Some people throw garden parties all year round (even during the winter), but for many of us, the summer is the perfect time. The sun is shining, you may have vacation time from work, and there are friends and family members you may not have caught up with during your busier months. A garden party it is then, and here are some tips to help you put together the best garden party ever (probably).
Step 1: Get your garden ready
If your garden is still a bit of a jungle after the winter months, you will need to roll your sleeves up and get your gardening gloves on. This means mowing the lawn, pulling up the weeds, adding colour with the appropriate flowers, and cutting back any shrubbery that threatens to decapitate your poor guests. We also recommend hiring a lawn care service to deal with any bugs and beasties - after all, the only sting in the tail you want at the garden party is from the gossip you share with your mates over a cocktail.
Step 2: Accessorise your garden
Having given your house the wow factor, do the same in your garden. With features that are going to create a talking point - we are thinking water fountains, sculptures, wall decorations - you will create an aesthetic look that creates that extra ambience your garden party needs. Then there are the essential items, with an array of seating options (lawn chairs, hammocks), dining tables, and perhaps a few garden games to entertain your guests during low points in conversation.
Step 3: Create a menu for success
We are of course talking about food and drink, as if this one area goes wrong, your garden party will be spoken about for months to come (for all the wrong reasons). If you’ve picked a theme for your garden party, you will want food and drinks to match, but if not, still be creative with the options given to your guests. Sweet and fruity cocktails are a must (remember those friends who don’t drink alcohol), as are strawberry dips, smores, and a range of other treats. Remember too that the food menu needs to cater for those with specific tastes, such as those with food allergies or vegetarians, so check with your friends beforehand. You can pick up a lot of food and drink ideas online, so it is possible to find something that suits everybody. Alternatively, if you have particularly fussy guests, make it a bring and share party to ensure everybody’s needs are met.
Step 4: Invite the right mix of guests
When it comes time to drawing up the guest list, you want to invite a mix of folk to liven up the party. Too many people and you are going to have an expensive food bill on your hands. Too few people and conversations may dry up quicker than your lawn under the burning sun. Invite somebody who is renowned for creating havoc or impromptu arguments, and you may have a disaster on your hands. So invite the people you trust, don’t be swayed into inviting those people in your life ‘because you should’ if you don’t feel comfortable around them, and perhaps allow the ‘plus one’ rule so your guests will at least have one person they know during your soiree. With the right mix of people, conversations will be full and varied, and you should all have a good time in each other’s company.
Over to you
We have given you a few ideas, but let us know what you think. Are there any foods and drinks you recommend? What garden party themes have you tried? Are there any no-no’s when it comes to the perfect outdoor celebration? Let us know in the comments section below.