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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


6 Ideas for Entertaining Outdoors

Renee Valdes
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Table set for entertaining

When life moves outdoors, get set for entertaining with these easy ideas to help make get-togethers a snap.

Making your space look well-decorated doesn’t have to take much time and it doesn’t need to be elaborate. Just keep things simple with items from around the house and a few new accessories.

Make your space inviting with these six ideas


Patio table set

1. Set the table

Get ready for outdoor entertaining by setting the perfect table. Start with little touches that make the table look beautiful, such as a festive runner or table cloth. Pretty cloth napkins can also double as placemats on the table of your outdoor patio dining set. No linens or not your style? Just try brown builder’s paper for a polished look.

For dishes, try using shades of the same color for a point of interest and set everything before guests arrive, including flatware.

Make sure to fill up flowerpots with petunias or hydrangeas, or use foliage such as small boxwoods or create this beautiful centerpiece.


Ice bucket

Don’t forget a beverage tub filled with ice for drinks so guests can help themselves. When the beverage tub is not in use, fill it with some potted flowers or plants inside.


Patio set with umbrella

2. Bring on the shade

Don’t let the sun be a spoiler while entertaining outdoors. Crank up a patio umbrella for shade from the sun. Patio umbrellas have come a long way, with more durability and technology in the fabrics so they won’t fade over time.

If you have a 6-foot patio table, a 10-foot umbrella should do the job. You could also go for broader coverage with a cantilever umbrella, such as the one pictured above. Just don’t forget to secure any umbrella when not in use, especially during storms. 


Outdoor bar

3. Allow flexibility

Create a serving area with extra seating in your outdoor space by adding a wooden ledge that works as a built-in bar. It’s a unique way to add another serving station. For other ideas, try making this serving station or bar cart



4. Fill containers

Create a space that has a lived-in look with freshly potted flowers and foliage. Try petunias, ornamental grasses, geraniums, impatiens or hostas in containers.

See our ideas for thrillers, fillers and spillers in containers and top tips for container gardening.


Patio set with lanterns

5. Hang lighting

At twilight, bring on the ambiance in your outdoor oasis with the warm glow of ambient lighting. Make sure you have plenty of string lights hung around your outdoor gathering space. You can even hang lanterns from chains and hooks for a fun and colorful twist. 

No space to hang anything? Try making this unique DIY string light holder with concrete bases.


Garden table with flowerpot

6. Pops of color

Intermingle color throughout your space from planters to furniture. A red garden table does double-duty as a plant stand, and the color blends with red flowers in your garden. Your outdoor patio furniture cushions and pillows can also be part of the color display. 


Check out more ideas for your outdoor room:

Got questions about this article or any other garden topic? Go here now to post your gardening ideas, questions, kudos or complaints. We have gardening experts standing by to help you!