Garden Party Ideas: A Guide To Throwing A Backyard Party People Will Love

Outdoor Table Full Of Food And Drinks
garden party
(Image credit: arinahabich)

There’s pretty much nothing more enjoyable than an outdoor summer party. With good food, good company, and a green, peaceful setting, it just can’t be beaten. If you’re fortunate enough to have a spot to host, you can throw your own garden party with not much effort for a huge reward. Keep reading to learn more about throwing a backyard party and garden party tips.

How to Host a Garden Party People Will Love

When you’re throwing a backyard party, you should keep one word in mind: effortless. Does this mean you shouldn’t put much effort in? Of course not! But you want your guests to feel comfortable and at ease, and your setup to have a rustic, almost wild element to it. You’re out in nature, after all. This means flower arrangements that are cheerful, bright, and maybe a little thrown together. Think flowers or even just greenery of different heights arranged casually in mismatched mason jars and vases. Cover tables with bright, rough-hewn tablecloths and napkins. While you want to embrace the outdoors, you also want your guests to feel comfortable. The best way to do this is to create a “room” in your garden. Lay down rugs and blankets on the ground. Put up an open tent or awning to create a shady spot (it’s not much fun to eat in the hot, afternoon sun). String Christmas lights or light rows of tiki torches and candles to keep the space light after the sun sets. If you want a slightly more formal affair, you can set a dining table, but many guests will be just as happy sitting on pillows and cushions over rugs - people love the feel of a real picnic. A couple of Bluetooth speakers scattered around the garden will keep the music going all day.

More Garden Party Ideas

You don’t want your food to be too complicated or hard to eat, especially if you’re going to be sitting on the ground. Set a big, buffet-style table with mostly finger foods, but include one “main” dish like fish or roast beef to make it feel like a real meal. Choosing a specific theme is helpful too. While everyone loves a barbecue, preparing food ahead of time will give you more time to socialize and enjoy your party. You may want to put netting or decorative mesh covers over your food to protect it from bugs. Drinks can be as simple or as complicated as you want them. Bottled beer, soda, and rosé are great, while pitchers of iced tea, lemonade, and mixed drinks give a personal, more artisanal touch. Remember, whatever you decide to do, keep things bright, light, and easy.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.