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Creative Special Occasions

Your balcony's unlimited social capabilites

There's no time like the present to share your garden with friends; just drag them over when the first nasturtium buds pop or when you spot your first ripening tomato. But if you still need an excuse, here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

- Sunday Crossword Brunch: Wordsmiths will love relaxing in your garden with coffee, croissants, and the latest crossword stumper.

- Balcony Garden Crawl: Team up with fellow urban gardeners nearby and host a garden crawl. Start with drinks at the first one; move on to appetizers at the next, then salad ... you get the picture. Do save room for dessert!

- Bridal/Wedding Shower: A balcony garden is the perfect setting for the celebration of a special friend's upcoming marriage. Gather up little bouquets and create a dramatic entranceway with swags of filmy chiffon. A sprig of herbs or a cutting from a prolific plant makes a delightful party favor.

- Stock-Picking Special: Don't let the Beardstown Ladies have all the fun! If you routinely get together with pals to figure out where the Dow's headed next, move the luncheon onto the balcony when it's nice out. Who knows? The extra oxygen your plants give off might inspire picks worthy of Warren Buffett!