Spring into the Garden for a Party!

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By Natalie Garrett

The glorious spring months hold great promise. It’s a peek into warmer weather, a ramping up of outdoor activities, and an overall sense of rejuvenation spread by the blossoms among us. As we’re climbing out of hibernation and looking forward to this much anticipated season, you’ll probably find yourself more motivated to plan for the festivities ahead. And when that spark of ambition fueled by sunshine and chirping birds hits your soul, I encourage you to consider relishing the moment with a garden party. Let’s dig into my ideas that will help you discover the charming potential this theme holds!

Setting the Scene

While you might envision a mystical walk through budding rose bushes and overgrown wisteria, an elaborate garden is most certainly not required to host a garden party. Despite the name, a garden party has the capacity to emerge exquisitely in any outdoor area, and can even be well executed indoors. All you have to do is enhance the florals, elevate the greenery, and sprinkle in delicate details that transport your guests into a world of enchantment. Here are a few tips to kickstart your imagination:

Table Runners: I recommend a chiffon or cheesecloth type fabric. This is a super efficient way to achieve a more upscale look and draw the eye toward your tablescape. They’re typically available in a plethora of colors and serve as a great base for your centerpieces.

Centerpieces: Now that you have your table runner laid out, you can ordain the material with all things beautiful and botanical. Vines of greenery, flower arrangements, lanterns, and candles will quickly take up space, creating an inviting and captivating atmosphere.

Place Settings: If you’d like your guests to enjoy a seated dining experience, I’d suggest dedicating some attention to the individual place settings. Prioritizing better quality plates, eating utensils, napkins, and drinkware will make each seat feel a bit more intentional. (Now, that doesn’t have to mean expensive… there are some fabulous options for party supplies that appear high-end, without the premium price!)

Flower Petals: Don’t underestimate the power behind a flower. Grabbing a box of artificial flower petals will definitely pay off in the end! When you’re finished setting everything up for the party, take a final lap and fill in any empty holes with a touch of petals. This could be around the bottom of a welcome sign, across the floor in front of a photo prop, throughout the table among the food spread, within a tub of ice that’s holding drink cans (or champagne bottles), covering the ground of the entrance, and countless other sneaky spots to provide a sense of completion.

Twinkling Fairy Lights: This is another wildly affordable way to make the overall environment feel magical. Battery operated lights can dangle in front of a backdrop, be added to clear or painted jars for another decorative piece, be intertwined with strands of greenery, and much more!

What’s the Occasion?

If you’re searching for an excuse to throw a garden party look no further. I’ve outlined eight reasons to bring your dreamy garden visions to life this spring:

St. Patrick’s Day – March 17th
Leprechauns are commonly known as solitary fairies, so you might be encroaching on their territory… but if you dare, emphasize the greenery to highlight this beloved Irish tradition.

Easter Sunday -March 31st
You’re already embracing the outdoors by hunting for eggs, so use that as your gateway into a garden picnic the family will never forget.

Earth Day – April 22nd
Why not honor our wondrous planet by immersing yourself in
the awing nature of it?

Derby Day – May 4th
2024 marks the 150th Kentucky Derby! Put on your big, fancy hats and cheers with an iconic Mint Julep.

Mother’s Day – May 12th
Marvel the most special women in your life by treating them to a thoughtful and elegant affair.

Bridal Party
Theme: “Get Ready to Par-tea!” A garden tea party is the definition of class for that bride-to-be with timeless style.

Baby Shower
Theme: “Baby in Bloom.”
A mom-to-be would adore welcoming her bundle of joy with this graceful and refined shower.

Birthday Party
Theme: “Celebrate our Wildflower.” A true fairytale birthday for the sweetest girly girls.

Spring Berry Sangria

If I’m not opting for a mimosa bar, my other favorite batch cocktail to craft and serve to a group is red sangria. Deep in both color and taste, it sits pretty in a glass dispenser or pitcher and releases just enough sweetness to please most palates. This rich and refreshing beverage packs a powerful punch and is sure to complement any garden party menu! Here’s my tried-and-true recipe:

Ingredients
• 1 (750 mL) bottle dry red wine
• 1/2 cup brandy
• 1/2 cup triple sec
• 1/3 can frozen lemonade concentrate
• 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
• 1 of each sliced into rounds: orange, lemon, and lime
• Assortment of berries: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries (halved), and raspberries

Directions
Simply mix all ingredients together in an air-tight (or covered) container and refrigerate overnight to sweeten and marry the various flavors. When it’s party time, just transfer the sangria to your serving pitcher or dispenser and you’re ready to go! You can also set out some additional fresh fruit and/or soda water or Sprite for guests to top off their individual drinks with some garnish and fizz. Cheers!

*Note: This recipe can easily be doubled to accommodate more people! If you’re concerned with it becoming too sweet, you can always omit the extra sugar and keep it at 1/4 of a cup while multiplying everything else.

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