Hospitality Hints is a monthly feature on our blog with some helpful hints for being hospitable in everyday life. Our hints may involve inviting people over, but not always! Most of the time, they will be about having a posture of hospitality—welcoming others into our lives.
Spring has officially sprung and here in Nashville it’s beginning to look more and more like summer. This means we’re battling seasonal allergies and embracing the great outdoors, or at least our yards. So this month, we’re thinking about how to make our yards more hospitable. This extends to more than just a backyard barbecue. We want to be hospitable in the everyday, too.
Here are a few ideas we had to use our yards as a way to be hospitable.
Plant a garden.
You might plant a community garden, allowing others to grow fruits and veggies in your space. This is especially helpful in neighborhoods where not everyone has a yard big enough or with enough sunlight for plants to really grow. Or if you just want to garden on your own, you can still use the, well, fruits of your labor to be hospitable to friends and family. Take tomatoes in to work, deliver corn to a friend, bake fresh strawberry pie and give it to a neighbor.
Keep your lawn neat.
Be hospitable to your neighbors by mowing regularly and maintaining the outside of your property. It’s something you probably do anyway, but goes a long way in relationships with those in close proximity to you. You can also offer to plant or mow for those around you who may be unable or on vacation.
Make your backyard fun.
Get a fire pit, some lawn games, even a swing set. These are great for hosting parties or impromptu evenings making s’mores (always keep marshmallows on hand).
Sidewalk chalk and lawn chairs mean fun for parents and kids.
Host a driveway party for the parents and kids in your neighborhood. And by “driveway party,” we mean, get out the sidewalk chalk, the jump ropes, the hula hoops, and the driving toys and sit in your driveway with your kids. Invite your neighbors by leaving a few lawn chairs open. Michelle (our Publishing Team Leader) said this was one of the most helpful things her neighbors did when her girls were growing up. You can offer to watch the kids while mom gets a shower or you can invite them to sit with you for adult conversation. For added fun, keep some freezer pops ready.
Make your yard less inviting for mosquitos.
Citronella is very welcoming.
Enjoy your porch.
If you have a front porch, sit on it! Add some rocking chairs or a swing and you have a lovely place to spend evenings reading or chatting with your family. You will also get to know your neighbors as they go for evening strolls or come in and out to do yard work. Wave and smile and they may even stop to chat. It’s an easy way to get to know those who live around you.
Let there be light.
Keep your yard well-lit. Nothing is more inviting in the evening than a porch light or a string of bulbs across the deck. People will feel safe, cozy, and like they are welcome when you turn the lights on.
Those are a few of the ideas we have! What ideas do you have for making your yard feel welcome? Have you or your neighbors ever used your yards to be hospitable to one another? Let us know in the comments!