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End-of-summer entertaining ideas for outdoors

As we head towards autumn and the weather starts to cool down, set up your garden for a get together with family or friends. Hire a catering table for the day if you don't already have a large dining table, and use items that you already have in and around the home to create a warm, friendly atmosphere.

Follow the theme through to the table with strands of ivy running down the centre rather than a bulky centrepiece that takes up space.

Mix and match your glassware, adding a few coloured glasses for splashes of colour.

A simple canvas dropcloth that you will find at your local Builders Warehouse serves as the perfect tablecloth for a large table - and won't cost you a fortune.

To dress up the table cut strips of ribbon in different colours and patterns and stick these onto burlap, hessian or raw linen placemats with double-sided sellotape. That way you can easily change the colour scheme and style according to the occasion.

For stews and potjiekos dining outdoors, put wine corks to good use as mats for hot pots and pans. Simply place the corks together in an arrangement and secure with a colourful ribbon.

And don't forget that every table needs a little greenery. Pick a few strands of foliage from your garden, add one or two colourful flowers and you have a simple yet stunning arrangement that cost nothing!