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Simple Garden Gathering

In our Simple series we look at how to simplify life in a gentle way. We explore inspiring, practical ways to live a life that works with nature and uses the things we already have to make the most of every day! Today we’re exploring how to host a simple garden gathering.

Simple Living

There’s truly nothing quite like coastal living here in Nova Scotia, where the salty breeze gets stuck in your hair and walks by the ocean make you aware of the raw beauty of the coast. It’s where I find my artistic inspiration and have felt how easy it was to start living more simply.

I’m inviting you into my little slice of rain + salty air on the Nova Scotia coast, for an unforgettable outdoor dinner. Whether you’re single, part of a bustling family, or part of a couple, this ultimate guide will help you create memories in a garden (or park, if you don’t have access to a garden).

Choosing the Perfect Spot

Let’s kick this gathering off with a little spot scouting adventure! Picture this: a sun-dappled corner of your garden, framed by the gentle sway of leaves above. You’re looking for an area with that just-right mix of sunlight and shade. A spot where you can place a sturdy table, one that’s level enough for your delightful outdoor feast. But what if you don’t have a patio, you ask? Well, that’s when you transform your garden into a cozy picnic haven with outdoor rugs or blankets, spread out under the open sky.

Pesky Mosquitos: Bug Control 101

Now, let’s talk bugs. Ah, yes, nature’s uninvited guests! Fear not, for here’s where you weave a little enchantment into your evening. Imagine these: flickering citronella candles or lanterns casting a warm, protective glow. They not only deter bugs but also create an atmosphere that’s almost…mystical. Or, if you’re feeling extra fancy, invest in some elegant mosquito nets or screens. They’ll keep those buzzing buggers at bay while doubling as whimsical garden decor.

Simple Food For The Masses

Now, let’s dive into the heart of the matter – the food. For our fabulous singles, we’ve got a DIY taco bar that’s as vibrant as your spirits. Marinated grilled chicken, seasoned ground beef, and an array of fresh toppings await your culinary creativity. Think diced tomatoes, guacamole, and shredded cheese. Soft and hard taco shells, too, for that personal touch. And how about a salsa fresca, vibrant as a summer sunrise? Fresh tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt, all melded together in a bowl that’s almost too pretty to eat from.

Try something interactive:

  • Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches that taste like home and adventure rolled into one. I’m talking sharp cheddar, Swiss, and brie, mingling with ingredients on the side like caramelized onions, apple slices, and crispy bacon.

  • Build-your-own fruit skewer bar, spiking their own rainbow of flavors on wooden sticks, straight from the local craft store.

  • And before the grand finale, a cheese and charcuterie board. Or, turn that board into whatever ingredients are local. Like, here in Nova Scotia where seafood is the ‘thing’, you could make it into a seafood board (although not for me, I’m deadly allergic!).

Sip in Style

Ah, the drinks! Refreshment served in pitchers and glasses, for toasting and sipping. Think about a pitcher brimming with homemade blueberry lemonade, the kind that tastes like sunshine in a glass. Fresh blueberries, lemon juice, simple syrup, and sparkling water…a sip of pure summer joy. And for that touch of elegance, a signature cocktail named “Summer Breeze.” Imagine fresh strawberries, vodka, and a hint of elderflower liqueur, shaken into a dreamy drink. Top it off with a sprig of mint plucked straight from your garden.

Make It Look Gorgeous

Let’s set the stage, shall we? Imagine a centerpiece born from the wild blooms of your garden, nestled in handcrafted vases that whisper tales of artisans’ hands. They bring nature’s artistry to the center of your gathering. For comfort, it’s all about plush outdoor cushions in a color palette that’s soothing yet stylish, inviting your guests to sink in and savor the moment. And above it all, enchanting string lights twinkle in the night sky, turning your garden into an ethereal wonderland.

Styling for the Win

Now, for some sartorial flair! We want our guests to feel fabulous as they feast. Envision linen dresses swaying in the breeze, seersucker shirts crisp and cool, and wide-brimmed hats that add a touch of sophistication. As for the soundtrack to your soirée, curate a playlist that transcends genres, setting the stage for moments that will become cherished memories. And if you’re feeling fancy, a theme or color scheme could be the perfect finishing touch. Think rustic-chic or Mediterranean-inspired, adding that extra layer of charm to your evening.

Activities for Everyone

Let the games begin! Set up a mini Olympics right in your garden with lawn games like cornhole, giant Jenga, or frisbee. These games don’t discriminate; they cater to all age groups, making everyone feel like a kid again. And for those who fancy themselves artists, provide sketchbooks, watercolor sets, and brushes. Allow your guests to capture the beauty of your garden with their creative strokes.

Dessert Delights

For our singles, picture this: decadent chocolate-covered strawberries. Melted chocolate cascading over plump strawberries, creating a sweet symphony of flavors.

For families, we’ve got a treat that’s sure to bring smiles – an ice cream sundae bar. Choose from a variety of ice cream flavors and toppings, letting each family member craft their own masterpiece.

And for our couples, it’s time to dip into something deliciously romantic. Imagine a dessert fondue, with dark chocolate or caramel melting into a silky pool. Pair it with fresh strawberries and marshmallows, and let the dipping commence.

Embrace the Sunset

Now, as the sun begins its descent, invite your guests to pause and savor the moment. It’s a scene painted by nature, and you’re the lucky audience. Share a moment of gratitude for the beauty around you and the cherished company you’re keeping.

Parting Favors

As your soirée nears its end, it’s time for parting gifts. Imagine small potted herbs, like basil or mint, ready to find new homes with your guests. They’ll keep growing, serving as living reminders of your lovely evening. Or perhaps personalized coasters or candles, tokens of appreciation that your guests can take home and treasure.


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