Summertime is BBQ time. Your patio was looking pretty good but now it needs a quick fix. How do you make that BBQ buffet area look smashing without smashing the budget all to pieces?

Ideas you can use this year or next year or any time.

Double duty: Watermelons, pineapples even eggplants. Start with the blooming succulent Kalenchoe. Comes in vibrant hot Mexican summer colors. This blooming succulent thrives anywhere and comes in all sizes and colors; Red, yellow, magenta or pink.

The centerpiece is the Watermelon. The long ones are best. The insides become part of the fruit salad. The outside becomes a natural container for easy blooming color. The same with the Eggplants and pineapples. Cut in half or hollowed out. (My pineapple hollowed out just fine.) Place the two halves around the plant, secure with invisible fishing line or hot glue. The melon takes the center. Add the rest including some Tomatoes, Bananas, peppers. When the party is over, eat or throw everything but the plants away.

 

The Request you can’t turn down.

The Baby shower or Bridal shower in your lovely garden? Of course; you graciously respond while your mind races to come up with some quick color ideas

Begonias to the rescue. Pretty, feminine and easy. Solenia Begonias or Tuberous Begonias make easy table centerpieces. We grow them right in our greenhouses and they are available all summer long.

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Budget is tight? Pick up some extra plastic pots. Spray paint and glitter do amazing things.  A quick trip to the fabric store for shimmery silky fabric swirled around your centerpiece. A begonia basket or two hanging from your patio cover and you are ready.

Need inspiration?
Come to Weidner’s Gardens Begonia Festival June 20 and 21  Spend your Begonia Bucks and take advantage of the speakers and specials. Sample arrangements for you to copy. The Free sample fertilizer tank will be up. Bring your own gallon jug or pay for a new one. Go to www.weidners.com for details and to download those coupons to save you money.

Gerbera Daisies are the decorators delight

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New. Garvinea, the Gerbera that keeps on giving. Gerbera daisies are the number one flower for almost every flower arrangement. They last a week and then are gone. Garvinea Gerbera is a new daisy that is trouble free and will bloom year round in our climate. One Garvinea will take the place of that flower arrangement and will keep on giving for months. You can even cut them to make your own arrangement. No they aren’t as big as the florist gerbera but dollar for dollar you come out way ahead.

Old time tip. Strands of Ivy are so useful when you are decorating. But how do you keep them fresh? Cut your ivy a day or so ahead. Hydrate in water; the bathtub works. Dry them off, and dip in old fashioned liquid floor wax. They will hold and look fresh for several weeks. Shiny too. Use anywhere some greenery is needed.

The western BBQ theme. Here come the Succulents. Here comes the Burlap from your fabric store. One smashing succulent centerpiece and you have set the theme. Each place has a different 4 inch succulent. The burlap and some hot glue makes quick pot covers.

The Do it yourself table centerpieces competition. For the big party where you need a mixer to get things going. YOU gather together some sand, shells, branches, Eucalyptus seed pods, rooks and a few blooming 4 inch bedding plants. Add old half burned candles, kitchen utensils, broken pottery. Anything you can find.

Divide your guests into as many teams as you have tables. Put all the stuff in a big pile. Guests have 30 minutes to come up with the winning design. Of course you make sure they have some drinks to get them in the mood and every team gets a silly prize. Memory pictures are taken and you have time to get all the last minute food ready. Sure fire way to jump start your party.