The lilacs are just finishing, much to my infinite regret. Their delicate blooms and heady, sweet fragrance beguiles us for such a short time each spring, and then – poof – they’re gone. I think the fleeting nature of the blooms adds to their overall charm. Unlike readily available flowers such as roses, gerber daisies or even chrysanthemums, lilacs, peonies and lilies of the valley give their bounty only once a year, so we’ve got to enjoy them while they’re here.

White lilacs are particularly enchanting, I always think. They’re not as common as their pale purple, well, lilac, counterparts. Somehow they’re a little less robust, a shade more retiring. 

Spode Fitzhugh Green Tureen

I used the bottom half of a tureen for this arrangement.  Lilacs don’t require a lot of support, so a cross-hatching of regular cello tape did the trick.

I filled it two-thirds with water, added some floral preservative, clipped the lilac branches to the right height, and placed them within the taped quadrants, starting from the centre and working outward. Voila!

Sticking to a green and white colour scheme, I styled the table with vintage Spode Fitzhugh Green ironstone salad plates from Replacements and Queen Anne Pillivuyt dinner plates from Williams Sonoma. The undertone of both plates is in the greyer/cooler zone so the combination works well.

A quilted white Vine Floral boutis runner from Williams Sonoma and Tava square chargers from Pottery Barn formed the foundation for the table.

Green Colonial Dame iced tea glasses by Fostoria and clear Trestle glasses by Fitz & Floyd add a punch of colour and some texture

Fiddlehead napkin rings and Twig cutlery from World Market provided some heft and contrast to the colour scheme, keeping it from veering into insipid. I’ve been wanting a rustic, twig-type cutlery for a while and looked at both Pier 1’s offering and the ones at World Market. I settled on the World market set as it’s significantly heavier than Pier 1’s. A bit more expensive, but worth it, I thought.

The cheerful gingham napkins, with their scalloped border are from Pier 1. The fabric is particularly delightful – it has a very soft “hand”.

The oft-used Malta lanterns are from Pottery Barn. Perfect for outdoor dining, they keep the candle flames protected from gusts of wind. 

Our outdoor table is showing some signs of winter wear. Glenn got out there this week with a small roller and some stain, so you will be seeing its facelift shortly! 

As a side note, we are enjoying the lawn in its current (alas, likely short-lived) velvety green state — one of the benefits of the sustained cool and wet spring. Three golden retrievers and the beating summer sun will soon have their combined impact (not good). Oh well!  I’d rather have dogs and a spotty lawn than a no dogs and manicured turf. Small price to pay for their cheerful and devoted company.

The little cast iron wheelbarrow open salts from Pottery Barn years ago pick up the “country casual” nature of the table setting and echo the napkin rings, lanterns and cutlery.

It’s great to be setting up shop outside once more, after dining indoors for so many months.  

I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.