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‘Tea Party’ by RebeccaVC1, flic.kr/p/9Y3Rko, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

A Garden Party To Remember

Articles From Issue 16


Throwing a garden party is the perfect excuse to spend more time outdoors with family and friends. Jacqueline Maya digs up the dirt on how to style your outdoor space for four different special occasions in a way that’s sure to impress your guests.

Hosting an event to celebrate a momentous occasion is a very rewarding experience, but it can potentially be quite stressful. To help, Sydney Pool + Outdoor Design shares a few styling tips that will ensure your next themed baby shower, child’s birthday, engagement party, or milestone birthday is one for the books.

We’re All Mad Here

High-tea baby showers are becoming increasingly popular, so why not host your own at home? See below for details on how best to achieve a charming and fun Alice in Wonderland theme.


Decorations are one of the most important aspects of styling your garden party. The smallest touches can have the largest impacts. It’s all in the details!

• For an authentic Alice in Wonderland experience, attach tiny gift labels that say ‘eat me’ and ‘drink me’ to the food and beverage serving station.

• Place little trinkets like pocket watches and cardboard cutouts of clocks and rabbit figurines around the space to add a little magic.

• Make your own creative bunting by stringing a deck of playing cards together, and hang it above the table setting or from low-hanging tree branches.

Furniture And Props 

While organising the decorations is arguably the most fun part of planning a party, the furniture is the most essential component.

• Use a long table, or a few short tables joined together, to recreate the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Adorn your table with cake and cupcake stands of different sizes and patterns along the centre of your table, or stack them close together on a side table or dressing table for a quirky effect.

• Mismatched chairs bring another playful element to the furniture arrangement. A selection of retro kitchen chairs, distressed wooden chairs and floral lounges make a great combination.

• You simply can’t have a garden party without a vast assortment of picnic blankets and cushions. 

Gather as many as you can find from the back of your cupboards and throw them together on the grass for guests of all ages to enjoy.

Lighting And Landscaping

A well-lit landscaped garden will ensure your party can continue well into the evening.

• Coloured novelty lights adorned with cute mushroom or butterfly motifs will light up the space beautifully. Place them along the table or hang them from the trees to add a touch of extra whimsy. Vibrant paper lanterns are an excellent alternative if you’d prefer to incorporate the magical flicker of candles.

• Make sure your lawn area is neatly trimmed just before you plan to hold the event. We all know how unsightly an unkempt lawn can be!

• An Alice in Wonderland garden party is never complete without flamingos! Flamingo garden stakes are readily available through a range of online and brick-and-mortar retailers. Pick up a flock and place them all around the garden.

‘Tea Party’ by Rebec caVC1, flic.kr/p/9Y3TvG, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Alice in Wonderland Gift Tags’ by Glitt erandFrills, ‘Tea Party’ by Rebec caVC1, flic.kr/p/9Y3TvG, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 flic.kr/p/829VZF, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
The Tea Party’ by Heather Smither s, flic.kr/p/ vyXb3M, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Wonderland’ by Rina, flic.kr/p/4WvK88, Cr eative Commons Attribution 2.0


When styling a kids birthday party, be sure to use plenty of colour and have ample disposable plates and cutlery on hand! For a circus-themed party that will dazzle your little magicians and tightrope walkers, try out these recommendations.


• For a traditional look, opt for a red and white colour scheme. From striped paper straws to classic popcorn boxes, this colour combination is simple yet effective.

• Place bunches of brightly coloured helium balloons around your outdoor area, and make sure they’re weighted! Coloured crepe-paper streamers and bunting are also great options for livening up an outdoor space.

• A circus-themed garden party needs some animal friends. Include cardboard cutouts of your child’s favourite circus animals, which are available for hire or purchase through many party-hire retailers.

Furniture And Props

 • To make sure the kids stay entertained, create some little carnival zones around your backyard. Include classic games such as mini ten-pin bowling and the ring toss. Hula hoops are also an excellent option!

• For a little something different, consider using hay bales instead of chairs.

• If the weather is warm, a wading pool will keep the kids cool, while adding to the overall theme of the party.

Lighting And Landscaping

 • Coloured globe lights are ideal for brightening up an outdoor area. Suspend them from trees to create the full carnival experience.

• Tiki-style garden lights are also an excellent alternative for those who want a more natural and traditional effect.

• If you have the space, consider hiring a jumping castle, which will provide endless hours of entertainment and be a great finishing touch to your outdoor event.


Great taste never goes out of style and neither will the Roaring Twenties. More and more couples are looking to the past for engagement party ideas, and Gatsby-inspired galas are becoming increasingly popular. Here are a few suggestions that will help make your soiree stupendous.


• Black and gold decorations are an absolute must for a 1920s-themed party. Gold-foiled, fringed curtains make a fabulous backdrop in photos.

• For a truly luxurious feel, fan out some faux ostrich feathers in slim vases and place them in various locations.

• To complete this extravagant look, deck out your drink station with a set of vintage crystal decanters, tumblers and champagne glasses. Crystalware can be easily bought from op shops at a decent price, so keep your eyes peeled. Vintage silverware will also add a touch of opulence to your dining setting.

Furniture And Props

 • A bar cart is a necessity for this style of event. While authentic Art Deco bar carts can be quite expensive to purchase, these days you can hire them through catering companies.

• Consider hiring old-timey props for the event as well, such as a gramophone. Or if you own a record player, set up a little music corner for guests to sit around and enjoy.

• White wooden or wicker armchairs will make perfect additions to the space, as your guests will be able to lounge around and sip champagne in the sun.

Lighting And Landscaping

 • Fairy lights, fairy lights, and more fairy lights! For a timeless look, opt for the traditional warm-coloured style. Place them wherever you can – you can never have too many!

• Create gorgeous lanterns by painting old paint or food cans silver and drilling various patterns into them. They’ll look fantastic sparkling.

vol au v ent…’ by sophie & cie, flic.kr/p/Kh7ph, Cr eative Commons Attribution 2.0
tent hanging from a school c eiling_3’ by Vassilis, flic.kr/p/93dc45, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
‘Dinner Party 6’ by anoldent, flic.kr/p/au1bDD, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
I’ll always be hard as s tone, I will al ways be alone’ by Derek Finch, flic.kr/p/buUZsd, Cr eative Commons Attribution 2.0

• Even though the party is already outdoors, a little additional foliage won’t hurt! Placing a couple of fake parlour palms at the entryway will make the area feel extra lush.


For a truly magical night in with friends, a birthday dinner inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the perfect setting in which to graze and drink together until the early hours of the morning.


• Drape sheer white fabric or netting from above or around the dining area to create a more intimate setting, while also keeping the flies away!

• To create a fabulous woodland table setting, use fake moss as a table runner, and seek some wooden ‘tree stump’ serving boards, which look incredible.

• If possible, arrange your own centrepiece of flowers and herbs using materials from your own garden. Alternatively, your local florist will have a range of dreamy bouquets available to purchase.

Furniture And Props

 • For this type of setting, opt for a low-set, Japanese-style dining table. Alternatively, you could make your own by resting wooden planks on concrete blocks, but be sure to check the table is structurally sound before your guests arrive.

• As this is an on-the-floor style of dining, lay a huge linen sheet underneath the table and add cushions of different sizes, shapes and textures for guests to sit on.

• Wooden crates are an excellent option if extra table space is needed for serving up food.

Lighting And Landscaping 

• Place tealights along the table and solid surfaces to create an enchanting atmosphere.

• Stringing traditional fairy lights from above the dining area will beautifully balance with natural candlelight.

• Concrete statues of woodland creatures, fairies and mushrooms will make wonderful additions to your garden! Whether you plan to fall down the rabbit hole with Alice, tame a ferocious lion, do the Charleston, or get lost in the forest with Puck, these styling tips will ensure your next garden party is in full bloom.