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Summer Solstice: Garden Party Ideas and Inspiration

Fruit water for summer garden party

This summer is set to be quite different to those we usually have planned in the UK. With larger events and gatherings postponed or cancelled, we’re sure diaries are going to be full of small and intimate socially distanced garden parties.

One great thing that’s come from lockdown in the lead up to this summer is the shedloads of time we’ve had to be working on our gardens. Whether you have a huge lawn or a small courtyard, our gardens are looking immaculate as we've been clearing out, painting, up-cycling and planting.

There couldn’t be a more perfect time to start planning a small garden party for family or friends (keeping in line with the government guidelines and advice, of course!) Keeping the numbers small means you can focus on the little things and make the most of those ideas to make your garden party memorable. Here are some simple ideas and tips for your summer garden party:

Outdoor Cinema

An outdoor cinema in the garden is simple and easy to prepare for your garden party, and it can all happen at a safe social distance. It’s perfect for all ages and guests no matter what their usual tastes and activities may be (as long as you can all agree on a film that is!)

A small projector can be purchased from Amazon and delivered right to your door. The only other thing you need is a sheet of thick cloth to project on to, which you can easily drape over a piece of string, or attach to a fence or the washing line. If you’re looking to invest in a projector, Real Homes have done all the research for you with their article titled ‘Best outdoor projector 2020: 10 top buys for your own garden cinema’. The investment will be worth it as you can use it again and again, even when things are back to normal you can set up a cinema in the garden for the kids and friends – what’s more exciting?!

Our recommendation is that you go all out to create a cosy and relaxing seating area; think outdoor rugs, fluffy throws, colourful pillows, bean bags, or anything else you already have at home. We've seen people transform old palettes into low-level seating or mini tables, which look great and won't cost you a fortune.

The most important thing for a cosy outdoor cinema night is lighting! Add a few lanterns or tea lights and hang festoon or fairy lights around the space. Be careful to keep lighting to a safe minimum, as you want the projection quality to be a clear as possible. Then the only thing left is to make sure you’re stocked up on plenty of popcorn! Colour coordinate your snacks by putting them in matching bowls, or set up a pick and mix stall so everyone can help themselves!

Create an instant party vibe

Creating a party vibe is easy to do in your garden by putting on some music and whipping up those cocktails, but how do you take it beyond that? We love using smart Phillips hue bulbs to create perfect party garden lighting that will suit any theme you decide to go with.

The great thing about these lights is that you can match the LED smart bulbs to any colour and brightness, simply with an app on your phone. Place the lights around the garden and set them to change colours to the beat of the music - this will transform an ordinary garden into a summertime oasis that your guests will love.

Paper pom poms are cheap and easy to order and assemble and can be doted around your garden to create more colour. Hang them to trees, the shed or anything else you have in the garden. You could even pair them with your lights for a real party effect.

Outdoor lounge summer party area

Set up an outdoor bar area

If you’re planning a boozy garden party then it makes sense to have an outdoor bar; but rather than bring out a table and simply popping the drinks on it, why not get creative and take the opportunity to get up something unique and instagrammable?

Have you got a wheelbarrow lying around? Try filling it with ice and loading it up with bottles of your favourite beers to keep them cool. Do you live local to a farm? Purchase 4 hay bales and use these as table legs to create much more enticing bar – your guests will love the Instagram-able pictures. You could purchase a few more and keep the theme going throughout the party by using them as furniture.

Use the resources that you have or scour facebook marketplace and upcycle some furniture to create something unique! We love furniture designed and created from old crates or palettes, they look fab, are cost effective and kind to the environment than buying new.

If you and your guests have a favourite drink, set up a station on the bar for your guests to ‘pimp’ their drinks with colourful mixers, hydrated fruits, glitters etc. This will turn a standard drinks counter into something far more fun and creative for your guests.

If you're looking for more ideas, check out our Gin-spiration post!

Outdoor bar for summer garden party

Outdoor games and fun

No garden party is complete without a few garden games to get the party in full swing, and just because distancing rules are in place, doesn't mean you can't play! If you don’t already have some stored away in the shed, investing in a giant jenga or connect 4 which will provide great entertainment for guests of all ages - alcohol or no alcohol! And of course, they can be used all summer long, year after year.

If you want to keep the budget low, creating DIY garden games is a great idea and simple to implement. Games such as tin can alley, ring toss and skittles are all super easy to create from scratch and will provide hours of entertainment for all ages.

Garden Party Food

Crack open the BBQ and add on the sausage and burgers – be sure to cater for you vegans, gluten frees and any allergies. These are really easy to cater for nowadays and you can pick up what you need from any supermarket. Use the extra time on your hands to whip up some extra salads and pastas if you would like to make the garden party really special.

We know better than every that wasps are number one fans of icing on cakes, so if it’s a special occasion keep that cake hidden inside until the last moment!

This summer, small scale garden parties are going to be a big hit, especially if we continue to have amazing weather like we have. We hope this has given you some ideas on how to make your garden party different from all of the rest! Make sure that whatever plan you make, it’s in line with the government guidelines and follows all the rules set out to stay safe.

Looking for more inspiration or need help implementing a great idea? Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help!

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