Get the garden ready for the big event

         If June has a
season, it’s weddings. No matter when the wedding or other special event is
scheduled for your garden, you need to plan, plan, plan.

         Start with color selection. A fall setting will have a different color scheme than one in spring or summer. What are the colors of the wedding? What are the graduate’s school colors? Does the guest of honor have a favorite color? Does the wedding anniversary have a color or plant? The 20th anniversary colors are emerald green and white and the flower is the aster, in case you were wondering.

How to prepare garden for special event, wedding, party, celebration
White flowers decorate outdoor wedding. (C) Photo Maximkabb/

Pot the flowers

         The easiest
way to achieve the color palette is with annuals in containers. Once the colors
are decided, figure out which annuals will fill the need. Annuals also will
probably be available with a shorter lead-time. Shopping in late spring or
early summer should yield the widest selection.

         If a color is
hard to find, consider using a container with the desired hue to fill the gap.
Place the pots along walkways to guide guests, as spots of color among
perennials, trees or shrubs, or use them to decorate key areas of the

         Plant the
containers a few weeks before the event so the annuals will have a chance to
grow and fill the pots.

Let there be light

         Solar lamps
are an inexpensive way to light pathways at night. The lights can be reassigned
to landscape beds or to highlight trees and shrubs after the party. Candles,
battery candles and torches are other ways to light the way.

         String LED
lights among trees and shrubs, along a clothesline, awning, deck railing or
other areas for a festive scene.

Smooth and safe

         Make sure
paths are clearly marked and are free of rocks, mud, garden hoses, dog poop or
other debris. Remember that some guests may be wearing high heels or sandals,
and some of the little kids might be running.

         Stairs and
stepping-stones should be firm, not wobbly. Make sure they are not slick with
moss or other slippery substances.

Reality hits

         Expect rain
and have a Plan B. Should you order a tent or can you accommodate the party in
your home or maybe the garage? Anticipate that something could go wrong.

         Lastly, one
family I know did all the planning a year ahead for a late May wedding. And
when I checked on the delivery of plants for their containers, I learned the wedding
couple had eloped a few weeks earlier.

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