Summer is the time for outdoor entertaining – which is why you’ll want your section to shine! No matter what you have at your disposal, present it at its best, and build it into all your entertaining treats using these 5 great tips.
1. Love your lawn
Nothing shows off a home or garden more than a lush lawn. To get your grass in great shape quickly, and without damaging the surface, remove weeds the simple way by cutting off their foliage at ground level with a sharp knife. Next, pierce the centre of the pest plant with a knitting needle or similar sharp object, and use a kitchen funnel to fill the cavity with boiling, salted water. At festive gatherings, feature your lawn as a place for outdoor drinks and nibbles, a shady spot to set up the barbecue, and a spot to play games such as pétanque and croquet.
2. Mulch it!
Impromptu outdoor entertaining is all part of the summer season, but a last minute weed can leave your garden plants looking tired and hungover. Instead of investing hours on your knees with a trowel, clip weeds off at ground level, trim edges, and bring in the mulch. Not only does everything look instantly tidy, but the mulch will make it much easier to remove the weeds if they do pop their heads up later on.
3. Do it in the dark!
Want to entertain outdoors but don’t feel your garden is ready for it? The answer is easy – entertain after dark or in the early evening. Choose one small spot, tidy away any odds and ends, and focus on accessories. Define the entertaining area with a couple of colourful floor rugs, and fairy lights strung between trees or shrubs. To light the way to the party spot, half fill small brown paper bags with sand, pop a battery-operated tea-light candle into each, and set the ‘lanterns’ along the edge of the path or lawn. Open out a picnic table and dress it with a floral cloth, a vase of your own flowers, and a perfumed candle. If the evening is cool, be sure to place some folded rugs or throws over the backs of chairs for guests to cuddle into. Finally, choose a favourite Spotify playlist, and pop a bluetooth speaker into the shrubbery. Guests will notice what they see and hear, and the darkness will disguise the rest!
4. Window dressing!
Unless your guests are absolute gardening buffs, they’ll remember your outdoor entertainment area for just one thing – a bit of colour and shape! Even if all you have at your disposal is a patch of grass, it can be brought instantly to life with a couple of inexpensive pieces of brush trellis artfully placed, and fixed to stakes, and three or four containers of instant potted colour from the garden centre. Arrange these colour spots in a group in front of the trellis, placing at least one at the back on a brick or small box to add height to the display. If you have pot plants inside, bring them out to boost the look. This instant dressing, along with seating and colourful cushions, makes for a pretty and relaxing entertainment spot.
5. Drinks and nibbles
If you have just a few edibles in your garden, drinks and nibbles is the time to show them off. Gather colour edible flowers (think: borage, bergamot, calendula and pineapple sage), and freeze them into small ice blocks to add to drinks. Edible flowers also look gorgeous floating on a bowl of punch. Garnish cocktails with leaves of mint, lemon balm and basil, and add snips of fresh chives, garlic chives, thyme, and tarragon to dips and spreads. Be sure to let guests know the goodies are home grown!
Whatever your garden or backyard offers, it can be dressed up to the max to become the perfect entertainment spot this summer!