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With summer in full swing, many of you might be thinking of having a garden party, whether that’s a traditional barbeque or something a little more up market. As long as the weather stays fine and the guests arrive on time, the chances are you are going to have a good time.

One person who is famous for hosting successful garden parties is of course The Queen. Welcoming over 30,000 guests each year these highly successful events are on a much larger scale than anything we would plan in our gardens but taking inspiration from the way the Royals plan and execute these events can only be an asset.

Planning is of course the key to any successful venture so apply this to your party, a little preparation can go a long way – here are a few pre-party ideas

  • Tidy up the Garden: Give your garden a good tidy and make it an attractive space for a party. That could include a little judicious pruning and weeding and even putting up a gazebo just in case you get a summer shower or two. You might want to take this opportunity to redesign your garden space completely. Another good tip is to pick the right time of summer, usually when you garden is in full bloom.
  • Put in Some New Plants and Decorations: Popping down to the garden centre and picking out a few new plants can give an extra splash of colour to your borders. You can add a few strategically placed vases with cut flowers in them for good measure. Another idea to transform your garden space is to put up some decorations. Paper chains and bunting can immediately put your guests in the party mood.
  • Choose the Right Seating: If you’ve got a big enough garden then scattering a few bean bags, cushions and blankets around the patio and grass will give people somewhere comfortable to lounge and enjoy the summer sun. If you want something a bit more rustic, then buying a hay bale or two is a perfect option.

Shopping for your garden is always fun, so here are a few top shops to add some extra sparkle to you garden party layout:

Rockett St George

Modern accessories, current trends and fashion inspiration blend in the garden section of this curated online home store

Cuckooland.com

With free delivery on orders over £50.00 get your larger garden parasols, BBQ’s or ornaments delivered from this well stocked store

Plant Theatre

With a fresh approach to all things garden, and a funky name, get everything from new planters to furniture to herb scissors from this garden focused shop.

John Lewis

Don’t forget the bigger department stores like John Lewis. They stock a great range of seasonal items for gardens and also have a pretty range of picnic ware, and party items.

Getting the right atmosphere at your garden party for your guests is also important and needs some thought so here are a few ideas for turning an ordinary garden party into something a little more memorable.

  • Theme Your Party: We don’t mean turning it into a fancy dress affair, though there’s no problem with that. How about theming your party around a particular cuisine? You can go distinctly French, explore the culinary delights of India, add some spice with a Mexican or go Mediterranean with a touch of Italian pasta or pizza.
  • Add Ambience with Lighting: When the light starts to fade and the party is in full swing, some strategic lighting can make all the difference. There are plenty of great looking light sets from Chinese style lanterns to Nordic wood boxes that can be strung in branches or from the shed to the house to provide atmosphere. If the evenings are likely to get a little chilly then adding some heating can make sure your guests are comfortable. You can buy standalone electric heaters or opt for something more eco-friendly like a Spanish chimenea, or a more communal feature like a fire pit.
  • Reduce Stress with a Bring and Share Party: You might want to spend all the day before cooking and preparing for the party but it can be quite stressful – especially if your culinary skills don’t match your ambitions. Theming a party and arranging for each guest to bring a particular dish can not only save on containers and washing up but make your preparations a more relaxed affair. Most guests bring something to drink with them so it’s just as easy to ask them to bring some food too.

The most important thing to remember about throwing the best garden party ever, is to enjoy yourself, relax and spend time with your guests.

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