A garden party is the ideal summer party but what is it that you need to consider in order to make it a success? We discuss how to host a successful party in the garden and the pitfalls to avoid.
The sun is shining and every weather forecaster in the British Isles is predicting a summer heatwave, making a welcome change to the normal summers we endure.
As a result, it is no surprise that BBQs up and down the country are working overtime and garden furniture is at full stretch.
At the same time, there are invitations being distributed inviting guests to a garden party. And why not? The sun is shining, after all.
But hosting a successful garden party is more than throwing a few sandwiches together and unlatching the garden gate for guests to arrive.
With a little pre-planning, you can host the summer garden party that puts all others in the shade.
Just like you wouldn’t invite people to a house party without giving your home the once over, the same is true for the garden.
Make sure everything is in good order. Give the patio and decking a good sweep and a power wash in the days before you host your big event.
Do the same to your teak dining furniture making sure it is clean enough to really eat your dinner off.
AVOID the pitfall of not having enough seating
You could always ask guests to help out and bring their own chairs simply because not having enough seating is a common pitfall at most garden parties.
Gather all your seating together, including your Luytens bench, give them a good clean and then arrange them in a way that people can huddle in smaller groups to enjoy each other’s conversation and company.
Not everyone tans to a beautiful shade with most of us ending up looking like lobsters after only a minute or two in the sun.
Shade is important at a garden party simply because sitting it out in it for a long time is not comfortable.
There are many options including;
- Cheap parasols. Great for dotting about the place but casting shade over the seating areas is a great option
- A gazebo is also ideal. Place it near the house and use a fan to keep moving the air in it to make it more comfortable
- Provide umbrellas. Cotton parasols work well and so too does an ordinary umbrella
AVOID the pitfall of guests taking refuge in your home
Providing shade is essential, as is plenty of cool water and other drinks, along with ice. The sun may be shining but if it is blistering hot, guests will simply move inside.
Decide on the menu and so as much as you can before the garden party.
When it is hot, however, and no matter whether you are hosting a BBQ or a genteel afternoon tea party, you will need to ensure that food is kept cool.
Aside from no one liking a dried out sandwich with a curling crust, there is also the issue of food poisoning to consider.
Frankly, if it is too hot, serve food indoors where there is less chance of the sun baking it to a crisp.
AVOID the pitfall of being uber-stressed
Pre-planning and setting out as much as you can before guests arrive is the secret to the swan-like elegance that is expected of a host
On one hand, guests want to talk and enjoy each other’s company but that doesn’t mean it has to be done in silence.
Music helps people to unwind and relax, and it also helps the party to flow. Choose music that complements the theme of your garden party too. Classical music for a genteel gathering, for example, but more modern music for the BBQ garden party.
AVOID the dull garden party
By making sure there is pleasant and tuneful music playing in the background. However, don’t fall out with your neighbours. As well as inviting them, have the music at an acceptable level and don’t let it go on too late.
Don’t be too precious
We can easily fall into the idea of everything needing to be perfect. Without perfection, we think that no one will have a good time.
Yes, put some of the kid’s garden toys away. But leave a few out for them to enjoy and play with. The flower beds don’t need weeding within an inch of their life and providing the garden furniture is clean and safe to sit on, make sure that your garden party is about people and a good time.