26 IDEAS FOR A SUMMER GARDEN PARTYGet the party started and celebrate summer in the garden with family and friends
Photo: Proven Winners.
When summer heats up, it’s time to sit back and relax in your yard. After all that hard work of weeding, planting and mulching, what better way to enjoy the season than to throw a garden party? Celebrate with these festive tips.
COZY UP THE BACK YARD
Get the yard ready by updating your accessories for a fresh look.
- Whether it’s a plush outdoor couch sectional or simple bistro chairs, make sure you have enough seating for your guests.
- Keep outdoor living areas cool with portable umbrellas that can easily be moved or adjusted as the sun angle changes.
- Extend time in the garden on cool evenings by adding an inviting fire pit. Gather your guests around, make s’mores, and swap your favorite stories.
- Need more ideas to make your yard entertainment-ready? Check out these 5 tips to help make your outdoor areas comfortable.
ACCESSORIZE WITH CONTAINERS
Dress up the yard with decorative containers brimming with colorful plants.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with varieties that have different foliage and flowers. See 5 designs specifically created for summer.
- Design containers like a pro with these tips on how to choose dynamic plant combinations.
- Brighten up those challenging shady areas with container combinations that will thrive even in low light.
- Spend some time really upping your container game with an online course from gardening expert Karen Chapman.
PICK A THEME
Host a party based on a flower that’s in season—such as sunflowers.
- Use matching décor and supplies like centerpieces, dinnerware, tablecloths and napkins.
- Have guests dress up in their favorite floral attire, such as floppy hats, shirts or sundresses.
- Continue the theme with food, serving roasted sunflower seeds, nut butter, bread or garnishes made with sunflowers. Check out these recipes from the National Sunflower Association.
- Ask partygoers to bring their own vases and set up a floral arranging table where they can make their own sunflower bouquets to take home. This will give them something to remember the party by long after it ends.
SET THE MOOD
Design by: JJ De Sousa. Photo by Janet Loughrey.
Nothing says magic and romance more than twinkling lights at night.
- String lights, torches, candles and lanterns set the mood and allow guests to see each other during intimate evening conversations.
- Light up your landscape for safety and ambience with solar and electric options.
- For more outdoor lighting ideas and inspiration, check out our Pinterest board.
CREATE A “HAPPY HOUR” GARDEN
Grow a medley of herbs, fruits and vegetables, and make cool drinks with ingredients fresh from your garden.
- Learn more from C.L. Fornari in her book, The Cocktail Hour Garden.
- Drinks don’t need to be complicated. Mix up some fruity sangria ahead of time—like this California Citrus Sangria—so you have more time to relax and enjoy your guests.
GROW YOUR OWN PARTY FOOD
Photo: Proven Winners.
Use fresh ingredients from your garden to whip up a delicious meal.
- Fresh tomatoes add just-picked flavor to grilled flatbread or fire-roasted salsa.
- More ideas for garden-inspired food and drink:
After drinks and appetizers with your guests, set up some outdoor games and get active.
- Bocce ball has become immensely popular in recent years. Learn how to build a bocce court in your own yard. Accessorize with this bocce ball set.
- Invite your guests to play cornhole, a game that people of all ages can play.
- Nothing says garden party elegance like a game of croquet. Even your best-dressed guests will want to indulge.
TAKE THE BITE OUT OF BUGS
Keep pests off your guests without using chemical bug sprays.
- Grow plants in your garden that repel mosquitoes.
- Fire up tiki torches with non-toxic citronella oil to keep bugs at bay.
- Make your own homemade candles that repel insects and are fragrant as well.
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