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