How to throw the best garden party ever

28th June 2016

There’s nothing nicer than having fun in the sun at a brilliant garden party, especially now that we’ve reached the magical midsummer point of the year… so here are some top tips and clever ideas to make your next garden gathering the talk of the town!

Preparation, preparation

There’s no point in inviting everyone to your garden if it’s not up to scratch, so before you send out the invites, there are a few simple housekeeping (surely we mean gardenkeeping?) tasks to check off your list:

  1. Make sure your lawn is in good condition (if not, start adding some lawn feed each time you water it), and pick a dry day just before the party to give it its last haircut. Don’t do it on the day itself or you’ll have lots of cut grass tramped through your home as people come and go.
  2. Clean and spruce up any decking or patio areas – a good pressure washer should remove most of the dirt and moss.
  3. Weed your flowers beds, and if they’re looking a little sparse, get some pretty perennials to fill in the gaps and provide a splash of summer colour.
  4. Do a ‘hazard’ sweep: you might know to avoid the patch of brambles or keep away from the slightly rickety part of the fence, but your friends and neighbours won’t, so either block off these areas or put up some ‘keep away’ signs.

Outdoor-Fairy-Lights

Set the scene

So what’s your theme? Well, it could be anything but we’d suggest keeping it simple and stylish for maximum impact… Here are two of our summer favourites.

Red, white and blue

This colour combo always works well in British gardens, so why not get out the bunting and pop up some patriotic poms poms. Extend this theme to your dining table by copying this great idea we found on asoftplace.net and popping coloured napkins and cutlery in jam jars so your guests can help themselves when it’s time to eat.

Midsummer magic 

To pull off this fairy-glade look, start with lots of pale, floaty fabric to drape around the garden to create magical seating and dining areas, giving the impression of ‘secret’ nooks and ‘hidden’ spots. If your garden doesn’t lend itself to such floatiness, then drape your table in plenty of chiffon-style fabric before setting it for a fairytastic outdoor dining space.

You’ll also need some (and by some we mean lots) of twinkly lights. Hang jars filled with tealights from branches of trees – for a real wow factor, intersperse them with colourful ribbons too, like this amazing display from decozilla.com.

Add wow to your garden with this cute idea from decozilla.com

Bright streamers and twinkle lights = a magical garden

Finishing touches

Now you’ve got the theme and the location nailed, here are some simple ways to add an extra dash of pizzazz to your party…

Play time

Simple garden games such a croquet, skittles or even swingball will get your guests up and mingling… if you really want to get that competitive spirit going, make it a knock-out competition with a prize for the eventual winner.

Wrap up

If your party’s going to continue when the sun goes down (and with that many tealights set out, we really hope it does!), then don’t forget to provide some throws and blankets for your guests to wrap up in if it gets a little chilly. Why not bring a rug outdoors to take a cosey on!

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Serve-yourself bar

OK, so you’re the host but you don’t want to be spending all your time refreshing glasses, so set up a drinks bar where guests can help themselves. Just make sure you have plenty of good-quality plastic glasses for them to drink from, and lots of ice and slices of lemon and lime, and you’re good to go. Or be bang-on-trend and serve ready mixed drinks in oversize Kilner jars, like these ones we found at weddingchicks.com.

Beautiful drinks served beautifully from weddingchicks.com

Help yourself in style with these Kilner jar-style drinks dispensers

The garden gang

DFS has a fabulous selection of outdoor furniture to suit all budgets and spaces… here are some of our current favourites.

Two’s company

Looking for the perfect little bistro table and two comfy outdoor chairs? Well, you’ve found it with the Sarasota

The Roseville set from DFS

Outdoor dining made stylish

The more the merrier

Entertaining the crowds? The Naples seats eight comfortably.

The Naples outdoor dining set from DFS

A little piece of Italy in your garden

Looking for more outdoor inspiration head over to our Pinterest profile for the latest in creating your perfect 'Outdoor Oasis' or your own fun 'perfect picnic party'.