Setting the Scene

201203hsp_060 When the eyesore is a group of meters, air conditioners, or other equipment, it’s not possible to haul them off or decorate them with lights or paper birds. These visual problems are usually best hidden by fences or folding screens, not plants. Screening can either be permanent, as in a fence that’s installed before the wedding and left in place, or it can be temporary.

In addition to equipment or other items that need hiding, you might notice places where the house itself needs attention. Chipped paint or rotten wood, for example, might suddenly stand out. It’s always possible to repair these areas before the wedding. But should you decide that a total fix up isn’t in the budget, know that you’ll see these things far more readily than anyone else will. A happy bride and groom in a pretty garden will have everyone’s attention. The guests will be unlikely to notice the flaking paint.

No amount of screening or visual distraction can cover up hazardous situations, however. You may be aware of that large patch of poison ivy next to the lawn and take care to avoid it, but you can be sure that this is exactly where a wedding guest will drop something or fall down. You may know to stay away from the rotted wood on the well cover, or the really wobbly fence, but your guests can’t be expected to either know or remember such perilous locations. These unsafe conditions should be fixed well in advance of the wedding.

The Creative Use of Containers

Containers filled with flowers aren’t just beautiful: for a garden wedding, they can be functional as well. Urns of flowers or branches can be used to create a frame around, or archway over, the bride and groom. Large pots and urns can be used to attractively block areas where you don’t want guests to walk, drive, or park. Pots can also delineate paths, cover tripping hazards, and decorate the entrance to Porta-Potties.

Containers can either be planted well in advance of your event, or assembled just days before the wedding. If you’ve had good luck with container plants in the past, by all means pot up annuals using colors that will compliment the garden, and then tend them until the big day. If your thumb tends to be more black than green, however, purchase your boxes, urns, and pots as close to the wedding day as possible.

In general, larger pots of flowers are more attractive than smaller containers so think big. It’s also a good idea to have a few extras that can be used for last minute décor or disguising visual problems.

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C.L. Fornari is a well-known gardening expert on the Cape and Islands. She is an author, a lecturer, and a radio host on numerous gardening subjects.

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