Top tips from a first time Great British Garden Party holder

For photographer Sussie Bell – who has provided so many wonderful photos for our Great British Garden Party campaign – arranging her own party provided some wonderful top tips on how to prepare for your big day.

“I did find that when I said I was opening my garden for the National Garden Scheme people raised their eyebrows (they know how messy it often is) and I had to explain that I was not opening as a National Garden Scheme garden but that I was hosting a Great British Garden Party, something that anyone can take part in. Sharing the story and the fundraising messages I know will inspire others to do the same.”

Sussie’s top tips

  1. Prepare as much as you can in the days before the party, like signs and labels, and bake the cakes in advance if possible and put them in the freezer to keep fresh.  You could also make jams to sell if you have a glut in the garden.
  2. Put the event on your local FaceBook page in good time before the day, with a nice image of your garden. The local parish news might be a good place too if you live in the country.
  3. Ask good friends and family if they mind bringing a cake to help raise money on the day.
  4. Saying yes to throwing a party gives you a deadline to get all those jobs you’ve been putting off in the garden completed. There’s nothing like a deadline to get things done!
  5. Plant up a few pots with colourful annuals to bring in colour where needed or to brighten up a dark corner.
  6. A plant sale gives you a great, additional fundraising opportunity.
  7. Attempt to get your husband to do his jobs in the garden earlier than five minutes before the first guests arrive!
  8. Enjoy your day and share the story of what the Great British Garden Party is all about and why it means so much.



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