What better way to embrace Garden Day than to indulge in garden picnic ideas? This laid-back style of dining is a wonderful way to make a lunchtime or evening get-together feel more of an occasion, and for many, has a nostalgic charm.
Whether you are looking to create an informal yet inspiring dining vibe, or are simply after fun ideas for bringing the family together for a weekend meal, this guide by television presenter Marciel Hopkin is sure to come in handy.
Prepare your picnic spot
Cut the grass, water the plants, and create a shaded area with a colourful umbrella so that you will be protected from the sun, if it is too warm.
You can also hang up some garden party decorations - bunting and string lights add a nice aesthetic, along with atmospheric lighting for when the sun goes down.
Stock up on blankets and pillows
Blankets and pillows for picnics are essential. Choose blankets with a waterproof underside and add lots of pillows to improve your picnic game. It is a good idea to bring a couple of extra blankets in case someone gets cold.
Pick your picnic basket
There is no picnic without a hamper basket, but you do not have to stick to the traditional wicker. Get creative and step out of the traditional. Think brightly coloured plastic crates or cardboard boxes.
You can make them pretty by tying a ribbon around them. Before your picnic, double-check that all of your containers are securely closed.
Plan the food
Sandwiches are a good go-to option, but you can make your picnic cuisine even more interesting by using different components than your standard packed lunch. Scoop out a watermelon to create an impromptu bowl, and fill it with a mouthwatering salad made with couscous, pasta, or potatoes.
Biltong and droëwors are easy-to-pack snacks. Without requiring much preparation, bread and other deli selections like creamy cheeses and cherry tomatoes make the meal an occasion.
Create your own cordial with homegrown lemons, oranges, or granadillas!
Do not forget to include some sweet goodies as well - small cheesecakes and ice cream on a cone are a personal favourite.
Don’t forget to have fun
Perfect picnics and garden parties are all about spending time with our friends and family. If your garden is big enough, set out some games. I suggest a DIY giant outdoor scrabble or sack race.
For those with a balcony garden or patio, you can enjoy board games or host a plant swap!
But before any of these activities start, make sure you have popped on your flower crown and made a toast to your green space and the goodness it gives you all year round.