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The Perfect Barbecue

The three most essential elements of any barbecue party are the guests, the weather and the food. I can not make recommendations about your friends and family, you are on your own there, but I hope you will find my suggestions for the other two fronts practical.

An unplanned party in the garden is great and often the best parties are the ones that just happen off the cuff, but if you want something a little more formal or more notable then you have to organize. The first step is to pick a date far enough in the future for most people to be unlikely to have a prior engagement, but not so far that they might forget about your barbecue party.

Depending on where you live of course, try to pick a date when it is not likely to be cool or wet. This is hard in places like the UK, but may be easier where you live. If the party goes on into the night it may get chilly anyway and you could hire a few gas patio heaters in advance just in case. You could also have a sunshade or sheltered seating area in case of blazing sunshine or a light shower.

These days many people are vegetarian and you will have to plan in advance for them and other dieters, if they make up a sizable number of your guests. You could send out RSVP invitations and ask your guests to make known any special dietary requirements. I am not really suggesting that you have to cater to everybody, but if you have a lot of Jews or Arabs coming you will need to provide an alternative to pork chops and of course there are other minorities too.

In fact, you may have to do some research on the religions of the people coming to your barbecue party, because often cooking utensils may not have touched pork of meat or shellfish. Most people of the guests with these dietary requirements will have been in this situation before and will understand if you go some way to providing an alternative.

For this reason, you will need to get your RSVP cards back at least a week before your barbecue party and do a bit of research on the telephone or the Internet. Then start making up the barbecue side dishes. These should include baked or and boiled jacket potatoes and potato salad, baked beans, egg quarters and coleslaw along with pickles, relish, onions, chutneys tomato and curry sauces (hot and not so hot), as most people will eat them. These can be prepared a few days in advance and kept in Tupperware containers in the fridge. Bread in the form of buns is also essential so that people can make sandwiches.

It is important for a slick operation, to have your party area fully prepared before your guests arrive. it is a good idea to set the music system up in the garden shed or the garage to protect it it from any sudden shower. Provide plenty of tissues for wiping greasy fingers and plenty of bins for the debris. Finger bowls with lemon water would be useful for this objective too.

Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with the propane outdoor heater. If you are interested in patio heaters too, please click through to Residential Patio Heaters.

Garden Deck Or Patio Layout

After you have finished getting in your garden patio furniture and you have set it out as you like, it is time to park yourself in one of your new patio chairs with one of your favourite drinks and maybe a pen and paper, and take stock of the state of affairs.

Is your garden patio a bit crowded or do you have plenty of room? Are there other things you would like to have out there? How about plant life? Do you have enough plants and bushes – eye candy? Will you be using it only in the daytime or in the evening or even at night too? Will you need lighting, for instance?

This is where your own personal stylishness can be added to your shop bought furniture to make the patio truly your patio. So, if you live in a house that only has a small garden, you might want to think about things that hang rather than things that must be sited on the ground, which will take up walking space.

If you do not have much room, but you want to grow plants with edible fruit such as strawberries or tomatoes, you could get some hanging baskets. You can hang them from bushes or standard lamps or fix them to a boring wall. Similarly, you could grow herbs or other small flowers in a window box which has been fixed to a wall or placed on top of it. Or put shelving up and put boxes and pots on that.

If your patio is too sunny, you could grow sunflowers or put up a trellis or an arbour and grow vines or clematis up it. Bamboo grows quickly too. If it is too shady, plant lots of bright yellow and white flowers and maybe paint the walls white or pink, if you are not keen on glare.

If your garden patio is a much larger, you could add garden accessories in order to further your enjoyment. For instance, you could construct a barbecue area out of stone slabs or bricks. You could add a fountain too. A fountain makes the very soothing sound of running and splashing water and fish are a delight to watch.

For the colder months, you could construct a fireplace, if local bylaws permit or get a patio heater. They are very efficient and can keep a fair radius warm, depending on the ambient temperature.

You will probably need some type of lighting as well, if you plan on spending some evenings on your patio. I suggest a few spotlights to highlight your favourite plants and the fountain and a broader beam light that you can read by. Do not put these lights near where you intend to sit because they will attract flying insects. However, they make a good distraction from you and will keep all but the blood sucking insects away.

For parasites such as mosquitoes, you should get some form of mosquito light. Some are very good and claim to keep a quarter or even half an acre clear of mosquitoes and other such nuisances.

For all these extra accessories you will need power points. Therefore, if you plan your garden with pen and paper as I suggested at the beginning of this article, then you will be able to show the electrician where you want the points and what-not in your new garden patio layout.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with commercial patio heaters. If you are interested in patio heaters too, please click through to Residential Patio Heaters.

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