Marciel Hopkins, 2023 Garden Day Friend shares these tips for hosting a picnic this Garden Day, 15 October, an annual movement for green-fingered people to celebrate the fruits of their labour with family and friends.
1. Prepare Your Picnic Spot
In the lead up to Garden Day, cut the grass, water the plants and create a shaded area with a brightly coloured umbrella in the garden so that friends and family are protected from the sun, if it’s too warm - plus it looks festive! You can also hang up some garden party decorations - bunting and string lights add a pretty aesthetic along with atmospheric lighting for when the sun goes down.
2. Blanktets And Pillows
Blankets and pillows for picnics are essential. After finding the ideal picnic spot, another vital consideration is the blankets and pillows. Choose blankets with a waterproof underside and add lots of pillows to improve your picnic game. It’s a good idea to bring a couple of extra blankets in case someone gets cold.
3. Choose Your Picnic Basket
There is no picnic without a hamper basket, but you don’t 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 ribbon tied around them. Before your picnic, double-check that all of your containers are securely closed.
4. Plan Your Picnic Food
Sandwiches are a nice 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 (and enjoy) 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 lemons, oranges or granadillas grown in your garden! Don’t forget to include some sweet goodies as well – small cheesecakes and ice cream on a cone are my favourite!
5. Have Fun
Perfect picnics and garden parties are 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. And for those with a balcony garden or patio you can still enjoy board games or host a plant swop! But before any of these activities start, make sure you’ve popped on your flower crown – the official symbol for Garden Day – and make a toast to your green space and the goodness it gives you all year round.