Garden Theme Party Ideas

A garden theme party can be casual, ultra-elegant (think Masterpiece Theater with ladies in flowing dresses and fabulous hats), and anything in between.

It conjures up visions of picture-perfect lawns, masses of brightly colored flowers, and the scent of lavender on a warm breeze (or lilacs, roses, gardenias, insert your favorite fragrance here).

Okay, back to reality for a minute (and no worries, a perfect lawn is not a necessity!).

The first step is to decide where you're going to have your garden party.

If you think you need an actual garden, you couldn't be more wrong!

Any space with enough room and comfy seating for your guests will do. A patio, deck, backyard, or rooftop all work.

You might even choose to have your garden party inside. It's a colorful way to warm up those dreary winter months. Bring in some large potted plants, place fresh flowers here and there, and arrange some patio furniture inside. You'll give your guests spring fever even if it's snowing outside.

Your garden can be anywhere. It's all in how you decorate.

Make Your Garden Party a Feast for the Senses

The flowers, the food, the decorations —everything should be designed for maximum visual impact.

You might go for a calm, monochromatic look, a colorful and cheery look, an upscale crystal and china kind of atmosphere, or something related to your theme within the garden theme if you have one (more on this below).

Multitudes of fresh flowers, plants, and other natural elements are key. Take cuttings from your yard and the yards of your extremely generous neighbors. Put them in all sorts of containers. Terra cotta pots, chipped teacups and bowls, old shoes, crystal, interesting thrift store containers, and buckets.

A Theme Within a Theme?

Having a special theme for your garden party can add to the fun, especially if you're celebrating a birthday. A theme would help you focus your decorating scheme, and guide your choice of menu and party favors. Here are a few ideas:

  • an English garden theme (fancy hat and gloves for the ladies, bow ties and hats for the men)
  • a Great Gatsby soiree 
  • an Alice in Wonderland or Mad Hatter luncheon
  • a Secret Garden theme
  • a tea party
  • a theme based on the guest of honor's favorite color or flower
  • a fairy party (yes, some adults are still fascinated with those woodland sprites)


Not much of an issue if your party is in the daytime. If you live in a buggy area, though, it's nice to have citronella torches around. They're somewhat effective and serve as decoration too. 

If you're outside in the evening lighting isn't just a matter of decoration, it's a safety issue too. Torches, hanging lanterns, strings of decorative lights, and candles on the tables help your guests see what's going on around them and special lighting always lends a festive air. 

Wrap strings of tiny lights around patio umbrellas, small trees, deck railings, and awnings. Hang paper lanterns or balls made of tiny lights from tree branches. Place tea lights or votives in glass jars filled with an inch of sand and place them on tables, and let luminaries light paths and steps.

Decorating the Table(s)

Centerpieces aren't just for the center of your table, by the way. Place them all over. For a garden theme party, we like these ideas:

  • fresh herbs tied in bundles with raffia or ribbon
  • a tiered plate stand piled high with the best looking fresh fruit and/or vegetables you can find
  • a large hurricane vase filled with lemons, limes, oranges, or plums
  • a large vase filled halfway with water and lemons, limes, oranges (these can be sliced as well as whole) or smooth stones with a few tulips, gerbera daisies or other sturdy flowers in the center
  • a shallow bowl filled with water with several floating candles (don't use scented candles near food though)
  • several empty beer or wine bottles grouped together, each containing one dramatic flower (small sunflowers, gerbera daisies, orchids)
  • a peony or open rose floating in a bowl

Take a look at these photos of homemade centerpieces for more ideas.

Garden Party Themed Favors

Keep the garden party theme going right up to the end by creating memorable party favors for your guests. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • flower-shaped soap wrapped in a floral chintz or chiffon pouch
  • vintage seed packets (or pictures of them that you can find in old books or on the internet), cut out, matted on pretty scrapbook paper and framed
  • a large flower-shaped cookie cutter with a pretty thank you note or tag attached with a fabric ribbon
  • a handmade booklet of recipes that use edible flowers
  • a plantable seed card (these come ready-made but you can also order beautiful seed papers online and cut them into whatever shapes you like)
  • a sachet filled with lavender or jasmine
  • a wrapped box of loose tea made from flowers (marigold, dandelion, jasmine, chrysanthemum, and hibiscus are a few)
  • a little herb or strawberry plant or a bunch of violets planted in a mini terra cotta pot
  • a glass tea light holder and tea light, wrapped with pretty ribbon
  • a hand-rolled beeswax candle tied with raffia (this is a fun and very easy DIY project, and beeswax smells amazing)
  • a flower-scented candle tied with a wide fabric ribbon