As we start expecting warmer weather, we can finally start making social plans to catch up with friends and family. Over winter, your focus was probably on the kitchen and couch rather than your garden, so you may have some work to do before you feel like you’re ready to invite people over for an al fresco gathering. Here are some top tips on how you can refresh your outdoor space and get ready to host the perfect garden party.
1. Back to Basics
Give your garden a general declutter and tidy up by removing any fallen leaves, outdoor toys, dead branches and litter that may have made their way into your garden or patio. Storage boxes are great for holding things such as gardening supplies or cushions for when they’re not in use.
If you’re behind on your maintenance, your outdoor space could use a little TLC before your visitors come round. This includes re-potting, pulling out weeds from flower beds, trimming hedges and mowing the lawns.
2. Prepare the Patio
Pressure washing the patio is a good way to give it an instant facelift, especially after heavy downpour which can result in mould and mildew growth. Dilute Jeyes Fluid's new clear formula with water and apply a sufficient amount of the solution to the affected surfaces. Allow 30 minutes for it to work and then rinse it off with water and scrub with a brush. This product can be used for removing algae, mildew, mould, discolouration and dirt stains. It can also be used on paths, driveways, greenhouses, flowerpots, garden tools and more!
3. Get the Barbecue Ready
A garden party is simply incomplete without good food and drinks. Barbecues are always a hit, but layers of grease and old burnt food can be a fire hazard and affect the food’s quality, so it needs to be cleaned thoroughly before and after use.
Start by tackling your barbecue’s interior by turning on the grill to its highest temperature setting and closing the hood. Wait for 10-15 minutes, then open the lid and scrape the grates with a non-bristle metal grill brush, getting rid of the grit. Make sure you’re extra careful when cleaning to ensure you don’t burn yourself. Don’t forget to clean the exterior as the knobs and handles could be greasy as well.
4. Set the Scene
There are a number of ways to set the scene and mood to ensure you have a successful party. Add some personality and style with splashes of colour by including some quirky accents and decorations to your table setting or bright cushions to your outdoor furniture. Any older cushion covers that have faded and lost their luster can also be given a new lease of life by popping them into the washing machine with a Dylon Dyes machine pod.
To create a relaxed atmosphere and encourage your guests to stay after sundown, stick some lights into pots or flower beds. Hang dainty fairy lights along the fence, lanterns on the trees and put candles on the table to create a great ambience. Solar powered lights are also popular as they can charge throughout the day, and you don’t have to worry about finding a plug for them.
5. Be Prepared
We know that the UK’s weather can be unpredictable with bright sunshine one minute and pouring rain the next so it’s good to be prepared to ensure you're not caught short. Have a stash of big fluffy blankets for people at the ready for when the wind picks up and a mosquito repellent for when the sunshine decides to peek through. Consider looking into a gazebo, awning, or umbrella as they double up by providing both shelter from rain and shade from sun, ensuring your garden is still usable regardless of how extreme the weather becomes.