New York Sour Cocktail

A finished New York sour is topped with a garnish of lemon peel at a backyard gathering in Walla Walla, March 31, 2021.

Summer is around the corner. The days are getting longer, flowers are opening, and so are many opportunities that have been closed or restricted for over a year now due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The other day, I edited a Union-Bulletin story about the first day all Washingtonians ages 16 and older were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. It felt — hopeful.

Like the perennial flowers in my garden, I’m ready to come out of hibernation and enjoy the sun on the deck — hopefully with some friends and family I have waited a very long time to see again.

If you’re feeling the same way, we have ideas for prepping your home and yard for COVID-conscious outdoor entertaining this summer inside this month’s edition of Lifestyles magazine.

Find tips for hosting an intimate porch party by Diane Reed on Page 10.

Autumn Alexander shares a Q&A with a father-son landscaping duo mowing, thatching, edging, pruning, fencing, clipping and sweeping their way through the Walla Walla Valley on Page 13.

Kate Frey shares the secrets of night-blooming flowers on Page 16.

Writer Barbara Nombalais and craft cocktail guru Jim German want you to know why sours are the perfect refreshment for summer soirees on Page 18.

And Gwendolyn Elliott has tips from Walla Walla wine tasting room pros on planning outdoor gatherings that strike the perfect balance between safe and socially distanced, but also intimate and comfortable on Page 21.

Plus, you will find our usual Lifestyles favorites including a home to drool over, Jeff Petersen’s Day Tripper inspiration for your own adventures, the Where in Walla Walla challenge and our May events calendar.

Dust off your patio seating, kick your feet up and get inspired for summer fun in your own backyard. Cheers!

Annette Potter

Managing editor, Lifestyles magazine

Annette Potter can be reached at or 509-526-8311.