Get ready for the jubilee jamboree

Countryside Garden

With the Easter weekend fresh in our minds, this year brings the unusual joy of an additional four-day weekend, in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The perfect time to get together with family, friends and neighbours, the Jubilee coincides with the The Big Lunch, an annual event that encourages communities to hold street parties to get to know each other better.

Those looking to organise a street party will find all the resources they need online; but for those keen on a slightly smaller-scale celebration, a garden party could be an equally suitable alternative.

With their French windows connecting the inside with the garden – and allowing for a quick dash inside when the quintessential British drizzle stops play – a Countryside home makes the perfect garden party venue.

A buffet may be the easiest option, but for the traditional garden party feel, try to have everyone seated round a long table if you can. Depending on the size of your party, you may need to supplement your garden furniture by bringing indoor furniture out. A trestle table could also be a cost-effective addition, before being folded up and stored in the shed ready for next time.

Mow the lawn a few days before the event so it’s looking its best, and have a quick once over to remove weeds and cut back any unruly shrubs.

To take things a step further, consider dressing your garden for the occasion. Tablecloths can bring mismatched tables into coordinated harmony; wildflowers in jam jars make an attractive but suitably rustic table centrepiece; and hanging pots that hook over garden fences can add a pop of colour to the party backdrop. Think also about how you might reposition existing potted plants to give a sense of occasion: large plants can create a sense of grandeur when positioned either side of the doorway to the garden for example, or can help to provide boundaries and create zones.

Finally, no British garden party would be complete without a wet weather plan. Whether it’s moving the whole thing inside or providing shelter under a gazebo or umbrella, it’s important to factor the unpredictability of the weather into your plans.