Garden party decorating ideas are the perfect way to celebrate warm weather in style.
In the height of summer, you’ll want to spend every possible moment outdoors. While in autumn, there is nothing better than sometimes meeting up with friends around a fire to enjoy the fresh air. There are ways to make garden party decorations work (almost!) at any time of the year or in the space available.
So, from intimate moments to family extravaganzas, we’ve curated our favorite garden party decorating ideas for every type of party.
Garden decoration ideas
Whether you’re just taking the family out for dinner or hosting a large group of friends, bringing things outside creates a new dynamic for your garden party ideas.
1. Get ready for a playful outdoor tea party
What could be more magical than a tea party surrounded by friends and the beauty of nature? For an al fresco dining idea with whimsy and wow effect, place a portable table under a tree in a secluded part of the garden and use the branches overhead to hang paper pom poms above the table – the perfect garden party decoration idea for a playful festival vibe.
Layer the table with patterned linens and top chairs with plenty of eye-catching seat cushions. Bring the table to life with pitchers of fresh flowers and arrange treats on tiered cake stands for a classic afternoon tea feel – these will give your spread some height, too.
2. Create a pretty decor with vintage finds
For an offbeat, easy-to-create look, why not use what you have and layer a selection of vintage floral, block-printed and lace-edged tablecloths with crockery, glassware and cutlery to match? For a feminine decoration, tie the cutlery with a ribbon and sprinkle with lots of fresh cut garden flowers.
3. Create a fabric canopy
A garden awning is perfect for shading out the midday sun during summer lunches – for a lovely country touch, try making one using a classic striped fabric, as shown here by Susie Watson Designs.
“I always wanted to create an awning on the terrace to protect me from the sun while we eat or read the newspaper”, says the founder Susie Watson. ‘Our Pale Rose Ivory Wide Stripe seemed like the perfect understated cotton; sophisticated and subtle, the stripes really suit any outdoor space. Towering hollyhocks echo the colors of cheerful acorns, the perfect tone to transition from early spring to midsummer.
4. Opt for a practical and stylish drinks cart
The beverage cart has made a comeback in recent years as more and more of us discover the delights of home entertainment. Rather than keeping your drinks cart indoors, why not bring some glamor to your garden party by taking it out of the dining room and onto the patio as a portable garden bar idea?
Make sure your cart is fully stocked by loading it with flutes, gin glasses, drinks, an ice bucket and coasters. Add your favorite herbs in jars so you have a freshly picked supply for your summer cocktails and don’t forget a few candles to create that magical atmosphere after dark.
‘Beautiful bar cart ideas make a perfect focal point when styled with wine glasses, flutes, tumblers and tumblers of different heights. Polish your glassware to sparkle and add your linens and some seasonal flowers. As the sun moves through the garden, you can easily reposition the cart wherever you want,” says Mark Winstanley, our Creative Director at The White Company.
5. Decorate a chair with ribbons
Creating a beautiful effect by fluttering in the breeze, tying ribbons to a chair is an easy and inexpensive way to bring a playful touch to an outdoor dining decor. French style cafe chairs are easy to fix and will also give a relaxed feeling. Choose ribbons to coordinate with the colors of your table linens and choose different widths for added interest, you can also add floral sprigs.
6. Add floral flourishes
No garden party table would be complete without fresh cut flowers. There’s no need for an extravagant bouquet, a few stems are enough to add a floral touch, in fact, sometimes less is more. Placed in a handy holder, these glasses from Sarah Raven make perfect mini bud vases – you can leave them clustered for a focal point or place one at each spot.
For a pop of mid-summer color, try a combination of hot pink cactus dahlias and yellow fennel. If you are considering growing your own flowers for cutting, be sure to do your research on planning a cut flower garden.
7. Decorate with edible flowers
Decorating party dishes with edible flowers is an appropriate finishing touch for a summer spread that will add sparkle to an outdoor celebration. Try using them to decorate a show-stopping cake for an eye-catching centerpiece, or float them in finish drinks – they can also be used in salads. If you plan to use flowers to decorate food, it is important that they are certified edible. Be sure to do your research first and buy them from trusted specialty suppliers.
8. Don’t forget the board games
The outdoor lounges are the perfect space for hosting game nights. Outdoor games are a great idea for a garden party that the whole family can enjoy. There are plenty of sets to buy online, from classics like croquet and French boules to oversized versions of indoor favorites like Jenga, chess and Connect Four. Alternatively, if you’re feeling crafty, you can create your own backyard party game idea like this simple ring toss game by filling a retro fruit crate with colorful bottles ready to be looped with ring hoops. ribbon.
9. Set the mood
If you’re planning on having an intimate get-together on the patio, consider plenty of outdoor party lighting ideas and cozy textiles to create a magical atmosphere after dark. “When you’re entertaining outdoors, you want to make sure the setup is stylish and comfortable, almost like an extension of the house,” says Suzy Humphreys, founder of Layered Lounge.
“Adding lightweight throws and cushions in summer fabrics and colors adds texture and comfort on cooler evenings. I also like to dot lanterns and candles around the garden, as the soft glow of candlelight adds a real sense of occasion and will accent your outdoor bar or dining table beautifully.
10. Keep the kids entertained
When planning a garden party for the whole family, it’s important to keep the little ones entertained, so consider setting up a secret space just for them. For a casual and playful look, why not choose a vibrant bohemian theme? Start by laying down colorful patterned rag rugs (bright to conceal dirt and stains), then add miniature rattan furniture and a selection of Moroccan poufs. Perfect inside and out, leather poufs are easy to clean if they get marred by dirty little hands. For a fun finishing touch, tie colorful ribbons to the branches above your head.
How do I decorate my garden for a party?
The best way to decorate your garden for a party is to first think about the type of occasion you are going to celebrate. Once you’ve nailed this important element, consider budget, color combinations, and whether your garden party decorations will need to be waterproof or kid-friendly.