How to Throw a Garden Party
Warm weather means ample opportunity for alfresco parties! While barbecues and pool parties are great classic summertime plans, a garden party is another option that lets you and your loved ones enjoy the outdoors in a creative way. If you want to host a fun gathering in a lush outdoor setting, we’ll guide you to outdoor event success with these ideas for garden party entertaining. With just a little bit of planning and some smart decor, you can transform your outdoor space into a fairytale setting for an unforgettable gathering.
Scout Your Location
You might have a blooming garden available as the location for your garden party, but even if you don’t have access to a garden, it’s easy to make these design ideas work. Garden parties don’t require a classic estate-style garden to be successful. With the right supplies, you can transform a small outdoor porch into a party-perfect space. Planters, hanging baskets and real-plant garlands are all right at home as parts of a verdant party setting on an urban deck or petite suburban patio.
Set It Up
No matter the entertainment and refreshments you have in mind for your garden-themed party, your guests will love having somewhere to sit, chat and relax as they enjoy the sunshine. Set some up outdoor furniture before the party if you have room. Wicker is a great choice for a traditional garden party look, but ultimately, any comfortable outdoor furniture is perfect. Feel free to set up lounge or dining furniture or a combination of both. Some garden parties focus more on lawn games and other classic outdoor activities rather than a meal, so consider any other activities you might be planning as you decide what furniture you need.
Embellish Your Surroundings
The natural splendor of your garden setting is a beautiful attraction for this kind of event, but you’re more than welcome to add in as much greenery and decor as you want. “The more the merrier” is a great motto to have. Imagine how lush the surroundings will look with blooms everywhere – down to little potted plants on the dining table. It’s your own secret garden! Whether your garden party is scheduled for an afternoon or evening, hanging decor adds some extra magic that makes the garden feel even more special and festive. From banners to globe string lights, there are many ways to add some height, color and dimension to your garden-themed party setting.
Flowers, Flowers and More Flowers
A garden party really blooms when it’s brimming with flowers. Even if you have blossoms all around in the garden, it’s nice to make some cut flower arrangements in vases for your tables. You can use flowers cut directly from the garden or bring in some different kinds of blossoms to add even more botanical beauty to the scene. If you have any flowering trees in the yard, such as dogwoods or cherry trees, consider using small cut branches in bloom to add height and texture to your floral arrangement. Whatever flowers you choose, you can enhance the garden party theme by sticking with in-season varieties that commonly grow in gardens, including tulips, irises and dahlias.
Top It All Off
With your furniture and decorations at the ready, think about providing some refreshments for guests to enjoy. The food and drink you choose can depend on a variety of factors, including the season, your design ideas, occasion (is this a birthday gathering for a treasured friend?) and the time of day when the party takes place. From hors d’oeuvres to a seated tea party luncheon complete with tiered stands of tea sandwiches and some petit fours, you have plenty of options to consider. To narrow down your potential choices, think about what flavors you’d like to capture. Are you thinking about celebrating the season with some local produce, or would a specific type of cuisine suit your event better?
You can also consider how guests might want to consume their food and drink. If you’re imagining more of a free-form garden party where guests can mingle, sit or play some lawn games as they please, set up a buffet table with platters of finger foods and drink dispensers available for guests to serve themselves. For seated garden party meals, you may want to serve dishes that can easily be passed around the table – like a quiche with fresh asparagus – which makes it easier for you to coordinate as you move your food from the kitchen to the garden.