Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fresh Flowers on a Summer Table

I've always liked the idea of dining outside. Fresh air, dappled shade, the scent of flowers, a gentle breeze. But I'm brought up short by the reality of 90+ temps and humidity, alternating with a week's worth of thunderstorms.

So we're dining inside today, with a table set as though we were outside! I started with a table runner strewn with delicate wildflowers, a gift from Miss J.

Centering the table is a vase filled with fresh flowers plucked from the grocery. I thought these had the easy charm of wildflowers. The vase is flanked with pillar candles, picking up the aqua tones of some of the florals in the runner. I set the candles on coasters, an easy stand-in for candle holders.

I just love this runner! It's almost painterly with watercolor effects.



The plate stack begins with a ruffled charger that I thought mimicked the petals of a giant flower. The charger is topped by dinner and salad plates with a lattice design that you may remember from a table for la Fête nationale. Vintage iced tea glasses with a wispy etched pattern and silverplate flatware complete the place setting.



Keeping to the theme that this is a table set outside, the napkins were simply laid between the plates. Flowers subtly outline the handles of the flatware.



Try as I might, I couldn't catch the scent of the flowers in the photos!

The garden elements -- flowers, lattice, pottery (in the coasters) -- and the mix of soft colors bring casual outdoor flair to this indoor table.



Silver elements help to brighten this overcast day by reflecting fleeting sunlight.



Add some fresh flowers to your summer table for an outdoor feel!



Thanks for visiting!

Table Resources

Runner, napkins | Maison d' Hermine 'Colmar'
Plates | Block 'Blue Skies'
Silverware | Wm Rogers 'Daybreak' or 'Elegant Lady' (still researching!)
Iced tea glasses | Tiffin-Franciscan 'Margo'

Linking with these parties
Between Naps on the Porch
Petite Haus TFT
Share Your Cup #300!
French Country Cottage
Sundays at Home
Silver Pennies Sundays
Dishing It Digging It
Amaze Me Monday
Metamorphosis Monday
Our Home Away From Home
The Scoop
A Stroll thru Life
Celebrate Your Story
The Dedicated House
Let's Add Sprinkles
Style Showcase
Home and Garden Thursday
Pieced Pastimes



Monday, July 16, 2018

Flowers in July

For July garden parties, I opted to go to Miss J's place. She is an hour north of us in the mountains and experiences somewhat cooler temperatures.

She has a small area in the front and back of her townhouse where she and I have planted several perennials. She took this photo of her Siberian irises before heading off to class on a May morning. They bloomed a week or two later for her than for us.
Iris sibirica 'Caesar's Brother'

I visited her two weeks ago and managed to snag a few photos in bright sunlight. Although they're in the mountains and periodically receive warnings that black bears have been spotted in the vicinity, her flowers don't seem to be bothered by resident deer or other animals.

Behind her townhouse is a lovely common area filled with open spaces and large trees. The previous owner had planted this butterfly bush. Last fall I had pruned it down to 12 inches or so and now it's about 5 foot high.

Although beautiful, I wouldn't plant these because they're considered invasive in many states.
Buddleja davidii

I had transplanted these daylilies from our front yard when the shade encroached on them. So far they've been spreading nicely for her.
Hemerocallis spp.

All my daylily buds at home have been nipped by deer! Sigh.....

These lilies hadn't yet bloomed when I visited. Also planted by the previous owner, they're taller than I am! See those round blackish things along the stems? These small growths, called bulbils, form between the leaf and stem on several hardy lilies. They will drop to the ground and may eventually grow into a flowering bulb. We plan to move them to a better location.
Lilium spp.



Back at our house, Shasta daisies have begun their summer-long show, relatively unscathed by critters (cross your fingers!).
Leucanthemum superbum 'Becky'

'Becky' does better than other Shasta daisies in my zone 7 garden.

Discovered in among my irises, these spiderwort volunteers have been a pretty surprise.
Tradescantia ohiensis



A camera-shy beetle hides among the petals.


Thanks for visiting us today!


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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Recreating the Table at Kilkenny Castle

In May, G, Miss J and I spent almost two weeks in Ireland. For the table this week, I'm following G's suggestion to recreate the table set at Kilkenny Castle. The stone castle (Caisleán Chill Chainnigh) was built by the Normans in 1195 on the site of a wooden fort which guarded access to the River Nore. The original stone castle, with four large circular corner towers and a massive ditch, was altered and added to several times in the past 800 years. In 1967, it was presented to the people of Kilkenny in return for a token payment of £50.

The table seems to be set in the style of the early Victorian period. My challenge was to set my dining room table in the same style -- without buying anything new (or old as the case may be, lol!).  I'll be alternating photos of the castle's table with ours.

The castle's dining room is quite large; the expansive table was set with a crisp tablecloth. For some reason, napkins weren't included, although they were certainly in use in that time period.


My table includes the errant napkins; I don't have a solid white cloth, so they and the tablecloth are a damask pattern. I've set the table for six, since that's all the plates I have in the china pattern I used. In hind sight, it would have been more like the original if I had added one or two leaves to the table.

The castle's place setting consisted of a dinner plate, soup bowl, and four crystal goblets. There were three forks, two spoons and three knives at each place. As far as I could tell, none of the flatware patterns matched -- perhaps they had different uses. The Victorians apparently had a different type of implement for each dinner course served. Covered serving bowls were at each end of the table.

To replicate the feel of the place setting, I used the floral china G recently inherited that had belonged to his great-grandmother. The china set has no soup bowls, so I created the same effect by layering a slightly larger gold-rimmed dinner plate from different china under the plate. I used silverplated flatware he also inherited in a pattern which went well with the china.

There were four sideboards in the castle's room, all of which carried several serving pieces in silver.

Only took decent pictures of two of them, but you can see a third sideboard in the first photo.

For mine, I set all the silver serving pieces we have on the buffet, except for a 3-tiered server which is way too modern a design, a Revere-style bowl, and the coffee/tea set you've seen. Why so many serving pieces you ask? They're great for serving a crowd and they go with most china patterns, eliminating the need for having a whole bunch of china serving pieces. But ours fit on only one piece of furniture!

There was a chest displaying pieces of china, which was in addition to the four sideboards. Did I mention the dining room was large?! In the mirror, you can see one of the crystal chandeliers and the plaster design on the ceiling.



Down the middle of the table was a long mirrored tray in three pieces called a plateau on which were set an epergne in the center, flanked by glass dishes on pedestals and two candelabra.

I don't have anything quite like a plateau, so I used an ornate silver tray which holds my mother's pedestal elegant glass plate. On either side are antique English candelabra.

At each place were four goblets. Unlike the flatware, they were all of the same pattern. I believe they are a hock wine glass, a wine glass, a low champagne glass and a cordial, the smallest of the four.

Most of my vintage/antique stemware is colored crystal/glass, so for clear stems I went with my wedding set - flute, wine and water. For the fourth I used my vintage cordial glasses, also seen in Late Spring with Toulouse.

I took more pictures of my table than of the castle's, because a) I had more time, b) I could get closer than the cordons at the castle allowed, and c) this time I knew I was going to do a post!



This china has a white background in the center, with an ivory rim bedecked with multi-colored flowers and a scroll pattern on the edge. Do you see the slight bulge where the rim meets the body? It is paired with subtle indentations on the gold edge.

A close-up of the mid-century silverplate forks, with scalloped, flowered handles.



Do you think I succeeded in recreating Kilkenny Castle's table? I found it to be a fun challenge!


Thanks so much for visiting!


Resources

Dinner plates, bread plates, bowl, platter | W.H.Grindley 'Marjorie'
Flatware | Wm Rogers either 'Daybreak' or 'Elegant Lady'
Stemware | Waterford Marquis  'Hanover Gold'
Cordial glasses | Fostoria 'June'
Pedestal plate | New Martinsville 'Prelude'

Linking to:

Katherine's Corner
Between Naps on the Porch
Share Your Cup
French Country Cottage
Sundays at Home
Silver Pennies Sundays
Dishing It Digging It
Amaze Me Monday
Metamorphosis Monday
The Scoop
A Stroll Thru Life
Celebrate Your Story
Let's Add Sprinkles
Style Showcase
Our Home Away From Home
The Dedicated House
A Delightsome Life