Make your outdoor space work for you and create a year-round area that is perfectly suited to entertaining family and friends. With a bit of careful planning, you can transform your garden, patio area or balcony into additional living and entertaining space to enjoy through all seasons.
Not sure where to start? We have teamed up with Calor to bring you some clever and inspiring ideas for entertaining in your garden this winter.
Ideas for Entertaining in Your Garden This Winter
There is something magical about sitting out under the stars wrapped up with a cosy heater, good friends and some nibbles and drinks. We do it all the time when we go out to restaurants, but it is easy to replicate at home too.
Create your own useable winter garden, perfect for entertaining even on the coolest of nights, with the tips and ideas below.
#1. Under Cover
Invest is an awning or a good gazebo to keep the rain off. If your budget doesn’t stretch to this, look at getting a piece of durable, waterproof fabric and hanging it from trees or from a pole or wall to cover an area to sit under.
Once you have this in place, it will encourage you to spend more time outdoors no matter what the weather.
#2. Turn Up the Heat
As the weather turns cooler we often ignore the garden as a space to enjoy. But with the addition of a patio heater the space can be cosy enough to use even on the coolest night of the year.
Calor offer some great options with both tabletop and free standing units available.
Be sure to tell your guests that you plan on entertaining outdoors so they can be prepared with warm clothing and sensible shoes!
#3. Let There Be Light
From simple solar powered lights to lanterns and more elaborate lighting options, you can make your garden space feel and look beautiful, whatever your budget.
Installing garden lighting means you are more likely to use your outdoor space for longer during both the summer and the winter months, but can also be used strategically, such as around plant borders and other areas of the garden to make it more enticing to venture out.
White lights looks best during the dreary winter months and are lovely to look at from indoors too, however a combination of lighting options will really brighten your garden. Try winding solar-powered lights around trees, sheds or summer houses, placing low level lighting around borders, or creating a canopy of lights by using battery or plug in lights above your patio or hanging from a gazebo roof.
Large lanterns with a candle safely placed around an area in the garden or patio are also beautiful. Whatever you decide, lights will create a cosy, ambient setting for your outdoor gatherings.
#4. King of the Grill
Many of us lock away our BBQ once the summer comes to an end. But there is something wonderful about cooking outdoors during the cooler months. From roast chicken cooked low and slow to other meat, fish and your favourite veggies, break out those BBQs for year round yummy treats.
You could also consider adding a pizza stone to the BBQ and enjoying pizza nights followed by s’mores and hot chocolate.
#5. Perfect Planting
Continue to grow your own and go for seasonal varieties of veggies and fruit to keep the space looking great and to encourage you to get out in the garden. Grasses and taller plants will also help create a wind barrier around a patio area. If planted in pots, they can be moved around as you need.
Ask your local garden centre for tips on what plants and flowers thrive in cooler weather. Squashes, pumpkin, leeks, garlic, parsnips, rhubarb and any number of herbs, ornamental grasses, apples, plums, snow drops, irises, crocus, pansies are all good options. And remember to get those veggies on the BBQ for optimum flavour!
Group pots together to make a feature of them or add pots of herbs or flowers or even evergreen foliage to tables when entertaining outdoors.
#6. Clever Storage
Keep it cosy outdoors with soft furnishings and blankets that will not only keep everyone warm, but will also make your outdoor space more appealing. Weatherproof fabrics are available, but the best way to keep these items lasting longer is to store them properly. If your garden shed is full, or you don’t have the space for one, some simple storage ideas such as bench storage for cushions and throws will keep them in tip-top condition and enable you to quickly access them for entertaining.
Looking after your garden furniture with suitable weather-proof covers will help it last longer, but if you need to do touch ups you’ll find a whole rainbow of specialty metal and wood paint available to give chairs, tables and even plant pots a new lease of life.
#7. Entertaining Ideas
Now that your garden is all set for outdoor entertaining, you can get ready to organise a whole calendar of fun events to run throughout the winter! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Pizza night
- Cinema night
- S’mores night
- BBQ night
- Pot luck dinner night
- Outdoor family games
- Outdoor scavenger hunt
- Themed party
- Dance off (this has the benefit of keeping everyone warm too!)
- Outdoor board games night
We hope these ideas inspire you to make the most of your garden this winter and to safely enjoy time with family and friends over the cooler months.