A decadent affair
Along with roses and vine leaves from the garden, creative cook Ramona Afonso decorates her table with tempting fruits such as strawberries and grapes. Not only does it look inviting, but guests can also snack on the fruit later in the evening.
Build a mini gin bar: Start with a variety of gins and good quality tonics displayed in ice buckets so that they stay cold. Also set out a pretty buffet of aromatics such as star anise, dried chilli flakes, cinnamon sticks, lavender sprigs and rose petals along with sliced citrus (lemon, lime and grapefruit are all delicious) and fresh cucumber ribbons. And make sure you have enough glasses and ice!
Using what you have in your home, a few cost-effective extras and practical party tricks, you can celebrate Garden Day in style. Draping lightweight fabric over your table and party area is a great way to add protective cover from the afternoon sun. It also creates a jolly circus atmosphere.
When creating the ultimate garden party vibe, more is always more! Mix vintage fabrics and quirky ceramics, and add a touch of gold and copper for a bit of bling. Cover tables in bright tablecloths combined with cheerful fabrics.
What we did To create vintage charm, we dressed up our candles with doilies; this also prevents the wax from dripping onto the tablecloths. Empty wine bottles and jars were spraypainted or wrapped in ribbon and repurposed as vases filled with pretty flowers from the garden.
Bling it on!
Build a simple canopy to set the scene around a pallet table. We used six 1.82m bamboo poles tied together with rope: four as uprights and two horizontal on either side. The uprights were ‘planted’ in pretty white plastic flowerpots filled with stones and soil to anchor them; add a combination of pretty blooms and silk flowers to complete the picture. Then position three 1.5m bamboo poles across the top to stabilise the structure and secure it with lengths of rope on the corners anchored by pieces of wood.
Make an inflatable ice bucket by threading several cable ties through the hollow centre of a pool noodle, then wrap it around a plastic storage box and pull tight. Just add drinks and ice and launch it with a “cheers”!
When planning your party décor, first decide on a theme; it’s easier to pull the look you want together once you’ve established a colour palette and mood. We combined bright summery hues with quirky elements and fun balloons for a festive feeling that makes kitsch look oh-so-cool. Use funky fruits like pineapples as table décor and save on buying flowers. Repeat the fruit motif throughout your décor (serviettes, coasters, paper plates) for added impact.
Keep it simple
This nook on Stephanie White’s Stanford property is the perfect spot to enjoy an outdoor meal when the weather is fine. And how nice to be able to pick your own grapes! Pops of colour are provided by a sunflower on the left; the pink, white and red carnations on the right; and the red lanterns hanging from the pergola. Sit back and enjoy the feast!
Relax and enjoy your garden.
Don't feel like entertaining? Sit back with a book, a glass of wine and a dog at your feet and simply enjoy your garden. We love this lush corner of Wouter Kruidenier’s garden in Durbanvillle – surrounded by colour and texture, thanks to a wide variety of plants. There’s a neatly clipped hedge of Australian brush cherry separating it from the rest of the garden, pots of pansies in front of and next to the bench, Ficus ‘Hawaii’ behind the bench, mondo grass in-between the pavers, echeverias cascading out of an old fountain bowl and a purple Geraldton wax flower in the background.
Need help planning your Garden Day get-together? Simply go to gardenday.co.za, where you can download Garden Day WhatsApp invitations, photos for social media and recipes. Plus, you can sign up for Garden Day Flower Crown workshops in Cape Town and Johannesburg – there’s a video to show you how to make a flower crown, too! Follow Garden Day SA on Instagram for more inspiration.