Designers Share Their Tips for Hosting a Garden Tea Party (2024)

Gather in the garden for an afternoon tea party filled with flowers and friends. Floral designer Natalie Bowen Brookshire and chocolate expert Amy Guittard share their tips for hosting the ultimate garden party—along with ideas for arranging the prettiest bouquet.

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Gather in the Garden

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There's no better way to celebrate spring than with a garden party filled with flowers and friends. We're sharing stunning ideas for tea party food, flower arranging, and pitcher co*cktails. Gather your gals and head outside.

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Easy Apps

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Keep the garden party food fuss-free by serving up a variety of topped toasts. From sweet chocolate-topped bread to a savory spread of cheese, these easy-to-eat appetizers are perfect for enjoying with a cup of tea (or a co*cktail). Keep it casual by serving your appetizers on a pretty wood cutting board and setting out a stack of simple white plates so guests can serve themselves.

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Chic Buffet Table

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Vintage brass serving ware and wood pedestals give this tea party an eclectic touch. Serve classic tea sandwiches and treats in a tiered stand. Arrange a variety of fruit and cheese on a wooden cake stand.

Easy Accents

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Serving up drinks in champagne coupes makes this garden party feel extra special. Mixing up a pitcher co*cktail ensures you'll be free to enjoy the party. Just before serving, add a few slices of fresh fruit or pomegranate seeds to each glass.

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Tea Time

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In addition to a few special co*cktails, serve a big pot of tea. For the prettiest presentation, just before pouring add a few sprigs of fresh mint. If the weather's warm, serve fresh iced tea instead.

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Bring the Inside Out

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If you don't have enough patio seating for a party, grab a few kitchen chairs and bring them outside. Scatter outdoor pillows and blankets for a setting that will make your guests feel instantly comfortable. Place small flower arrangements on tall candlesticks to add height to your dining table.

Stunning Centerpiece

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A low and flowing flower arrangement is the perfect centerpiece for this laid-back garden party. Start by placing large blooms in a pretty stone dish. Add smaller flowers and stems to fill in the arrangement, and finish it with a few sprigs of greenery draped over the side.

How to Make an Arrangement from Grocery Store Flowers

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Party Stations

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Set up two designated areas at this crafting garden party. First, set up a buffet and dining table in one. It encourages guests to sit and chat while they pass food family-style. Then, arrange a second station for flower arranging. For easy cleanup, cover the surface of a long table with kraft paper, and provide fresh flowers, vases, scissors, and everything else guests need to create their own arrangements.

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Bold Blooms

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Create the ultimate flower arranging station with bunches of grocery-store flowers in a monochromatic color scheme. Tulips, carnations, ranunculus, lisianthus, and roses work well. Place the stems in water inside galvanized metal flower buckets. You'll need about eight stems per guest.

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DIY Flower Arranging

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During the tea party, let guests arrange their own bouquets to take home. So they'll fit inside sheets of kraft paper, trim each flower stem to 10 inches long. Aside from the kraft paper, you'll need sheets of plain or patterned tissue paper, ribbon, and pretty scissors.

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Take-Home Bouquet

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Provide supplies so each guest can take her own bouquet home to enjoy. Tie the kraft paper or gift wrap with about a half yard of ribbon. Look for ribbon pieces or scraps at your local craft supply store, and get our must-have tips for creating bouquet wraps.

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Finishing Touches

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Give your guests' creations a luxe touch with silk or velvet ribbon.

Editor's Tip: Rather than purchasing several full-size rolls of ribbon, look for ribbon remnants in various colors at your local crafts supply store. (These are usually less expensive.)

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Festive Party Favors

View Recipe

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A simple recipe like homemade granola bars becomes a pretty party favor when packaged in clear bags and tied with a handmade tag. Cut tags from brown kraft paper or cardstock and use a white oil-based pen to make a tag for each guest.

Designers Share Their Tips for Hosting a Garden Tea Party (2024)
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