Summer time is festival season - Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, Isle of Wight and Boardmasters to name just a few.
But these events sell out fast, tickets can be expensive, and who wants to share a toilet in a field with 100,000 other people? Don't stress; the festival vibe is within reach and can deliver a memorable experience without the mud, sleepless nights and queues.
Here's our guide to the festival chic trend that will bring your garden to life this Summer.
As the sun goes down on your garden festival, there's no need to stumble around in the dark. Strategic outdoor lighting offers practical benefits such as illuminating pathways and also adds to the ambience.
Studies have shown that lighting also affects mood - the harsher the light, the more intense our emotions. Warmer lighting has been found to calm while lights with a blue tinge can increase feelings of tension and anxiety, so plan your illuminations and chill.
Unlike many festivals where you are on your feet for 16 hours a day, your own garden festival offers endless opportunities for comfort and indulgence.
The classic traditional deckchair is a popular choice, with its vibrant cotton canvas sling and sturdy wooden frame. Once your fellow ticket-holders sink into their deck chairs, you'll be hard pushed to get them up again. Just be sure to keep the food and drink within easy reach for the ultimate convenience.
You don't need to spend a fortune on outdoor decorations to create an immersive garden festival.
Make your own bunting using just pinking shears and scraps of fabric. Add splashes of colour to the event by placing freshly picked seasonal blooms from your garden into glass jars on the tables.
Old CDs suspended from trees can create intriguing light displays in the breeze, or dig out the old Christmas baubles from the loft and cover with clear glass stones or fabric before placing in bushes and trees.
We also love upcycling old tin cans into whimsical candle holders - thoroughly wash out your old bean cans, then poke holes with a nail to create a swirling pattern, or suspend with jute string as shown.
Add small tea lights* and relax.
You can't have a Summer garden festival without some tunes.
If you've got a smartphone, it's super easy to take your music with you wherever you go. You can pick up a portable wireless speaker for less than you might think, which can stream music from your phone or tablet via Bluetooth.
Plan ahead and create a Spotify playlist with friends - then you can forget about the background music and live in the moment once your mini festival plays out.
The invite list is key to a fab festival - make it fun with mock festival tickets, decorated with colourful ink and including all the key info such as date, time, venue and dress code (festival chic?).
Keep your neighbours on side by letting them know in advance and perhaps even ask them to join the festivities.
Food & drink
Bring a bottle, share a side dish or fire up the barbie - keep your to-do list short by asking guests to contribute to the menu with their own creations.
Cover all appetites, diets and preferences with a variety of dishes; Summer salad, homemade coleslaw, barbecued corn on the cob, plus plenty of sausages, burgers and brioche buns for that street food vibe.
Many dishes can be prepared in advance giving you time to welcome guests and catch-up with friends.
Provide a variety of drinks, including beers, wines and spirits as well as non-alcoholic punch, fruit juice and iced water. Create a dedicated area for plates, cutlery, glasses and napkins and encourage people to help themselves to keep yourself free.
You've got the seating sorted, lights are twinkling in the trees, tunes are drifting through the air, and the smell of barbecue food fills your nostrils.
But there's still room for improvement - place squashy cushions, throws, side tables, blankets and beanbags strategically around the garden, patio and decking so small groups can relax and savour the ambience once the food is eaten.
Your guests will likely spend the majority of their time mingling, but there's no harm having some entertainment on hand. Simple games such as giant Jenga, chess and Twister are always a hit, or get creative and make your own.
Create your own rustic bowling set with plastic bottles filled with sand or water and take turns to bowl for a strike.
You could also create your own ring toss game, using sturdy rope and wooden stakes.
- cut the rope into four to eight equal lengths (30-40cm)
- join the two ends of each piece with tape to form circles
- find two stakes (or sticks) of a similar length
- sharpen one end of your stakes and drive into the ground
Now you're ready to play!
What else would you add to turn your garden into the ultimate festival experience?
Get creative, get outside and make the most of the glorious weather with friends and family for a truly fantastic festival, without leaving home. And when the music stops, you can simply head indoors to your own comfortable bed for a good night's sleep.
* Please take care with naked flames. We know you're an adult, but still. Accidents happen and fire hurts, however grown-up you are.