May 3, 2017, posted by Gina – I hosted a garden party luncheon this week and I am so excited to take you on a tour of the day. I’ll share details about the tablescapes, the flower arrangements, the patio, the garden and, of course, the food! This post is all about the outdoor aspects of the luncheon. I’ll show you around the patio and the champagne bar where a very special tea, an appetizer and of course, champagne were served. We’ll also take a look around the backyard and garden areas. I’ll post about the flowers arrangements, the tablescape and the food in the coming days. Here we go….
After greeting my guests at the front door I ushered them onto the back patio for drinks and appetizers. I served a delicious tea from the Junior League of Jackson’s Come on In Cookbook called Miss Kate’s Frozen Tea. Here is this fabulous, refreshing and totally delicious tea recipe:
MISS KATE’S FROZEN TEA
Yields 1 gallon
9 family sized tea bags
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
3 cups sugar
¼ cup maraschino cherry juice
Fresh mint for garnish
Maraschino cherries for garnish
Squeeze lemons and oranges. Chill juices and reserve lemon hulls. Boil 2 quarts water, remove from heat and add tea bags, mint leaves and reserved lemon hulls. Steep 30 minutes. Strain, add sugar, and stir until dissolved. Refrigerate up to 24 hours.
When the mixture is thoroughly cooled, add lemon, orange, and cherry juices, plus 1 ½ quarts more cold water. Stir well and freeze in 1 gallon ice cream freezer to slushy consistency. When serving, garnish with fresh mint and a maraschino cherry.
For the champagne bar, I used some spring green champagne glasses and had orange juice, raspberry lemonade and fruits for mixing. Serving the tea in mint julep cups was only fitting for this refreshing concoction. I used vintage, hand embroidered cocktail napkins with hand stitched hems. I just love the thought of someone taking so much time and care to make something so beautiful that can be enjoyed for years. The champagne glasses were presented on a wooden and wicker tray covered with one of the napkins I used for the luncheon tablescape.
In the photo above, you see how well old and new can marry. My vintage cocktail napkins were a perfect compliment to the dinner napkins. Everyone loved the larger napkins and so I thought I would share a bit about them. They are from Patricia Spratt for the Home collection. I love the softness of the fabric and, since they are a linen/rayon blend, they are easy to care for and hold up well with use. I am planning a post on how to clean and care for vintage linens very soon, so check back with us!
For the appetizer, I served a wonderful cheese ball that I have been preparing for years called Coleman’s Favorite Cheese Ball. This recipe is from the Junior League of Jackson’s Southern Sideboards cookbook. It was a nice compliment to the champagne and tea. Here’s the recipe:
COLEMAN’S FAVORITE CHEESE BALL
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pound cream cheese
1 pound bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1 small onion, grated
½ pound Roquefort cheese
Pinch garlic salt
Worcestershire sauce, optional
With all ingredients at room temperature, mix well. Shape into 2 medium balls or 4 logs. Serves 20
Since we’re outside, here’s a little tour of my patio, backyard and garden…
Here you see my patio fireplace that I livened up with an asparagus fern which looked much prettier with this fluff of green in it. The planter on the right is filled with pinks and purples just seems to scream spring. Petunia, verbena and Angelonia are all happy together.
Surrounding the patio are some wonderful dark pink drift roses with a backdrop of Louisiana Iris. Too bad this party was not last week because the irises were blooming then. The wrought iron planter has been in my outdoor areas for years and each season it gets a change of plants. This time I filled it with fern and geraniums, keeping the plastic planters hidden with a bit of burlap. You can see just what a beautiful day it was with the sunlight dancing through my crepe myrtle.
This gives you a visual of the whole patio. We had this built after moving into our house and have enjoyed it very much.
Here’s one last look at the table before we go on to see the garden.
These are the steps that lead us into the backyard. We had these built at the same time as the patio. Previously there had been a tiny, wooden deck. I can’t imagine it without the steps now. If you have followed GDFC for a while, you may remember these herbs in this very same location last year. I keep these right by the back door for quick snipping when cooking. I have a few other herbs planted in the ground that we enjoy as well.
Here you see a view of the backyard my guests enjoyed while having refreshments.
The square stones below are what you’d see if you turned to look the other way. Many people ask me if these stones were simply laid on the ground but they were poured and so there they shall stay. There is Mondo grass between the stones and to the left is a bed of azaleas, sweet bay magnolias and camellias. All of this was blooming a beautiful hot pink not too long ago. On the right side of the photo you’ll see the infamous flower bed that caught on fire. Yes, before we had proper patio and backyard lighting, we placed tiki torches around for a party. Five minutes before our guests were to arrive, Mr. GDFC smelled smoke and realized one of the torches had fallen over and started a fire. We both ran outside like lightening and grabbed hoses and put the fire out. So, if you notice these plants being a bit smaller than the rest, you are correct. Believe it or not, we pulled ourselves together before the first guest arrived. We still get a chuckle about this while being very thankful we caught it in time.
I have once again filled this planter with succulents. They basically take care of themselves and I very rarely water them. I can’t wait to see them grow as they tend to almost double in size over a season. I placed a little ceramic bird in along with them for a bit of interest. I’ll be posting about how to plant and care for succulents soon, so check back.
This wonderful sunflower garden stake below came from a pottery studio not too far away called Pickenpaugh Pottery. I love that it won’t fade and seems indestructible. I have seen other colors they have made around town and hope to add to mine. Several months ago, I purchased a bird feeder and it has certainly been a great addition to my garden. Upon taking this photo I noticed it was half full and I just filled it two days ago. This is a Squirrel Buster bird feeder and I could not be happier with it. Obviously, squirrels are not able to get the food and it is very easy to refill. I love watching the many birds who are attracted to it. Speaking of attraction, this pair of lanterns adds some interest and drama to the patio area. I sometimes put candles in them at night and they are very pretty with the warm light dancing around.
In the photo below I walk you through my cutting garden and bed of chaste lilac trees Several months ago, I had this crazy idea that I needed a cutting garden in my yard. Everything was in place with no room for another garden so finding a location seemed to be a problem. This idea kept creeping back into my mind and so I put a plan in action. I moved a few bushes and began my search for flowers that would work well. In the photo on the left, you see agapanthus, Shasta daisies, salvia, lambs ear and some herbs peeking around. I also planted what seems like a million zinnias as I love working them into floral arrangements. I’ll update you as things begin to grow. Under the Lilacs should be the title of the photo on the right. We have six large chaste lilac trees and underneath you can find roses, hydrangeas, Indian hawthorns and azaleas. Everything is in the purple and pink family so it is a pretty and calm part of the garden.
Well I guess I would call this a hummingbird feeder if I had ever seen a hummingbird feeding. Seriously, I have done everything except for offer 401K’s to get these little birds to visit my yard. Year after year, I watch the feeder and nothing! Everyone keeps telling me they will come. I will stay vigilant! If any of our readers have suggestions, give us a shout. We will try anything. The collection of azaleas has grown in their short life and given us beautiful blooms to enjoy. I think I spy Emma checking on them.
This trellis was custom built for this wall and the confederate jasmine is about to take off. I look forward to the day it is full of leaves and blooms.
We end this tour with a mound of dark pink drift roses and a blooming magnolia. We hope you feel as though you were at the party with us! If you have any questions or comments click the title of this post and the comment form will appear at the the bottom of the page.