Time to celebrate: How to host a summer garden party

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As spring unravels into summer, now is the time to make the most of your outdoor space. Following a couple of years spent apart and with brighter weather just around the corner,  savour long weekends by welcoming loved ones into your garden. Whether you have a small patio, decking space or a lawn to enjoy, here we’ve shared a few simple garden party ideas for hosting impromptu gatherings or more poignant occasions, that we hope will keep you inspired throughout the warmer months.

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Bring sunshine to your outdoor dining area with seasonal flourishes
A TABLE LADEN WITH JOY 

Entertaining outside is all about creating a sense of conviviality. Dress your table with generous pitchers of lemonade, bowls piled high, chopping boards layered with nibbles or even champagne baskets. Contrast plenty of wine glasses and tumblers against taller tableware, such as dramatic cake stands and bloom-filled jugs for a fresh and casual look. The epitome of summer, a bowl of zesty fruit is a cheerful way to inject colour onto the table.

Don’t forget to work with the flow of your outdoor space. If it’s wild with shrubbery, make use of this – cut sprigs and place them on napkins to create a cottage garden feel. Alternatively, give life to patio or decking by moving your existing potted plants to surround your dining area – and for a hint of earthy texture, try framing groups of planters in rustic rattan baskets on the floor. 

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When it comes to garden party food, sharing is caring – let everyone get stuck in
A SLICE TO SHARE 

No gathering is complete without a good spread. Above all, garden parties should be devoted to spending time outside making memories, rather than slaving away in the kitchen. So, the food needs to be fuss-free, delicious and most importantly – easy. 

A crowd-pleaser across all age groups and a great alternative to BBQs – pizza ovens get everyone involved while soaking up the sunshine. Evoke a sense of theatre for the children by playing ‘build your own’ with different toppings. Or simply serve pizzas at the heart of the table and let guests grab slices as they come and go. This casual approach of letting people help themselves sparks interaction and can be a helpful starting point for outdoor occasions.

COME AS YOU ARE

Whether it’s a family affair or you have neighbours visiting, it’s the thoughtful, finer details that make everyone feel truly welcome. Prepare for unexpected guests with extra chairs. From deck chairs to benches, pull up a pew. It’s also worth considering whether any of your guests might require additional support or comfort – that’s why spare seat pads can never go amiss.

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Stroud high bar set | Small or large, consider how you can organise your outdoor space for different moments of the day

Smaller tables and chairs – such as our Barrington bistro, Cerney or Stroud high bar set  – provide loved ones with a little more intimacy to unwind when needed. Or for a shady retreat, a dedicated space under parasols or sheltered covers will offer a little dose of zen if the sun gets too much.  

An easy way to keep the little ones entertained is to build a secret den for them to explore. Simply cascade sheets between trees or the washing line for their very own festival-themed garden party. 

It only takes a flicker of mood lighting to transform a whole garden
ILLUMINATE AND ADORN

Masters of illumination, garden mirrors effortlessly brighten and bring life to your outside space. So, if you’re wondering how to transform your garden on a budget or how to decorate small garden corners when preparing to host, mirrors instantly open up and rejuvenate those forgotten crevices. 

Transition from day to dusk with lights that show off your garden in all its glory. By placing lighting at different heights, you can achieve a beautifully dynamic and relaxing atmosphere. For a touch of farmhouse chic, recycle glass bottles as candle holders while scattering ambient lanterns and fairy lights amidst greenery and furniture. Elegant spot lights and wall lights, together with chunky candles are perfect for setting a more refined mood. 

If you’re wondering how to design a garden that’s both fresh and cosy, pastel cushions or blankets work a charm
WELCOME WITH WARMTH

As dusk creeps in or the sunlight begins to fade, it’s important to keep your visitors snug. Let them control their temperature by draping furniture with soft blankets or folding a selection in woven picnic baskets for an inviting ‘help yourself’ feel. 

In fact, there’s nothing more blissful than bundling up and conversing with friends against the backdrop of a light summer’s evening. The crackle of a firepit works wonders for bringing guests together while keeping the evening chill at bay. 

BRING HOME OUTDOORS

Promise your guests uncompromised comfort, by bringing the indoors outside. Whatever the shape or size of your outside space, we have a wealth of cosy garden lounge and dining sets  to choose from, along with textured outdoor rugs. That said, we understand that garden party furniture isn’t just for the weekend. It should be with you for many, many years. So, consider your summertime rituals and what comfort means to you. 

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Stretton lounge set | Lovingly crafted from solid acacia wood, Stretton blends quality craftsmanship with irresistible comfort

For a snuggly corner, our scandi-inspired Stretton lounge set is ideal for nestling in with family and friends. Better yet, our Frampton Grande set makes the ultimate centrepiece for socialising over the upcoming bank holidays. Or, if you’re inclined to catching up with friends over a pot of tea, our Chedworth sets sumptuously soft cushioning provides the perfect spot. Made from weatherproof rattan and padded with washable cushions, it will resist the elements together with any spillages – win-win! 

Visit our Garden page to explore our beautifully crafted garden furniture and outdoor accessories. 

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