Fourth of July BBQ Tips

June 2011

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and you know what that means: barbecues! Is your yard ready?

Preparing your Lake Oswego landscaping now for your Fourth of July activities will prevent the holiday from becoming a scramble. Don’t worry – you don’t need to hire a landscaping contractor to redesign your yard to ensure a fun Fourth. All you need is a little planning, creativity, and a lot of heart. Here are a few tips for planning the perfect Fourth of July barbecue:

Think Safety

You probably know all of the different accidents that can befall an out-of-control Fourth of July barbeque: burns, amputations, blindness and even deaths have all been reported on this otherwise fun holiday. The best way to ensure your friends and family have a good time at your party is to make sure they don’t end up in the hospital. Here’s how:

  • Use fireworks outdoors only.
  • Never use fireworks near grass or flammable materials.
  • Keep a safe distance.
  • Use only one firework at a time.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pockets.
  • Have a hose or bucket of water nearby.
  • Always follow the instructions.

If you’re planning to set off fireworks around your home, perform a quick survey of your yard design; landscaping features can become hazards when explosives come into play, so scout for the safest area and keep all fireworks confined to that location.

Think Delicious

Don’t bore your guests with the same old Fourth of July food. Adding a few exotic and interesting dishes to the mix can really accent the same old burgers and hot dogs. Here are a few ideas:

  • Chunky guacamole
  • Gazpacho salsa
  • Sweet & Sour BBQ ribs
  • Jalapeno cornbread
  • Carrot and radish slaw
  • Fruit salad with mint

Think Fun

Food and fireworks alone won’t save a boring barbecue. As the host, it is your responsibility to provide entertainment to your guests. Here are a few tried and true methods:

Music. Get a live band if you can. If not, a great playlist will suffice.

Games. Bocce ball, horseshoes, croquet, and other family friendly games can really liven up a barbeque. These games are all relatively inexpensive and easy to come by. One thing to keep in mind whenever you design landscaping plans for your home is to provide a convenient lawn surface for outdoor games.

Décor. Whether you created a DIY landscape or hired a landscaping contractor, your yard design provides the backdrop for any outdoor party. When decorating for your barbecue, work with your current design; landscaping features can provide pleasant focal points around which to gather.

[Photo by: Anthony Cramp]

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