Inspiration Saturday - hosting an outdoor garden party


With the promise of warmer weather it's time to start thinking about entertaining outdoors.  Having friends over in the early afternoon is always so much fun.  If you sometimes struggle with what to do to entertain friends before you sit down to eat I have a fun suggestion.

outdoor garden party

What about meeting at a shopping location near your home that has a strolling atmosphere
and just walking and talking and browsing through stores?  We are fortunate to have a charming downtown village here in town but a local cluster of antique stores, a favorite thrifting haunt or even one of those outdoor strolling malls with all those beautiful decor and clothing stores (that you could never afford to buy anything from) would be fun as well.  After about an hour or so the ladies should be ready to head over to your place for a simple outdoor meal.

outdoor pots as a centerpiece

I always put out a few easy decorations in the morning before heading out to meet my friends.  Here I used a piece of inexpensive fabric to make a temporary shade covering to help against the afternoon sun.

a temporary shade cloth for the patio

I stapled it in place over our picnic table, along with a few tissue paper flowers that I hung from ribbon.  I gave our old, sun-faded cushions a quick makeover with some vintage sheet slip covers that I safety pinned in place and used potted plants to make a pretty centerpiece.

using vintage sheets as slip covers

And if you time it just right, nothing adds ambiance better than white twinkling outdoor lights.  

Some chips and salsa and a simple taco salad along with cool drinks are all you'll need and they are all easy to make ahead and leave in the fridge until you need them.

Nothing fancy just a few pretty things to make the ladies feel special.

outdoor pots as a centerpiece

I have done this kind of garden party before and everyone always has a great time.  By moving the party outdoors it takes the pressure off having your house in perfect order before having friends come visit (which you know I think is silly anyway) and it allows you the fun of showing your friends how special you think they are. 

I hope you feel inspired to spend a fun afternoon with your girlfriends soon.  I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have memories than perfection any day.

xo, Patty

You can also read my post on how to host a girlfriend gathering on a budget.


  1. Thanks, Patty for some really great ideas. I love the shade idea over your table. Even though we have a solid patio cover, it would be pretty and festive anyway. Wishing you a very Happy Mothers Day.

  2. Patty, I love your shaded party place. The flowers look so pretty too. I like that you kept the food simple. I miss entertaining. Hope your day went well. Wishing you a Happy Mother's Day. xoxo, Susie

  3. Another inspiring post, Patty. We don't use our wonderful, big deck enough.

  4. Amazing ideas for hosting an outdoor garden party! Truly pleased to know all this stuff. Thanks for sharing it. I have been thinking to host a cute party for my daughter on her 16th birthday. Searching for apt party venue Houston TX for the event.


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