Now that the summer is on the way and the weather is getting warmer, it’s time to start thinking about your garden. Outdoor spaces are often neglected a bit during the winter because we can’t really get much use out of them, so it may need a bit of a makeover.
There are so many different things that you can do with the garden to get more use out of it in the summer, but if you’re a sociable person and you love hosting friends, you should think about setting it up for some great garden parties.
If you’ve got quite a large garden with plenty of room, it’s ideal for hosting guests during the day or in the evening. These are some of the most important changes that you need to make if you want to use your garden for parties.
The patio area is the most important part of the garden if you’re going to be entertaining guests because you need somewhere for some nice furniture and a cooking area etc. If you don’t have one already, installing patios is fairly cheap and easy.
It also makes the garden appear larger because you break it up a bit and create two separate areas. The first thing that you need to consider when you’re putting a patio in is the location. The easiest way to decide where to put your patio is to look at which areas of the garden get the most sunlight.
You want to maximize on the sun if you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the patio area so it’s no use putting it in a corner of the garden that only gets a few hours of sun in the mornings. Work out which area of the garden gets the sun for the longest and put your patio there.
Next, you need to start putting some furniture out there. A table and chairs are the most obvious piece of furniture to start with because you need an area to put drinks and food out, and somewhere for people to sit when they’re eating.
It’s worth looking at a table and chair set that folds down. That way, you can have it out when you’re eating outside, but if you want to use the patio for casual drinks, you can fold it down and give yourself a bit more space. It’s also worth getting a few outdoor sofas so people have a more relaxing area to sit in if they aren’t eating.
Creating a shaded area on the patio is a good idea as well because people might like to take a break from the sun if it’s too warm. It’s also a good way of protecting your furniture from the rain if you don’t have anywhere inside to store it when you aren’t using it.
You could consider building a full pergola that covers half of the patio or you could use an awning instead, which would be a lot cheaper and easier to put up.
If you’ve already got a patio area but it’s looking a bit worse for wear because you haven’t used it for a while, you’ll just need to clean it up a bit. Get a pressure washer and hose it down and that should get rid of most the dirt from it and get it looking brand new again.
Decking is another great alternative to the patio area. It will give you a great focal point in the garden and you’ll get the same benefits that you would with a patio. If you’re going for a natural look in the garden and you want your entertaining area to blend better with the surrounding plants, decking may be a better choice.
It’s also better for a smaller garden because it gives you a more clear definition between the different areas than a patio does, making it look a lot bigger. Again, decking isn’t that difficult to put in and it shouldn’t cost you too much to have somebody do it for you.
However, decking does require a bit more care and attention than a patio because the wood is more prone to damage from the elements. As long as you stain and treat the wood properly, it should last a while but you will need to reapply every now and again if you want to keep the decking in good condition. If you don’t do this, the wood can get wet and start to rot, in which case, it will need to be replaced.
You’re going to need food if you’re hosting a party, and you’ve got a few different options here. A barbecue always goes down well and it’s one of the easiest solutions for outdoor cooking.
You can buy one that will go on the patio area, just make sure that you get a fairly large one so that you can cook enough food for all of your guests. If you have a tiny barbecue that only fits a few burgers on at a time, people will be waiting for ages and you’ll spend the entire evening cooking.
If the patio is near to the house and you’ve got a kitchen that opens into the garden, you could even cook inside if you don’t want to use a barbecue. Even if you are using a barbecue, you’re going to need somewhere to prepare all of the food.
Again, if the kitchen is right next to the patio, you can just prepare all of the food inside and bring it out. But if your patio is at the other end of the garden where it gets more sun, it might be a bit of a pain going back and forth to get food, so you could consider installing a kitchen area out in the garden.
It doesn’t need to be anything big, just a work surface where you can chop things and a storage area for your cooking equipment. You could also consider putting a small sink out there for quick washing up, just make sure that you can cover it properly to protect it from the rain.
If your party is a huge success, your guests will want to stay late into the night. The problem is, it’s going to start getting cold once the sun goes away, so you need some heating to keep everybody warm. The most obvious solution is to get a few patio heaters outside.
You’d be surprised just how much heat they give off so everybody will be nice and warm. Patio heaters can be quite expensive though, and they’re not the most aesthetically pleasing things, which is why a lot of people don’t like using them that much. If you’re trying to create a distinct style in your garden, a big patio heater can ruin that, especially if you’re going for a natural look with lots of plants and some decking.
In that case, you might be better off going with a fire pit or chiminea instead. You can get a nice fire going to keep everybody warm and it gives the garden area a nice relaxing atmosphere as well. Plus, it won’t be as expensive as putting a big patio heater out there which needs to be powered by gas.
You’ll get some light from the fire if you’re using a fire pit or a chiminea, but it will still get quite dark so you’ll need some proper lighting in the garden.
You can buy garden spotlights but, like the patio heaters, they’re quite expensive and they don’t look very elegant. It’s a lot cheaper to just get some fairy lights instead. They create an amazing magical atmosphere in the garden and they cost next to nothing to buy.
They’re also battery powered so you don’t have to worry about running wires into the house to plug them in. You can wrap them around the fence or put them in trees if you have any in the garden. It’s a great, cost effective way to keep the garden lit and create a bit more ambiance.
You might be bothered about the neighbors looking into the garden but if you are, you need to think about giving yourself a bit of privacy in the garden. If you’re going to be out in the garden at night, you need to think about noise as well because you don’t want to upset anybody living nearby.
If you’ve got high fences in the garden already you should be fine but if you haven’t, it might be worth putting some in. You can also use vegetation to give yourself a bit more privacy. If you plant some high hedges and shrubs around the edge of the garden, you’ll give yourself more privacy and you’ll add a bit more greenery to the garden as well.
If you turn your garden into a great entertaining area, you can host parties during the summer and get a lot more use out of your garden.