As the temperature rises, entertaining means backyard events. It’s time to assess what guests see in your yard depending on where you seat them.

Yard Work: Pruning with an Eye to the View

Noticing the perspective from each outdoor area where you entertain is especially important, if you are considering pruning or removing a tree or shrub. I was determined that my backyard landscaping would look much nicer if we removed a rather tall plum tree that had not produced much fruit for a few years. Then, I sat where our guests do at our barbecue bar. From the cooking and prep side of things, the tree made little to no difference. From the barstool side, however, I realized the tree was completely camouflaging a telephone pole that is in the alley behind it. The tree stayed.

House or Yard? Your Guests’ Outdoor Perspective

When you seat guests around a table for backyard dining, do you seat them looking toward the house or toward the yard? Have you ever sat where you seat your guests around your outdoor table? Proper etiquette dictates a distinct chart for seating arrangements, but I think for casual dining in the backyard, and in the interest of giving your guests a great experience, we can bypass the formality–or, if you can, just move your table, so both goals are met. Your guests should see your backyard or house from the most flattering angle that shows your handiwork the best way possible.

Try out every seat to see what they see. It might bring your attention to an untidy flowerbed or storage nook. Then you’ll know what to do this weekend!