An Invitation to the Garden: Seasonal Outdoor Entertaining by Michael Devine

Invitation-Garden1An Invitation to the Garden: Seasonal Outdoor Entertaining by Michael Devine (Rizzoli, 2014)

Textile designer Michael Devine’s guide, An Invitation to the Garden, contains more than enough ideas for entertaining in the garden any time of year. From brunches and buffets to dinners and drinks, the book features 12 different themed parties, appropriate for intimate gatherings of around eight guests.

Captured through beautiful photography, Devine’s garden parties evoke elegant French flair, and his inspiration stems from whatever is currently growing in his jardin de curé (priest’s garden). He provides great planting ideas and tips for keeping flower arrangements looking fresh.

Each event includes several recipes and a suggested wine pairing. Though some of the recipes are rather involved, Devine tries to keep his menus simple by picking in-season herbs and vegetables from his own garden and occasionally springing for store-bought cookies or frozen piecrusts.

Devine’s Indian summer harvest lunch features a stunning pansy-and-kale centerpiece and recipes for a savory cake of ham, goat cheese, and figs; autumn salad greens; poulet pot-au-feu; chocolate fondue; and tea made with fresh peppermint leaves. For his glittering Christmas Eve dinner, Devine transformed his refurbished garden shed into a festive dining area. He served traditional family recipes, and a bag of homemade honey caramels for each guest doubled as a place card and gift.

Whether you enjoy formal or casual entertaining, An Invitation to the Garden will surely motivate you to turn your backyard garden into an ideal gathering space.

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