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.
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.
So clever!! The taped toureen is a terrific tip.
You are right about the fleetingly fragrant life span of lilacs and lily of the valley….until next year… ( is that another movie?)
Stay tuned for lily of the valley! I’ve been nursing an arrangement since I used it to set a table and it’s just now reaching its end 🙁 Now there’s a fragrance!
Thanks for visiting, Kathi.
Hi Helen, Your lilac table is truly enchanting. I am inhaling, trying to capture the delicate scent! I moved my white lilac bush last fall, and it rewarded me this week with a huge burst of blossoms, for the first time in nearly eight years. The twig flatware is perfect, and I’ve just popped over to the site and some is now heading my way. 🙂 The green and white color scheme, the outdoor setting mixing the rustic pieces, the Spode and the gingham, and the dainty centerpiece all combine for perfection. Beautiful! Linda
Thanks so much for visiting, and for your very kind comments.
I am not lucky enough to actually own a white lilac bush, but have relied on the kindness of neighbours for my “fix” 🙂 So glad that yours has finally bloomed. Eight years is indeed a bit of a frustrating wait. I suspect it is much happier in its new location. For all their old-fashioned hardiness, they can be mighty fussy where it comes to the right amount of sunlight, can’t they?
I’ve just spent some time wandering around on your beautiful site. So glad to meet another tableware junkie!
Beautiful setting, and thank you for including the tip about the cellotape crosshatch. Always struggle with lilacs and more. Would never have thought of it. You have a wonderfully deft touch when arranging flowers. . All tips and tricks gratefully accepted!
Thanks so much for stopping by and for commenting. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you. 🙂
I got the tape tip from someone else, years ago. Can’t remember from whom, but it’s saved my bacon a number of times when wrestling with uncooperative arrangements.
And congratulations on your latest family addition! Hope all is well and everyone is enjoying.
Beautiful table!! I love your comments about enjoying the green grass now, and how it never lasts with the dogs and heat! I’m with you, while I would love to have my lawn look gorgeous all year, our two big dogs bring us half our entertainment and too much joy to worry about it. I can almost smell your fabulous lilacs.
Grass is grass, no? But dogs … what would we do without them?
Thanks so much for visiting!
Love the color combination of green and white. So refreshing and the centerpiece is spectacular.
Sometimes simple is best. White lilacs really just arrange themselves.
My middle name is Mairi, which is the Gaelic version of Maureen! 🙂
The tureen is a perfect vessel for the centerpiece and I love how you styled this table. Habe a great holiday weekend!
Thanks Sandra! I hope you and yours have a fabulous weekend, too! Happy Memorial Day!
Such a pretty table. The lilacs here are just starting to bloom as well, Mine are the purple version. Green and white is so refreshing, The stacks of dishes and glasses arranged on the shelves is a fun photo.
Hi Lorri! I’m trying to get it together to set another lilac table before they all disappear. Such a short season! Enjoy your week.
Such a clever centerpiece idea! Love you table setting!