Summer is finally here and what better way to celebrate than by making use of the garden and inviting friends over to enjoy it with you! Despite our unpredictable British weather, there are still many ways of having fun outdoors and using the garden as an extra room in your house. We’ve compiled our top tips for making the most of the summer in your home.
Tidy up the garden: Mow the lawn, take a strimmer to the edges and throw some mulch on the flower beds to cover up the weeds. This is a quick way to make the garden look neat and tidy before guests arrive.
Scent: Planning ahead more generally for summer entertaining, having some lovely scented plants near your seating area goes a long way to creating a lasting impression. Consider planting some night-scented flowers such as honeysuckle or jasmine for a magical night-time aroma.
Furniture: Your garden furniture has most likely been sitting in the garden all winter, at mercy to the elements, so it will need a little TLC to get it summer-ready. Give tables and chairs a good clean and if it’s a wooden set then give it an oil, or even a paint job if you’re feeling adventurous. Make sure it’s looking guest-ready. Picnic blankets and big outdoor cushions are also good for seating extra bums – so make sure you have plenty of these around. Don’t forget the parasol in case of hot weather – it always pays to be optimistic!
Outdoor lighting and decorations: It is easy to create a really enchanting atmosphere in your garden, simply by using fairy lights and candles. Battery powered fairy lights and lanterns are great for this. Place them along the edge of a fence or weave them amongst the branches of a tree. Place little tea lights in old jam jars and dot them around the garden too. Your garden will be transformed into a cosy wonderland. String some bunting up as well to bring a smile to everyone’s faces.
Table decorations: Little bottles and jars filled with pickings from the garden create a lovely feel. Rosemary and lavender if you have them have the added bonus of bringing a lovely fresh scent to the table. There is something really special about using a table cloth as well – especially if decorating the table, it brings a real sense of occasion. Another nice idea is to use those unused flower pots to put cutlery and serving utensils in.
Adding something extra special: Consider adding little touches like some pashminas on the back of chairs for your female guests. You can spritz them with some scent to create a wonderful ambience, plus they have something to wrap around them in case it gets a bit chilly once the sun goes down.
Drinks: Create some cocktails for your guests – try mojitos with fresh mint, or elderflower gin and tonic, sure to go down a storm! Create some virgin cocktails for any younger guests as well and serve them in jam jars with straws – they will love feeling like they are having something extra special. Don’t forget the water as well, especially if it’s a hot day, serve this in a jug with lemon and cucumber – making even the water look interesting!
Warmth: As day becomes night, add light and warmth with a fire pit or chimenea. There is something delightful about being gathered around a fire with your family and friends.
All weather contingency: So, we live in the UK, we know we can’t rely on the weather and there is always the chance of rain, but we don’t let that stop us! Put up a gazebo and offer blankets for your guests and you can enjoy the great outdoors whatever the weather!