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Technology for the Ultimate Summer Garden Party

It’s July, so that means it is garden party season. And while none of us can boast a home quite as fancy as Buckingham Palace, that doesn’t stop us being Queen or King of our own patch.

So here’s a handy guide to the internet sites to help your garden grow, apps that will tell you how much food and water your plants need and the tech to make any outdoor party go with a swing.

There’s even an ice cream machine included, to help you cool down at the end of all that digging and mowing.

Gardeners’ World

We’ve all done it. You sit there watching Gardeners’ World on BBC Two thinking ‘that would look lovely outside’, then by the time you get round to doing the work you’ve forgotten all the tips from the telly. Luckily the show’s website has enough handy hints to keep your fingers green for decades. There are more than 100 video tutorials, weekly checklists, solutions to common problems and a blog from the stars of the show with almost 1,000 postings.

Gardening Toolkit HD

The Times newspaper named this app as one of their ‘Top 500 in the World’ and it’s not hard to see why. Costing just £2.99 on iPad – with versions also available on all Apple and
Android devices – it tracks what you’re planting, letting you know when to tend to your plants and at what point they will be blooming or ready to harvest. And should you ever fancy doing a bit of gardening on holiday then make sure to take this with you – as it will adapt its advice depending on location and season.

Anyone for Pimms

That may be the garden sorted, but everyone knows a nice lawn and some fancy plants are only half of what makes a great outdoor party. Another major part is making sure you have enough food and drink to keep everyone happy. Pimms, the choice of alcoholic beverage for every garden party I’ve ever been to, has a nice section on its website offering a host of fantastic cocktail recipes to get you started. Please note the website, like the drink, is only for those over 18.

Bose SoundDock Series 2

If you’re partying outside, there is the music to sort out – so an iPod dock is essential and, if you’ve got a bit extra to spend, then you can’t go wrong with Bose. The firm’s classic  SoundDock – available in black or silver – is compatible with all models of iPhone and iPod and can also play music from any other type of MP3 player or smartphone through
an auxiliary input. As you’d expect from Bose, it sounds as great as it looks and can be operated via remote control. If you’re on a budget, then check out cheaper alternatives from the likes of Logitech and JBL.

Garden Party World

When planning a party, it’s always nice to involve the kids – although obviously not in the cocktail making! This website, aimed at children, lets them create their own magical worlds, make friends to trade seeds and plants with and play virtual games ranging from conkers to jet missions. Most importantly, it’s all done in a safe and secure environment with experienced moderators to keep an eye on things.

Magimix Ice Cream Maker

If there’s one thing that kids, and adults, enjoy more than computer games – it is ice cream! Prices for an ice cream maker range from £30 to almost £300, but for around the £50 mark you can’t go wrong with this bit of tech from market leaders Magimix. It can make up to two pints of the creamy cold stuff or a refreshing sorbet in just 20 minutes and is extremely
simple to use. You will need to provide your own flakes and wafers though!