How to Throw the Perfect Green Garden Party
By Jillian Grady
When summer rolls around and the days start to get longer, many of us dream of being invited to an outdoor event where we can eat, drink, socialize and spend some quality time soaking in the glorious vitamin D. We all know by now that sunlight can benefit us in many ways including lifting our spirits, reducing stress and anxiety and helping skin conditions like eczema.
Combine this with the benefits of socializing with friends and family, and attending a garden party is a no-brainer. But why wait around for an invitation when it’s so easy to throw an event in your own back garden? Follow these simple tips and you could be hosting the event of the summer in just a couple of days.
Prepping Your Space
The great thing about throwing a garden party is that the whole aesthetic is relaxed and informal. If you don’t want to mow your lawn or hire a tent you don’t have to. Just try to make the space comfortable and convenient for your guests.
Clear an area in your garden and make sure you cover or dispose of any unsightly garden waste piles. If you can be sure that the rain will hold off, don’t be afraid to bring some indoor furniture and ornaments outside – just avoid anything that will break or stain too easily. A makeshift picnic blanket or sun canopy can be easily thrown together by stitching up some old sheets, while large buckets or plastic tubs can be filled with ice and used to store cold drinks and popsicles.
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Organizing the Decorations
Fairy lights might be a staple feature of the garden party, but if you want to save on money and energy, candles can work wonders. Root out some old jam jars or clear vases from around your house, clean them up and place tea lights inside.
If you grow your own flowers, plants and herbs, then make the most of these as free decorations. You can use potted plants as table centrepieces, and place some small garden bouquets into clean, empty wine bottles or jars. If you’re good with crafts and you have some time on your hands, you can even whip up a couple of strings of bunting using triangles of fabric or paper and plenty of heavy-duty string.
Making the Food
If you have your own greenhouse, fruit bushes and/or vegetable garden, this will be the easy part! Your guests will love eating food that’s been freshly dug up just feet from where they’re standing, so take full advantage. Summer garden party favorites include grilled asparagus and zucchini with a mint and lemon dressing, stuffed peppers, warm potato salad garnished with parsley and chives, barbecued sweet potatoes, and – to finish up – a gorgeous fresh fruit salad. Don’t forget too, that you can add a special touch to your guests’ drinks by throwing in some mint leaves or sliced strawberries.
Once you’ve organized all that, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy yourself. The only problem you’ll have is getting your guests to leave at the end of the night!
Jillian Grady is a keen gardener who loves to spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors. When she’s not writing gardening tips or throwing parties for the neighbours, you will find her walking her 7-year-old labrador.