There’s nothing quite like having your friends and family round for a BBQ in the summer – but when you have a small garden, it can often feel difficult or impossible to do. However, there are some simple tips you can bear in mind to help you entertain in more compact outdoor spaces. So, read on for my top suggestions!
1) Buy a compact BBQ
In my opinion, the first thing you need to do is make sure your BBQ is an appropriate size. Living in a flat, I have a shared garden, so just a small portion of patio is actually mine; we have a compact Weber BBQ that sits in the corner and allows us to make the most of those all-too-rare sunny days. So, I can definitely recommend buying something small.
Plus, you can actually cook a decent amount on them at once. At first, I was a little worried that we’d all have to wait ages to get our food, but as long as you don’t invite too many people over, it works a treat.
2) Be smart with garden furniture
I think a good thing to consider next is garden furniture – something you might not currently have if your garden’s particularly small. It is worth buying, though, if you regularly have friends and family over for BBQs.
Of course, buying expensive permanent furniture probably isn’t the most sensible plan, as it means you’ll end up losing space in your garden when you’re not entertaining. Instead, go for some fold-up furniture, since this is easy to store when not in use. Plus, if you decide to play a game or two during your party, you can quickly get everything out of the way to make room.
Another good tip is to remember to position the chairs well, otherwise they might get in the way. Plus, you might want to just get one or two out initially, as people are often happy to stand and socialise at BBQs, and just have spare fold-up chairs leaning against the fence if anyone wants them.
3) Consider having two events
Another important thing to remember is that you need to be careful with how many people you invite, or you risk the garden becoming overcrowded. If necessary, you could hold two events – for example, if you are planning to celebrate your birthday, you might like to invite your friends over for a BBQ one weekend and your family over the next.
The advantage of doing this, of course, is that you get to enjoy multiple celebrations. Plus, this is also simply a good way of making sure everyone can attend – if a guest can’t come to one party, they could always come to the other instead.
4) Choose unobtrusive decorations
When you’re having a BBQ, it’s nice to decorate the garden a little – especially if it’s a special occasion. If your garden’s small, though, you need to remember to decorate appropriately – so avoid large centrepieces or anything that limits seating/standing space!
Instead, opt for small, pretty extras. For instance, if you think your party will last long into the evening, decorate any trees or fences you have with fairy lights. Also, add tea lights to tables or even hang some bunting to introduce an air of celebration. Simple touches like this can make all the difference to the overall atmosphere, without impacting on the amount of room available.