With the weather getting warmer and evenings growing longer, what better way to introduce your new home to your family and friends this summer than by hosting a get together.
Whether it be a BBQ, garden party, or a quiet evening with some friends, take the opportunity to show them around you brand new home, and put your garden to good use.
Our pointers below should help you with everything from the lighting, seating, and most importantly if you're hosting a BBQ - the food!
Lanterns are a stylish way to turn your garden into a grotto. They're not only great for summer gatherings, but can provide a calming and tranquil atmosphere to help your guests wind down after a day of fun in the sun.
Another way to light up your garden during the pleasant summerevenings is with battery-powered fairy lights. They can be picked up for areasonable price at many homeware stores and instantly give trees and hedgerowsan enchanting appearance with minimal effort.
Adding a firepit or chimenea to your back garden is a nice, easy way to provide a centrepiece for communal spaces and seating areas. They're also really practical too, and will keep the conversation flowing and ensure your guests stay warm as the nights draw in.
Chimeneas are particularly versatile and can be covered or easily packed away if you're not using them. They can even form the basis of an evening activity, as kids and adults alike are sure to love toasting marshmallows in the firelight.
Pergolas create some much-needed natural shade on hot summer days and are great for giving seating areas the wow factor. Climbing plants and flowers are perfect for anyone looking to incorporate more colour and texture into their garden, and sweet-smelling blooms are guaranteed to impress your guests.
Roses grow perfectly round pergolas and are the favourite of most gardeners, while the purple clematis grows with ease and looks lovely against any wood colour choice.
Alternatively, if you're keen to have something a little more low maintenance, or you want to create more open spaces in your garden, a stylish table set with an umbrella is a simple, but still attractive, way to create a seating area with shade.
With so many styles and colours available, you're guaranteed to find a dining set that suits you, your family and your garden perfectly.
Adding a swing seat to your garden is not only a lovely romantic feature, but it's also a great place for your guests to gather and chat.
Or, you might be in search for something a little different for your summer event. Why not try outdoor bean bags? Not only will they be a big hit with kids and grown-ups alike, they can be placed on lawns, patios or gravelled areas, and are great for adding a splash of colour to your party. If you have older guests and bean bags just aren't as practical, a blow-up chair is a great alternative, as they are sturdier and easier to store in the garage once the evening is over.
Barbecues are a timeless way to enjoy great food outside with the people you love. But making a barbecue not run-of-the-mill can be a challenge. Here are some top tips for dining al fresco with friends and family this summer:
Whether it's American, Mexican or even French style food, having themed meat rubs and side dishes will offer a great alternative to bog standard burgers and ensure your barbecue becomes an evening to remember for your guests.
Often at barbecues, the food is centred around the meats, but try and be inventive with your salads, side dishes and meat-free alternatives too!
Even though barbecue food is widely considered savoury, your guests would be happily surprised to have some cupcakes or brownies later in the evening. Pre-baking some desserts before the event is a fun way to incorporate sweet foods in your event, and you can even get the kids involved in the baking too!
From adding some stylish lighting to create the perfect ambience to providing some cosy and inviting seating areas for your guests to enjoy after nightfall, when it comes to organising your next summer event, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your outdoor space and ensure your garden stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Want to wow your guest even further? If you're planning to host a barbecue, why not try and incorporate some home grown produce into your salads, side dishes and desserts? Our recent blog post, 'Stylish ways to grow your own vegetables', has plenty of ideas for growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs at home.