Patio and garden parties can be sophisticated or casual, but the focus is always on the beauty of nature and the flavors of summer. Let colourful flowers and fruits guide your inspiration. Here’s the low-down on how to transform your outdoor space into a vibrant garden oasis for guests.
Floral Decorating Ideas
- Clay pots fit any decor and can be used for flowering plants, green plants or even flower arrangements.
- Topiary designs look great in clay pots and can be created with ivy or flowers.
- Floating candles and flowers in crystal bowls add a soft glow to the party.
- Miniature vases showcasing different types of flowers make great table decorations and can be given to guests as party favors.
- Small clusters of roses in low containers with a sprinkling of rose petals on the table among votive candles can create a very elegant mood.
- Floral name cards or a flower on each napkin adds a personal touch.
When it comes to summertime food, seasonal veggies and fruits add flavour and zest. Here are some great ideas for tasty summer eats:
- Use seasonal vegetables or fruits as a base for your summer salads – like a diced tomato or cucumber salad. Or try this refreshing watermelon-based salad that your guests are sure to enjoy, courtesy of Foodtv.ca.
- If you decide to incorporate an herb garden into your outdoor planning, your food fare will take its cues from the spicy flavours you grow. Fresh parsley and dill make salads and main dishes more savoury without adding extra calories that creamy dressings and sauces include.
- Become a grill master! Learn the ins and outs of barbecuing (whether you have a full-size range or a small coal apparatus) so you’re ready to impress on the grill. Arrange a kit with the necessary tools (include a BBQ brush, tongs, sauce brush and tea towels that you don’t mind getting dirty).
- Many dishes can be prepared ahead of time (potato and macaroni salad is delicious), giving you ample time to mingle with guests.
- If you’re adventurous and want to create your own backyard vegetable garden, HGTV.ca has great tips on the the best veggies to grow.
Cool Summer Beverages
Serve thirst-quenching drinks quickly is a fantastic skill every host should enjoy. Here’s how to keep drinks light and refreshing:
- Maintain an ample supply of ice cubes. You may want to buy some cute new ice cube trays in fun shapes. Ikea has a great selection.
- Club soda adds instant bubbles to fruit juice and transforms white wine into summer spritzers.
- Mint leaves are great for garnishing summer drinks, and the extras can be used on top of whip cream and berry desserts, too.
- Keep a ready supply of lemons and limes on hand to add zest to beverages. Practice your lemon rind swirl skills using a paring knife.
As afternoon soirees turn to early-evening fetes, keep the twilight going with lighting. Luckily, there are lots of affordable ways to infuse twinkling lights in your outdoor space:
- Candle votives grouped in odd numbers on tables or railings are great for illuminating food areas and outdoor perimeters. Try matching votives with your garden & flower palette.
- Candle torches in citronella are a great way to ward off pesky bugs when the sun sets. Set-up couldn’t be easier — stick the torch in the ground!
- Candle lanterns are a great way to add a lot of light to tables and they protect flames from light winds, too.
- Hang twinkle lights or lanterns from trees or place lights among flowering plants.
- Outline the patio with plants and twinkle lights at the ground level to create a defined space.
Pulling It All Together
Ah, the final touch. Consider easy-listening music for hot summer events like Diana Krall or Feist. Test-run your music system and find ways to set up without leaving stereo cords loose where guests may trip. Enjoy the fruits of your labour! Invite a few friends over to enjoy a summer barbeque or dinner party in your new space.