Most people live for long summer days, and what better way to enjoy the hot weather than inviting friends and family to your own garden for some outdoor entertainment? From garden parties to barbeques, kids’ parties or simply having a sundowner on the patio – summer entertaining is at its best if your garden is ready to receive guests. But, how do you get your garden ready to entertain loved ones? We have collected the 5 best ways to improve your garden
to get it ready for entertaining guests, and also some additional tips to transform even the smallest courtyard garden.
How to Make Your Garden Ready For Entertaining
1. Find the right garden furniture
If you are planning to invite guests over, where will they sit? New garden furniture can completely transform your outdoor space
, whether a large leafy garden or a small patio area. Combining loungers, outdoor tables and wooden furniture is the perfect way to make your garden more inviting. An outdoor sofa or furniture made from durable material is best, and if you throw in a few blankets you will have a cosy conversation area. Garden furniture can be as simple as a few chairs, or you can go all out with a full outdoor dining set. If you prefer a more lively backyard party, you can install or construct a garden bar with a couple of bar stools. Do you have a ceiling over your terrace? Why not consider hanging chairs? These chairs take up less space and will add a modern twist to your garden.
2. Get the right lighting
Although the summer days are long, we still want to create a cosy atmosphere in our gardens, especially as dusk begins to set in. So, why not hang up some beautiful outdoor lights? Warm yellow lights are perfect to create an inviting outdoor area
for any kind of garden event that goes into the night. Garden centres have plenty of lights available, from fairy lights to larger bulbs on strings, and it is up to you to determine what aesthetic you want to go for. You can also get your garden ready for guests by including candles. Tealight candles can make any outdoor dining table more romantic, or you can use electric lights that look like candles to adorn walkways. If you find you do not have an extension cable or a plug point outside, solar lights are the way to go. These days, solar lights come in a variety of styles, from string lights to wall-mounted lights. Solar lights charge themselves using the sun, and can even get a charge on overcast days. Some switch on automatically when it gets dark, while others come with a switch. No matter the type or style of lighting you opt for, you can play around with lights and shadows to illuminate your flowerbeds and walkways, and create a warm and softly lit entertainment area.
3. Decorate the outdoor entertaining area
Now that you have your new garden furniture set up and have artfully placed lights around the garden, you find your entertaining space is still a bit plain looking. So, how do you get that look that you see in decor magazines? Decoration of course! The decor is what will really make your outdoor area stand out, and create a space that people will want
to spend time in. In larger gardens, you can use sideboards or screens to hang plants and other decorations. A large wooden storage trunk is also a great decorative item that is functional. It can be used for seating as well as storage for the cushions on your outdoor sofa. Different textures will create a visually interesting space. Play with textures, such as ceramic planters on wooden surfaces, outdoor rugs, a few blankets on your wicker furniture, and different coloured scatter cushions. If your outdoor furniture is fairly neutral, then decorations are a fun way to add colour.
4. Build a deck or give your patio area a makeover
You can construct a deck easily with composite decking
material if you want to create a level or tiered outdoor space. Decking boards can also be used to create a sunken conversation area with a fire pit
. If you already have a patio area, now is the best time to give it a little makeover! You don’t want your guests to sit on a grimy outdoor terrace after all. Spruce up your deck or patio
by giving it a once-over with a power washer. Also, clean out any gutters and rake up leaves. Even just a quick sweep with a broom will make a significant change. For timber decks
, try applying a new wood stain or a dash of paint. You can even get pretty stencils and paint some patterns with outdoor paint. If your paved area is looking a little bit worse for wear and you don’t have the budget to repave it, an outdoor rug is perfect for covering up any unsightly cracks. And, if your deck or terrace
is still just a future fantasy, then placing furniture directly on your lawn or in a shaded corner of your garden is ideal for entertaining.
5. Add ambience with a focal point
A focal point is not only an awesome conversation starter but can also be a place where people gather around. The best focal point for a garden is probably a fire pit. Outdoor fireplaces provide warmth when the temperature drops, provide soft light and are cosy areas where people can gather for evening drinks. If you do not have the space or budget for a large fire pit, then an outdoor wood burner stove tucked against a wall is a perfect solution. You can place a blanket and pillows on the ground next to the stove for a romantic evening, or arrange chairs around it for a larger party. Other focal points to consider are water features, a beautiful tree decorated with fairy lights, a hot tub
or a gazebo.
Other Top Tips For Outdoor Entertaining
Now that you know the five best ways to get your garden ready for summer entertaining, here are some additional top tips
if you are getting ready to have guests over.
Upgrade your fences
Even if your garden is blooming and your outdoor seating area is as comfortable as it can possibly be, an unsightly, broken fence can completely destroy the mood you are trying to create. Having a well-maintained fence does not only ensure safety and privacy but will also make your garden look structured. Composite fencing
is a great option, as it comes in a variety of textures and colours, and is incredibly durable. For an airy feel, opt for a light colour. If you have lots of bright flowers in your garden, a darker fence will help the colours stand out. Although timber fences
are beautiful, these fences require a lot of upkeep, which makes composite fencing the best choice if you want to redo your fence. Composite fencing boards consist of recycled wood mixed with recycled plastic. This eco-friendly solution will last very long with very little maintenance. Decorate your fences with hanging plants or string lighting to create a put-together look throughout your garden. You will be surprised at the change a well-maintained fence can make to your outdoor space.
Go all out when hosting
The furniture is arranged, the fire pit is lit, the lights are on, and you made the garden guest-ready – it is time to host. And being the hostess-with-the-mostess
is what it’s all about. Having a beautiful table is one thing, but why not spruce it up with some table decorations or a beautiful tablecloth? Not only will a tablecloth create an inviting atmosphere for alfresco dining, but it will also protect your outdoor dining table from any stains. Take a look at your glassware and crockery. A fancy outdoor dinner calls for beautiful glasses and polished silverware, but a casual get-together will probably benefit from plastic cups and glasses to prevent any breakages. And no, we don’t mean the red solo cups you see in Hollywood movies! There are plenty of gorgeous plastic glasses available with different colours and textures which will have your guests exclaiming “how is this not glass?!”. If you don’t have space for an outdoor garden bar, a hostess trolly or tea trolly is the perfect solution for a small mobile bar that can be stashed away once your guests leave.
Feed your guests
Sure, you can prepare food in your kitchen and bring it out to the guests – but why not make feeding your guests an inclusive experience? An outdoor grill or barbecue (or even cooking on the open fire) is a great way to get mouths watering as the smell of sausages wafts around the garden. For a more hands-on cooking experience, an outdoor pizza oven is a brilliant idea. Guests can top their own pizzas or you can prepare a few options in advance and have everyone grab a slice or two. This really sounds like the perfect garden party!
Keep a tidy lawn
Your entertainment area may be the most beautiful space, but an unkempt lawn with tall grass or muddy patches will not be fun for your guests. It is easy to neglect your garden during winter
, so make sure you gut the grass, trim the borders of your lawn, and even add some grass food to get your garden looking as amazing as possible before your guests come over.
Brighten up the flower beds
Once the lawn is neat, turn your attention to your flower beds. After a long winter, they can become muddy pits needing love. Plant some affordable colourful flowers or lush greenery in the derelict beds. Bulbs and shrubs are great as they will bloom seasonally and quickly brighten up your outdoor space. Having flowers in your garden will really make all the difference in creating an inviting space.
Make sure you consider children
Are you planning on inviting your friends with kids over? Usually, it is pretty easy to entertain adults, but don’t forget about the children! Even if you do not have kids of your own, you want to create a fun atmosphere for the young ones as well. Try and initiate a game of hide-and-seek or tag with the children, provide them with puzzles, colouring books and toys, or create a temporary sand pit in a large container that will keep them busy for hours. They might not be your children, but as the host, try to make sure that the kids are never left unsupervised.
Your outdoor area is the perfect place to get creative with colours. It is all about having fun, and pops of colour can brighten up your garden. Adding colourful flowers is one easy way to bring n colour naturally, but you can also paint your benches bright colours, use a colourful outdoor rug, add colourful throw pillows to your seating area, or commission a beautiful mural for an outside wall.
Create an outdoor space for dining
If your garden is large enough, then creating an outdoor dining area is a great idea. A large dining table is lovely to host large parties or even intimate gatherings. Benches along the length of the table can be stored underneath the table when not in use. Place your outdoor table underneath a pergola or awning to protect it from rainy weather and provide some shade on hot days.
Create different zones
Larger gardens call for a variety of outdoor spaces. To achieve this, you can create different zones, each with a unique function. You can divide these separate spaces using planters, or even decking materials to create different levels. These spaces can include a dining area, a seating area for intimate conversations, and a lounge area where you can soak up the sun. Different styles of ambient lighting will further enhance the zones. For example, string lights can be hung around the seating area, while overhead lights attached to a pergola is best for outdoor dining. Different zones can even be created in a small garden. Simply arrange furniture in such a way that the grill area is separate from the seating area, or use outdoor rugs to delineate spaces. You don’t have to be an expert in interior design to create different spaces in your garden! A bit of creativity goes a long way.
Consider an outdoor heater
The nights in summer can still be a little bit chilly, and a large outdoor gas heater is perfect for creating a bit of warmth outside – especially if you don’t have space for a fire pit. Patio heaters are great during the day and night and make it much more pleasant to be outside.
How can I make my garden more attractive?
Here are some ways in which you can give your garden an instant facelift:
- Plant flowers in garden beds or in planters.
- Weed your lawn.
- Stick to a theme when it comes to your plants – a colour theme or type of vegetation works best.
- Include some outdoor art or sculptures.
- Use colourful planters.
- Plant some herbs and vegetables.
- Create a focal point.
How can I host the perfect garden party?
Hosting the perfect garden party is easy. Begin with a flat area for your seats or table, and make sure there is some type of shelter from the sun. Next, decorate your space, but try to keep it cohesive with your garden’s aesthetic. Decide on your menu and the type of party you want to have. Will it be finger foods or a sit-down meal? Choose seasonal ingredients and opt for fresh, healthy food.
How do I decorate my garden when hosting a party?
There is no limit to what you can do when it comes to decorating your garden for a party. Here are just a few ideas:
- Cut flowers in vases.
- Helium balloons.
- Candles and string lights.
- Mason jars filled with flowers or lights.
- For a themed party: decor that matches the event, like Halloween or St Patrick’s Day.
- Floaties in your pool.
Getting your garden ready for entertainment
can be incredibly fun. The five tips we provided here will ensure that your garden looks fabulous and your guests will have the best time. Most importantly, you should not see it as a chore to prepare your garden. Play around with different lights, colours, textures and plants. Creating separate areas is a good idea for a large party, as it will give guests options on where they want to be and what they want to do. For more inspiration
on how to make your garden entertainment ready, visit our Ecoscape website or contact our customer service team to provide you with some guidance on how to incorporate beautiful composite fencing for your garden entertainment set up.