The new flamingos – pineapples, cacti and watermelon are this year's hero summer party buys

John Lewis are reporting record-high sales – up 150% on last year – for all things garden party related for this summer. Here are the summer party buys you need to stay on trend in 2017

Who doesn't love a flamingo? They were the big accessory for garden parties in 2016, much to my personal delight! If you stocked up on flocks of pink loveliness, then fear not – the trend is still going strong this year – but there are some new key characters joining the fun. Look out for palm trees, cacti, lobsters, pineapples and watermelons. In other words, your garden party is about to become a totally topical mix of all things kitsch, and we love it!

Lisa Rutherford, seasonal buyer for John Lewis tells us, 'This season, it's all about the bright and the colourful. We know that more customers are entertaining this summer than in previous years, and we've already seen huge demand for items that will make outdoor spaces pop, creating that Instagram moment.'

For inspiration, check out our top garden party ideas.

Here's our round-up of hero summer garden party supplies for your next garden get-together.

The Tiki bar

tiki bar with palm tree and table with chairs

(Image credit: TBC)

Get the party started in style! The John Lewis Tiki bar is proving to be hugely popular already this summer, easy to see why – imagine the wow factor of serving guests rum based cocktails from this exotic-themed drinking establishment, all in the comfort of your own garden. The vibe instantly transports you to some tropical beach bar far far away, without the hefty price tag of long-haul airfares.

John Lewis has literally thought of everything to fully immerse yourself into the tropics, even selling faux Palm trees for decoration!

Buy Now: Wicker Rattan Tiki Bar with 2 Stools and 2 Chairs, £500, John Lewis

Buy Now: Decorative Palm Tree, (was £130) now £65, John Lewis

Tropical tableware

beach bar with dining table with chairs and napkins

(Image credit: TBC)

No beach bar would be complete without serving delicious BBQ food. This totally tropical collection of paper plates and serving baskets is a sure fire way of recreating summer holiday vibes at home.

Buy Now: Cuban Fiesta Food Baskets, £5.49 pack of 6, Talking Tables

Buy Now: Cuban Fiesta Plates, £3.99 pack of 12, Talking Tables

plates and napkins with Cactus motifs

(Image credit: TBC)

Cactus motifs are decorating all manner of party accessories, we love these quirky plates & napkins – perfect for alfresco dining this summer...

Buy Now: Desert in bloom Paper Plates, £1.95 set of 8; Napkins, £1.95 set of 20, both Dot Com Gift Shop

Perfect pool floats

swimming pool with lobster design floats

(Image credit: TBC)

You'd have to have been living in a cave to miss the pool float phenomenon that took hold last year. This fun inflatable accessory is showing no signs of going away anytime soon, as more and more fabulous designs are being brought to life. Lobsters, watermelon slices, pineapples, swans and flamingos are all hot favourites for summer 2017.

Love a lobster? Trend alert! Lobster love is in the air

Admittedly, not many of us are fortunate enough to own a swimming pool, but we say embrace the float anyway! When not on holiday you could try squeezing one into a paddling pool, enjoy it as a garden party prop accessory or possibly a super comfy recliner for guests (no heels allowed, naturally).

Buy Now: Sunnylife Luxe Floats, from £23, John Lewis

A firm favourite on social media is the almighty flamingo pool float, and this year it's been given a shiny makeover with a rather fancy Rose Gold finish #flamingofloat

flamingo pool float with pink colour

(Image credit: TBC)

Buy Now: Sunnylife Luxe Float Inflatable Flamingo, £58, John Lewis

Pretty paper decorations

lady holding multicolour paper decorations

(Image credit: TBC)

If you're looking to add a pretty touch to party proceedings, paper decorations can go a long way to help. There are so many different designs of paper decorations that are cheap and more than cheerful – you don't need many to make a real impact either.

For tips on how to decorate, check out summer party ideas to impress your friends.

pineapple paper decoration with yellow and green

(Image credit: TBC)

A little can go a long way when it comes to dressing your outdoor space. This generous paper pineapple decoration could be used on its own as a table centrepiece or hung in an arrangement surrounded by colourful balloons and smaller honeycomb paper balls, to add more impact.

Buy Now: Honeycomb Pineapple Decoration, £2.09, Amazon

yellow wall with paper decorations and cactus

(Image credit: TBC)

Hanging bunting and paper decorations is an easy way to instantly jazz up a garden for a special occasion. While the weather stays dry, there's no reason you can't leave them up throughout summer just to add colour to the patio or decking area. Talking Tables have a fantastic array of themes to help you decorate your party in style; our favourite right now is the Cuban Fiesta range...

Buy Now: Cuban Fiesta Pom Pom Garland, £9.99, Talking Tables

Buy Now: Cuban Fiesta Paper Lanterns, £9.99 pack of 3, Talking Tables

Fabulous fairy lights

watermelon fairy lighting cord

(Image credit: TBC)

The twinkle of fairy lights never fails to add ambiance to a garden party. With the tropical theme in mind we couldn't help but gravitate towards to fabulously fruity watermelon design.

white chair with yellow pillow and watermelon lighting cord

(Image credit: TBC)

Buy Now: Allsorts Melon String Lights, £10.99, Talking Tables

You never know where you are with the unpredictable British weather, but we hear it's due to stay soggy this week. But why not get online shopping now for all your tropical buys, so you'll be ready to party when the sun returns.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.