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It’s time to get into the mood for some frivolity! Summer is at its peak, the evenings are balmy, and nothing could make this season more delightful than a flawlessly executed garden party. With careful planning, fun themes, the right food and great music, you’ll be dancing in no time. So, whether you’re into pink gins and salmon blinis or high teas and silly hats, we want to inspire you to create your guest list, let your hair down and have a summer-inspired ball.
Top tips on getting your garden ready for summer
Your lawn is looking lush and the flowers are in full bloom, so now all you need are some garden accessories. Here are 3 of our favourites to help jazz things up:
1. Plenty of planters
Add more flora to your outdoor space by investing in elegant pots. Skyline’s Cone Planter will illuminate pathways and patio steps when a party’s in full swing.
2. Get benched
A strategically placed bench provides a quiet spot from which to bird-watch and extra seating when guest come around. For large gardens, the Mendip Bench by Eichholtz is ideal.
3. Find fabulous lighting
When entertaining, good lighting is imperative. Skyline’s La Pose table lamps will add radiance to your evening, but if you want to get the party started, invest in some fun Wine Cooler Table Lamps, available in a range of bright neons.
Picking a theme
Garden party themes get everyone in the mood for a rip-roaring event and help you, the host, plan things to perfection, from the food and drinks to music and games. Themes can be based on just about anything, so whether you’re aiming for formal and sophisticated or casual and relaxed, let your imagination run wild. These 2 points will guide you.
Day or night?
A daytime affair is perfect for picnics, high teas, barbeques and harvest tables. Consider incorporating fun games like croquet and include jugs of lemonade or a fruity Pimm’s. Evening garden party ideas could revolve around a dance theme or elegant sit-down dinners with a cigar and brandy lounge.
Kids or not?
If you’re family-orientated, then invite the little ones too. Provide plenty of things for them to do and have age-appropriate food and drinks on hand. You could also organise something special like a face painter or a scavenger hunt.
Planning food and drinks
Base the type of food and drinks you’ll be serving at your garden party around your chosen theme. Snacks are a great filler, so have delicious home-made dips dotted around in funky bowls like these ceramic centrepieces by Calligaris.
If you’re just having cocktails, prepare beautiful platters of hors d’oeuvres that will last the evening and designate a bar area where guests can socialise over a martini. The Laurel Bar Table by Skyline Design will add elegance to your drinks corner.
For daytime affairs, encourage your friends to help themselves to refreshments by providing a well-stocked bar trolley. This luxury Le Pomerol Trolley by Eichholtz should keep everyone happy the whole afternoon.
If you’re planning something more rustic like a buffet, then make sure you have a dining table that’s big enough for all the food. This Horizon 8 Seater by Skyline Design would be perfect!
Dressing your garden accordingly
Get creative with your garden summer decorating ideas. String up bunting and festive lights or create a Bedouin theme using piles of gorgeous outdoor rugs. Explore the Roda range, like this exquisite Triptyche rug, all woven by hand on looms.
Outdoor screens create fun play spaces for the youngsters and will cordon off the bar area. This lovely Wing Room Divider in a choice of colours is absolutely ideal. Use all your stylish garden accessories to lend some glamour to the décor. An exotic Diamond bird feeder will bling up your trees for a touch of tongue-in-cheek.
Providing seating areas and shady spots
In the full heat of the sun, your guests will need to recline under something shady. Have large garden umbrellas on hand or this elegant Octagonal Pavilion by Unopiu. Big, comfortable cushions dotted around the lawn are an easy seating solution, especially if you’re going with a picnic theme. We love Garden Glory’s shell-shaped collection.
Set up lots of intimate tables for two so that guests can indulge in food and close conversation. We love these trendy barstools by Bontempi. Or gather around a fire pit on these ultra-cool Jacob Outdoor Chairs by Felix Collection.
For a sit-down event, decorating your tables beautifully is a must. Use bright napkins and matching tablecloths as a base and display hand-picked flowers in pretty vases for vibrant colour. Vases can also be used for tealights, creating an ambient glow. FCI London has a gorgeous selection to choose from - take a look at the Bangui M Vase and the Koonam Tealight Amethyst Vase, both by Gaas.
Candlesticks give height to your arrangements. Garden Glory have created some fun ones, like the Mini Root Silver holder. An effective alternative to table lighting is the use of several small floor lamps, like these Flat Ball Floor Lamps by Skyline Design.
Cups and plates for parties
When selecting crockery and cutlery, think out of the box. If you’re a die-hard traditionalist and it’s absolutely necessary to get out your best crystal, go for it. But, and especially if kiddies are present, explore alternatives like attractive paper or eco-friendly disposables that even your great-grandmother would approve of.
This is where you can get creative. Serve snacks in mason jars, stack bread in wicker baskets and pop your soft drinks into an ice-filled wheelbarrow. Remember, little extras make a big difference, so provide suntan lotion and insect spray, hand out sparklers and, if your party transitions from day to night, have blankets on hand to keep your guests cosy.
And THAT is how to host the perfect garden party! For more inspirational ideas, pop into our showroom and steal some ideas, or chat to our summer soiree-loving design team for tips.