Time to party

Time to party

Swati Kapur offers tips on how to organise your garden and make it just the right spot for some partying.

perfect setting                  The garden can be an ideal party space.  Photos courtesy: anusuiya bharadwaj

How about entertaining guests in your garden? All you need is careful planning and implementation.

Think of it as the most easily available venue offering a natural backdrop – something people pay heavily to organise.

First of all, make sure that the garden is clean and presentable.

If not, you may like to invest some time and energy towards making it an inviting haven for family and friends.

Weed the garden and, if necessary, plant new flowering plants and other saplings some weeks in advance.

Anticipate when your plants will flower and fix the date of your party accordingly. Give your garden furniture a fresh coat of paint and refurbish if necessary – don’t forget umbrellas if the party is during the day – canvas canopies for rainy days are a good investment.

Repair the walls, paint gates and railings and check the flower pots. Change the damaged pots and replace them with colourful ones. Choose from ceramics, clay, tin or even glass varieties available these days.

Take care to re-pot the plants which have outgrown their pots. Create a water feature which can add to the aesthetics of the garden. Gardening shops and even nurseries these days can offer some very interestingly done water systems in clay and wood. If you have the space, opt for a small waterfall.

Decor elements

Tiny light bulbs hung on trees make up for the lack of a starlit night sky. Choose from a variety of subdued lights or spot lights that can dramatically transform the garden into a mini heaven. If placed well, lights can create the right atmosphere.

Throw in extra chairs and side tables because people should not find a lack of furniture to sit or place their glasses and cutlery on.

If you are providing food, arrange small tables for four around the garden. Mix your guests up in such a way as to have compatible fours sitting at tables.

Have food and drink serving tables which should be 1m x 1.5m and no bigger. Have them manned by experts or friends and family. Jostling to get food or drinks may sour the fairy-tale effect of the party.

Think of a relaxed environment and if music comes to your mind – go ahead and bring it in. Now, this could mean asking a friend to sing or a band to perform. If that is a problem, simply have some soothing background music on.

But for that you will also have to ensure the availability of plug-in and charging units. So work that out.

Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Make provisions indoors in case it rains or gets too dusty.

Establish the tone when you set the table and put up decorations. Use crisp linens and fresh flowers for an elegant garden luncheon, jaunty bandanas for a barbecue rib bash, and sand pails and seashells for a beach party.

Tips & warnings

Staple paper tablecloths or keep them intact with a heavy centrepiece if it's windy. Anchor cloth corners with stones, pinecones or seashells.

Pack plates, napkins, silverware and cups as well as serving spoons, garbage bags, a corkscrew and bottle opener and set them on a table to avoid constant back and forth into the house.

Bring extra toilet paper and moist towelettes to wash hands. Rent portable gas heaters, spray coolers or air coolers if needed.

People tend not to eat or drink as much when the weather is either extremely hot or bitterly cold or windy. Move your party indoors if that's an option; physical discomfort will trample fun.

Make sure the tableware, decor elements and the ambience is perfect. Look out for hanging pots, colourful vases and garden elements like fountains, etc from nurserys and garden shops.

Stores like Fab India have some sturdy garden furniture including tables, chairs and serving trays.

Pick up colourful runners and cheery napkins from home stores. Playclan has some really mood lifting objects like play animals, lamp shades, vases and trays.

However, remember that more than following any brand or style, what you must focus is on following your own instincts and creativity.

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