Do you want to be able to host fabulous parties in your backyard? Well read on and discover how you can turn your garden into a social space that guests will never want to leave.
Fight The Foliage
If your garden is untidy and overgrown, it’s unlikely guests will want to spend much time in it. Who wants to wrestle with an overhanging bush for possession of their drink? Take some time and make it more presentable before you do anything else. This may be a simple case of cutting back shrubs, removing garden debris and giving the lawn a mow.
Other garden maintenance could include repainting fences or garden furniture that has started to peel or become aged. This can immediately make your garden feel fresh and new. You may also want to do some weeding, particularly in paved areas where it may look unkempt.
The slightly unkempt look is for hipsters, not for your garden.
Consider a patio
A patio can help to create a designated social area of the garden. You could take this on as a DIY garden project, or you could hire professionals to help build a patio for you. There are all kinds of patio styles to choose from including complex paving patterns and patios with cover to shelter you from the elements. You may even be able to create a raised patio area with stairs leading down to the rest of the garden – ideal for homes built on a hill.
A patio is best built on flat ground and often involves excavating a patio bed first. A professional will be able to do this for you. When creating a patio consider various factors such as which part of the garden gets the sunlight the longest. Do you want as much sun as possible or do you prefer some evening shade? While many people build patios close to the back of their house; it may be more suitable for some gardens to have a patio at the end of the garden.
Patios may need occasional maintenance. Pressure washers can help to keep them clean. You may also need to remove weeds growing out from between slabs.
Try Some Decking
An alternative to a patio could be a decked area. Decking is also something you can construct yourself, but you may prefer to pay a professional. The last thing you want is to build it yourself and have your party come to an abrupt end when someone falls through! As with creating a patio, a flat area will need to be excavated and weeded before laying the decking down.
Decking will need to be regularly cleaned. On top of sweeping any leaves off, it could be worth buying a deck cleaner to use once a year. This will help you to scrub off mildew and dirt. Decking can have a finish applied that will help to make it more weatherproof and easy to clean. When choosing to build decking yourself, make sure to select timbers that have been treated for outdoor use.
Add Some Lighting
If you’re going to be hosting parties outside, it could be worth adding some lighting to your garden. The most economical and practical option is solar lighting. You can buy solar lights from many garden stores for just a few dollars each, and these will turn on at night offering some garden illumination. Solar lights come in all shapes and sizes from lanterns to floating pond lights. You can even buy solar lights that change color.
Another economical option could be candles. There are all kind of candles specifically for outdoor use. Some of these can have other applications, such as citronella candles which emit a scent that’s effective for repelling bugs such as mosquitoes. You should shelter candles in lanterns – this will protect them from the rain and wind while offering more of a glow. There are all kinds of lights from Chinese lanterns to traditional Victorian-style ones.
Build A Fabulous Firepit
A fire-pit is an excellent feature for people to congregate around at night when the temperature drops. This may consist of a fire pit table surrounded by patio or decking or a pit in the grass with seating placed casually around the outside. Make sure that a firepit isn’t built too near fencing of any overhead canopy. A chiminea could serve as a cheaper and more controlled option for providing warmth. Firepits and chimineas are generally fuelled with wood although they can be fed with coal.
Snag A Patio Heater
Another way of heating up your exterior space could be to invest in a patio heater. Patio heaters can produce warmth and light and can be quickly moved about on different patio or decking areas. Electric patio heaters can be plugged into the mains, although they’re likely to have an impact on your energy bills. Other patio heaters may run of butane or petroleum gas. Some patio heaters are wall mounted, while others are freestanding such as pyramid patio heaters.
Provide Shelter From The Elements
Having some outdoor shelter will stop everyone rushing indoors the moment it starts to rain. It can also provide shade from the sun on a hot summer’s day. Umbrellas and parasols are a cheap option that can quickly be put up and taken down. Another option could be to buy a gazebo to put on a patio or decking area over a table. Gazebos can vary vastly in price and quality depending on whether you’re looking for a temporary pop-up option or a permanent fixture. You can also build roofing to go over a decking or patio area. Be careful when using a barbecue or chiminea under such a canopy – if smoke can’t escape through the top at least make sure that there are no walls in which to contain the smoke.
Have Enough Seating
To host the perfect outdoor party, you need to have enough seating. You’ll find all kinds of patio furniture out there. Cast iron and steel tables and chairs are some of the most durable and may only need the occasional lick of paint every five years. They’re also very heavy, making them more permanent fixtures. Wooden and plastic furniture may be more prone to damage – usually the cheaper you go, the less durable. You could opt for fold-up chairs and tables that can be stored away in a shed. Alternatively, you may prefer an outdoor living suite that stays put all year round.
Cushions, seat covers, and rugs can help to provide extra comfort. However, you should make sure that these are weatherproof and easily cleaned if food or drink are spilled on them. There are many modern cushions for outdoor use made of fast-drying and waterproof fabrics. By opting for these materials, you won’t be rushing around taking all the seat covers indoors when a surprise shower hits (although a canopy may help to keep these cushions dry).
Don’t Forget The Tunes
Want to play music outside? Nowadays you can buy plenty of weatherproof speakers. These could be fixed onto a wall or fence, or they could be wireless allowing you to move them around the garden. There are even Bluetooth speakers out there on the market designed to look like garden ornaments such as rocks and mushrooms.
Who wouldn’t want a rocking garden gnome with a sweet innocent face blaring out some Metallica?
Ensure Your Barbecue Is Up To The Task
You can’t host a garden party without a barbecue. There are countless factors to consider when buying a barbecue – your first consideration should be whether to go charcoal, gas or electric. Charcoal barbecues are favored by traditionalists and are the cheapest option. They may not be ideal for lots of guests as they are more time consuming and they do require a bit more skill than other grills. Gas and electric barbecues are more convenient as you can quickly turn on the heat. However, they do cost more to purchase. Those wanting to impress guests may buy a wood smoker or a barbecue with multiple cooking options.
Encourage Outdoor Games
There are plenty of outdoor games that can be ideal for a party. For keeping children entertained, there are all kinds of garden toys. For example, you could buy a bat-and-ball or a trampoline. Both of these require a certain amount of space but are excellent for getting children out playing in the garden. Table football and ping pong meanwhile make great games that adults can get involved in too. Not all ping pong tables are built for outdoor use so bear this in mind – they may have to be brought inside or covered up with a canopy to stop them getting damaged from the weather.
Have Guests Take A Dip
Not everyone can afford to have a pool in their garden, nor does everyone have the climate for it. However, there are other budget options. A paddling pool is always great to have on a hot day for kids to play in and cool off. Some paddling pools are so big that they’re practically tubs and can be ideal for adult use.
You could even consider a hot tub for use all year round. Your average outdoor hot tub is likely to cost a couple of thousand dollars. However, there are inflatable hot tubs that cost a fraction of the price.