With a Bank Holiday on the horizon, summer on the way and lockdown restrictions starting to ease, we can finally start making social plans again. Garden parties are perfect for catching up with friends and family, in a safe and distanced way.
Here’s how you can give your outdoor space an update ready to host the perfect lockdown-approved garden party.
The Perfect Garden Party – Invest in the right garden furniture
You want your guests to be comfortable when hosting a garden party, so you need to invest in the right garden furniture.
Opt for a comfortable rattan sofa to create a seating area that’s perfect to relax in, a modular design will also make it easier to move about and rearrange. If you need some extra seating you can bring some dining chairs outside, or choose some foldaway chairs that can be stored away when they’re not in use. Or go for a picnic vibe and layout blankets and cushions for your guests to relax on.
Just remember to space out your seating to keep everyone safe — give each person their own corner or little area to sit down in.
The Perfect Garden Party – Prepare the garden
If your garden is looking a little neglected after the winter, then now is the time to spruce it up. Clear away all the dead plants and debris, mow the lawn, and clean the patio with a pressure washer.
Pick up some packs of bright bedding flowers from your local garden centre to create a colourful outdoor space. Add some garlands and hang them around your trees to complete the garden party atmosphere.
The Perfect Garden Party – Plan out your food and drink
The key to any successful garden party is serving up some great food and drink. BBQs are always a hit, and cooking outdoors means you can still enjoy the party while you prepare the food. Gas BBQs can be more efficient, but if you’re after something more compact there are plenty of small charcoal BBQs that are easy to store. If you don’t fancy grilling then go for a pizza oven instead.
For drinks, set up a cocktail bar in the garden. Put together a small menu of different cocktails, pick up all the spirits, mixers, and garnishes you’ll need and then let your guests pick their favourite drink.
Whatever you’re serving, it’s important to still stay safe. Ensure there’s hand sanitiser available and provide everyone with their own plates — no buffets or bowls of snacks shared around. Give guests a market for their glass as well so they always know which one is theirs.
The Perfect Garden Party – Light up the garden
Use lighting around your garden to add a soft ambience. Small stake lights can be placed along the path, stuck into pots, or flower beds to light up the garden into the evening. Fairy lights or festoon lights strung along your fence or between trees will create the perfect party atmosphere. Hang brightly coloured lanterns from the trees as well for a final decorative touch for your outdoor space.
Opt for solar-powered lights so that they can charge through the day and you don’t have to worry about plugging them. And during the height of summer, it might be worth lighting a few citronella candles to deter mosquitos and bugs.
The Perfect Garden Party – Stay warm in the evening
If you want to keep your garden party going once the sun goes down you’ll need to keep guests warm. A chiminea or a fire pit is great for getting your guests to gather around and provides plenty of heat.
Just make sure you’ve got plenty of space around to keep everyone safely distanced from each other. If you don’t want to light a fire, then an electric lantern heater is a stylish alternative to ensure everyone is warm enough.
The Perfect Garden Party – Set up some shelter
Whether it’s blazing hot sunshine or there are threatening clouds looming, it’s a good idea to set up some shelter when you’re hosting a garden party.
A simple canvas gazebo or a parasol over a table is perfect if you just need a bit of shade. If you want something a bit more natural-looking then use trellises or tall plants to create shaded corners in the garden throughout the summer.
Worried about heavy downpours? It could be worth investing in a more solid marquee to keep everyone dry. You’ll need to consider how much space there is so everyone can keep their distance, and keep the sides open to allow in plenty of air.
The Perfect Garden Party – Other garden party ideas
If you want to host a garden party that’s a bit different then try out one of these ideas:
- Outdoor cinema: Hang up a white sheet, set up a projector, and provide some comfy seating, and don’t forget the popcorn.
- Lawn games: Keep everyone entertained with simple lawn games like croquet, skittles, or giant Jenga.
- Wine tasting: Turn the party into a wine tasting, get a few of your favourite bottles, some small glasses, and even some cheese to pair it with.
- Bake Off competition: Ask your guests to each bring a homemade cake or dessert, serve them up and vote on the best.
With a little bit of preparation, you can transform your outdoor space and be ready to host the perfect lockdown-approved garden party.