English Garden Party

Alfresco parties are a staple in summer. And planning one is simple with the advantage of all the season has to offer, including warm weather, farm fresh ingredients, summer friendly activities, decor and related themes. Taking inspiration from our friends across the Atlantic pond, for instance, who are serious about their summer gardens, means lots of ideas for floral entertaining and decor.

Courtney, who loves outdoor entertaining and is part British (her grandmother is from London), leaned into English garden and tea parties, which she grew up around (her grandmother made sure she knew all of the proper etiquette). Those luncheons with English breakfast tea and miniature tea sandwiches were some of her favorite memories with her grandmother. Makes sense then that these were the creative influence for a party filled with flowers, tea service and pure girlie fun!

Here, some of her ideas to create your own...

Patchwork Tablecloth

For this detail, Courtney chose nine fabrics to create this summery, quilted look perfect to cover a six foot rectangular table. She used a combination of different florals and textures.

Summer Entertaining

  1. Cut each fabric into two 18-inch wide by 60-inch long “strips.”
  2. Lay one set of strips out on a work surface side by side to create a quilt type pattern.
  3. Sew together along each side of each fabric with edges together so there is a clean line in between each fabric.
  4. Lay out the second set of strips in a different order than the first; the tops of both of these fabric panels will be sewn together to complete the cloth and varying the fabric order will add to the quilted appearance.
  5. Repeat sewing up the fabric sides of second panel.
  6. Line up both panels along top and edge to edge. Sew along top. This seam will run down the center of the table.

Peat Moss Runner

With this runner, the garden is literally brought to the table. You will need three runners to fit down the length of the table. Unfold the runners from packaging and line them up down the table.

Floral Centerpieces

Of course, any of our Bouquet Box arrangements would make amazing centerpieces given the density of colorful roses akin to an English garden. In addition, a grouping of floral teapots, tea bag canisters and teacups are transformed into the perfect vessels for arrangements.

Floral CenterpiecesFloral Centerpieces

For this project you will need 3 tea cups, 3 tea pots and 3 tea bag canisters. Depending on size of table you might need less or more pieces. You will also need a package of peat moss as well as a variety of flowers. We used here: peonies, roses, English garden roses in pinks and fuchsias as well as chamomile
and greenery.

  1. Cut floral foam to fit in to three teacups; soak in water for 5 minutes and place in teacups.
  2. Trim flower stems so that blooms sit just over edge of tea cup.
  3. Arrange flowers and greens by poking stems into foam.
  4. Arrange flowers in teapots and canisters, finish with greenery and fill all with water.
  5. Arrange down center of table, alternating teapots, teacups and canisters.
  6. Tear pieces of peat moss to fill in spaces on top of runner and between vessels.

Tea Party Sandwiches

Sandwiches in keeping with the floral color scheme are as equally pretty as they are delicious.

Tea Party Sandwiches
  1. Make tiny chicken salad and arugula sandwiches on sliced French baguettes. Garnish with cherry tomato slices and arugula shavings.
  2. Dilute pink food coloring in water and lightly brush on to top sandwich piece. Be sure not to over saturate or bread will become soggy. (If making own bread, add food coloring to dough).
  3. Place sandwiches on cookie sheet in oven at 300 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes.

Rose Petal Dessert

The English garden theme is carried through with a beautiful rose petal cushion for the dessert.

Rose Petal Dessert
  1. Large fuchsia rose petals, folded gently in half are placed around and just inside the edges of an antique plate border.
  2. Place a large store-bought tarte on top of petal cushion. Then place two petals on top of tarte to garnish.