Over Winter the garden has most definitely been neglected because of bad weather and the short days. Plus, we are all still trying to get our heads around the fact it is a new year, with new hobbies, habits and resolutions – so again, the garden just doesn’t get the attention it deserves!
However, once the dark clouds of January start to clear, Spring seems really close, but even closer is Valentine’s Day. If there was ever a brilliant reason to get stuck into sorting the garden out early, it is a garden Valentine’s meal. Don’t forget that this year it’s on a Tuesday though, so you may want to have it on the Sunday! Double Valentines? Why not.
Not only will you be way ahead of everyone else with your gorgeous garden ready way ahead of spring, but you will impress your date with a stunning, Americana style outdoor date at the same time. Sound good to you?
OK, here’s how to enjoy Valentines Day in the Garden!
Tidy, tidy, tidy
Before you even start to think about your romantic meal, you need to get your garden sorted out. Get leaves cleared, throw away or tidy away any debris, sweep and clean areas that are dirty – give your garden a complete makeover.
Don’t attempt potting any plants or painting any fences at this time of year, just focus on cleaning the garden and making it look tidy.
Now you have a wonderful canvas to work from, you can choose where you will hold the meal. If you already have an undercover area to use, make sure the shelter is waterproof because the rain pouring on your date’s face will not impress him or her!
If you don’t have anywhere undercover, you could use a small gazebo or garden cover, but this isn’t advisable if the weather is really windy. Alternatively you may have to retreat to the Conservatory if you have one.
This is where the WOW factor really comes in. Your first priority needs to be the lighting, because if the lighting is wrong, everything either looks really dingy or unflattering and fluorescent.
You want lots of soft romantic lighting all the way along the path to the seating and around the seating. Look on Pinterest for some DIY lighting ideas, we put a few of the ones we like below, and consider these as well:
Led light strings in jars – the cheapest way to make fairy lights look super chic and cool, this also works when you push them in glass bottles
Fairy lights twisted around everything – get some outdoor fairy lights and literally wind them around small shrubs, scatter them across the table, attach hooks to the roof of the decking and hang them from there – you cannot have enough of them!
Solar lights – these stick in the lawn easily and provide a nice pathway lighting solution
After you have done your lighting, think about little touches like flowers on the table, or even potted plants around the seating area (they won’t die being outside for one night!). You could scatter rose petals on the table, along the floor – this is Valentines, anything goes!
It will still be pretty cold outside in February, which means you have to think about keeping your date warm. A basket of blankets is a must, you could even set up some cushions and blankets for you both to snuggle under after dinner (depending on how close you are already!).
You might also want to safely use a fire pit nearby which could help you with desert (toasted marshmallows dipped in chocolate!). Or you could use an outdoor heater, but only if you already have one..
Food & Drink
It might be nice to plan your menu around the food you have in your garden if you’re a keen grower. Even if you just make a mojito with the mint from your window ledge it sounds cool when you say you used home grown mint.
Remember all the different types of furniture will have specific cleaning instructions regardless of whether they are plastic, wood, glass or metal. Try to follow the specific care instructions for the particular type of garden furniture you have to keep it in good condition, so it will look good as new come spring.
For a completely romantic atmosphere you will want to set up some music. Just remember this is outside so keep the noise low. The neighbours marching round complaining about your best tunes blasting out won’t make you appear super suave in front of your date!
Have some nice music playing in the background or you could even set up two pairs of headphones and a splitter so you can both listen to a specially prepared soundtrack from your phone or iPod.
Finally, enjoy yourself!
There’s nothing worse than spending a date with someone who is petrified and isn’t being themselves because they are stressed. No matter what goes wrong or what challenges arise, just be yourself and enjoy the date, that is what matters the most.
The food could be cold, the drinks disgusting, the lights flickering and the weather atrocious, but if you’re both laughing together, it will all come right in the end.