Designing The Perfect Outdoor Dining Environment

Gardening as a hobby has reached an all-time high according to the 2018 National Gardening Center, with approximately 77% of Americans going ga-ga over spending time outdoors in the presence of greenery.

Backyards are the perfect spot both for horticulture and garden parties, and indeed, they are a perfect antidote to the indoors lifestyle that is taking over adults and kids alike. Store your tablets and phones away, make up a list of people to invite to your next al fresco party, and try out two recipes, both of which can be made with produce you grow in your garden!

Lighting Up the Night

outdoor Designing The Perfect Outdoor Dining Environment

Even if you live in a beautifully starry area, strategic lighting is key when it comes to creating a romantic, cosy ambience in your yard or garden. Use any overhead structures – such as a pergola – to hang lanterns with lights or candles, making sure they are hung at different lengths for a more graceful look. Use big statement solar lighting pieces around your garden area, so that even if it is night time, guests can see the scrumptious items you are growing.

If you don’t have a fruit and veggie garden, places these lights next to some of the most beautiful or largest plants in your garden. Trees can also be used to hang lanterns and fairy lights. Don’t overdo the latter; instead, make sure there is a nice mix between larger and more delicate bulbs. If you use candles, opt for soy or beeswax rather than paraffin, since the latter can contain toxic chemicals.

Keeping the Sun Out

Best Patio Awning Designing The Perfect Outdoor Dining Environment

If you will be throwing a lunch time soiree on your terrace, keeping the sun away with retractable awnings or a fixed pergola is key. Remote control blinds and awnings can usually be moved to precise angles, enabling you to enjoy a little warmth in all the right places. These features are absolutely crucial if your yard is treeless and you have a terrace that is large enough to accommodate a table, chairs, serving table, etc. The same can be said if you have a pool and wish to rest outside in between dips.

Uniting Design Aspects with Nature

If you have a designated terrace space for your parties, try to keep it natural and sustainable, opting for wooden tables, recyclable plates and glasses, and nature-inspired décor. If you have beautiful flowering pots, use them as table décor in lieu of artificial pieces. If you don’t have a terrace, use wooden palettes to create a long central table, laying them over a colorful Persian-style carpet. Use large-sized cushions as chairs and tie fairy lights across the top of the table, using trees or torches as endpoints for your string lighting.

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After you have set up your garden and table, why not try out these two refreshing salad recipes? Both are made with summer produce that you can grow in your own garden. The recipes are for an easy Summer Squash and Chickpea Salad, and a piping hot Sauteed Radish Side.

Summer Squash and Chickpea Salad

Roasted Pumpkin Chickpea and Sundried Tomato Salad Gluten Free Vegan Option 1024x693 Designing The Perfect Outdoor Dining Environment

Ingredients:

  • 1 large summer squash
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 big handfuls of watercress
  • 1 ½ cup canned, cooked chickpeas
  • ½ cup Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Olive oil, lemon juice, and salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cut the squash into cubes, and toss with oil, garlic, curry and mustard powders.
  2. Place into an oven pan and roast in 375º for around half an hour, or until the squash is golden.
  3. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Toss with the rest of the ingredients and top with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper.

Sauteed Radish Side

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ½ a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Around 15 to 20 radishes, sliced in half

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter in a pan and add the radishes, sauteeing until they take on a golden huge.
  2. Squeeze the lemon over the radishes and sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired.