“Spring has returned. The earth is like a child that knows poems.” Rainer Maria Rilke
The garden is slowly awakening after its long winter’s sleep. Everywhere shoots of new life are bursting out of the ground, reaching for the sky. I love everything about this time of year. One of my favorite color palettes is tonal greens and whites, symbols of new life and the colors of spring for me. The subtle variations in the greens and whites are brought out by texture. And there is no better place than in nature to appreciate greens especially.
The inspiration for this table setting was my favorite tablecloth: a small square toile beauty featuring gardening scenes in many shades of soft greens on a creamy background with contrasting edging. It appeals to my French heritage, my gardener’s soul and offers a touch of the exotic with Asian inspired architectural garden structures in the toile art. That’s a lot of bang in a single tablecloth!
To create the centerpiece, I walked around and cut whatever was blooming in shades of green and/or white in my garden. Like when I teach art appreciation to children, I suprised myself with all the blooms I discovered yet had failed to notice in my everyday comings and goings. Fragrant pieris with its long trusses of snowy white, bell shaped masses of tiny blooms would cascade nicely in a bouquet. I cut big bunches of hellebores: creamy green and white Lenten Roses and soft lime colored H. foetidus. ‘Ice Follies’ daffodils would be the stars of the arrangement, their lemony trumpets complementing the tablecloth background. I decided to arrange my bounty in a creamy white soup tureen that I filled with wet oasis. Pussy willow branches added whimsy, another shade of white and dimension to the finished bouquet. You just can’t have a spring bouquet without pussy willow can you? The forsythia I had cut was too yellow and was discarded.
The Table Setting:
I chose claasic green and cream family china. To emphasize the gardening theme I started with rattan chargers which toned down the formality of the china and added texture. Green bird candle holders added to the garden theme. Casual etched water goblets and simple vintage linen serviettes in cream kept the attention on the flowers and the toile tablecloth. Place markers made of tiny clay pots holding mini turnips were inscribed with quotes and completed each place setting. Welcome spring!