nutrients and energy they need to recover.
Pro tip: As you tidy your garden, look for nests in the trees, shrubs and even low on the ground. If you notice a nest, work around it and rope off the area to keep guests from unintentionally harming it.
2. Decorate the space
Having a party in a garden means that Mother Nature already provided some pizazz. Feed two birds with one seed by using any cuttings or items from the garden as table arrangements! Don’t be afraid to mix and match colourful or floral fabrics to cover tables or stream bunting above archways. This will give the party a rustic, almost wild feel – we are in nature after all!
3. Food and Drink Items
Every great party has great food to match. Prepare finger food in advance so that you can focus on interacting with guests during the party. If there are edible flowers or fruits in the garden, incorporate them into the snacks or drinks and get the conversation started around what’s in season!
Pro tip: Keep the food and drinks cool by placing them in a shady spot under a tree. Keep tray lids on hand to cover the food and to keep hungry critters from taking over the party.
4. Have Fun Activities
Spice up the party by setting up some activities. At the LEAF Summer Garden Party, we had live music with Paul Cafcae. We also hosted tree and garden tours, a photo booth with TREE-rific air quotes and tree trivia. Other activity options can include a scavenger hunt for native species or setting up a game that people can participate in.
Pro tip: Take advantage of the space around you by incorporating it into the planned activities.
I hope that these tips and photos inspire you to throw your own garden celebration!
From everyone at LEAF, thank you for an amazing start to 2019 and another wonderful Summer Garden Party!
Lam Tran is the Education Coordinator at LEAF.
The LEAF Summer Garden Party was made possible through generous donations provided by Fiesta Farms, Loblaws, The Big Carrot, Ecoexistence, Organic Garage, Absolute Comedy, Lee Valley Tools, Home Depot, Ten Thousand Villages, Choice Organic Teas, Starbucks, Leah’s Bakery, Mabel’s Bakery, Krave Coffee, Les Moulins La Fayette, Chocosol Traders, and Stubbe Chocolate and Pastries.