418 The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games BACK-YARD PARTIES
Any kind of out-of-door entertainment is preferable, in summer, to staying in the house, so that for that reason several young women have inaugurated what they call "Back-yard Parties" in the spaces in the rear of their homes, which have been made attractive enough to warrant asking their friends to spend the evening there.
There is one house in town of which the yard has been transformed into a really lovely garden. Ivy has been planted along the fences and now completely covers them, the centre has been sown with grass-seed, and all along the sides there is a gay border of bright-coloured geraniums and hardy flowering plants of many kinds. The daughter of the house finds her friends very ready to accept her invitations to meet one another there, and very loath to depart. Benches, garden chairs and tables are placed here and there in groups and pairs, and friends are entertained in a most informal and charming manner. A divan was improvised—a low cot-bed with a mattress covered with a rug and pillows.
The garden is lighted with Japanese lanterns strung across and small lamps hung at intervals among the ivy. The effect is very pretty.
Sometimes they play games, sometimes they have the music of banjo, guitar or mandolin, and sing college songs or those that have caught the popular fancy for the time. The men, of course, have permission to smoke, and long glasses, tinkling coolness, hold a certain innocent but delicious concoction that is very pleasantly welcomed.
Ices, cakes, lemonade, etc., are served upon occasion, and are thought to have an added deliciousness when