3 Simple Ways to Entertain Like Martha

By now you all know I have a great love for Martha Stewart, gardening and entertaining. I’m no Martha, but I do love to take inspiration from her and make me. One of my favorite things is excellent outdoor dinner parties in the summer. I like to keep it simple but with a bit of wow factor. Ready to see how?

Check out my three favorite simple tips to entertain like Martha.

  1. Pick a theme and create a charming atmosphere. String lights, mix things up by using grandma’s china and flea market finds, use simple containers from around the house for flowers, and place candle holders or lanterns on the table to create atmosphere. The trees are your canopy and your blooming garden is a gorgeous backdrop of natural art.
  2. Make it comfortable and personalized. Make sure you table is big enough for all your guests and your seating is comfortable. Rent chairs if you need to. Add multiple butter dishes, salt and pepper shakers and condiment dishes to the table. Make sure a private bathroom is stocked for your guests too.
  3. Stick to an easy menu. It should compliment your theme and be partially prepped ahead of time, so you have more time to visit with your guests. Oh and don’t forget the dessert and wine! Plus, you can often use your food theme to develop your unique tablescape, like in my example below.

A Snapshot of My Favorite Summer Outdoor Dinner Party

In late August, there is nothing sexier than an outdoor dinner party in the garden. I often use two saw horses, a large piece of plywood from the hardware store and a nice piece of burlap (a lovely natural texture and neutral background) from the fabric store to build upon. From there, I add placemats (sometimes paper and sometimes I make my own), a mix and match of my favorite dishes and polished crystal. Down the center, I adore votive candles and fabulous centerpieces.

Often, I do Italian because it’s inexpensive and so easy to serve family-style outdoors – think meatballs, rigatoni, garlic bread and salad. It can all be passed in beautiful big bowls and is wonderful.

I save my Red Gold tomato cans for my summer outdoor dinner parties too. I’ll put Basil, sunflowers, baby’s-breath, other summer flowers from the garden and even Hosta leaves to fill out the arrangement. I put 5-7 cans (I love odd numbers) down the long center and dot votive candles around the cans. It makes a fabulous inexpensive centerpiece, especially for an Italian theme. It makes for an exciting table and great conversation starter.

Make sure you are passing food, breaking bread with friends, pouring the wine and having great conversations. And always do dessert – especially chocolate. Everyone loves chocolate.

For me, entertaining and cooking are all part of being a gardener. We grow our food to eat it and share it. We grow our flowers to enjoy and arrange them. It’s all part of growing a beautiful life.

Curious to hear more entertaining ideas? Tune into my podcast Growing a Beautiful Life on the All Indiana Podcast Network and check out my Instagram too.

Onward to Growing a Beautiful Life!

– Gardening Love, Carrie

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