Aqua and deep orange is not a colour combination that first comes to mind when designing a tablescape.

But it works, by gum!

I’d been mentally toying with what flowers to use with these Bideford Aqua plates. Deep orange dahlias? Chrysanthemums? Daylilies?… though those are very tricky as they close up at end of day. Happily, Trader Joe’s had a few bunches of ranunculus in just the right vibrant shade.

At first, I thought I’d add more flowers to the mix; the table looked pretty skimpy.

But I really liked how the shape of the flowers with their spindly, curving stems echoed the sparse depiction in the centre of the plate (though I think those flowers are tree peonies). Purple or vibrant green would be another choice.

Even the name is appealing. Ranunculus. It reminds me of runcible, the nonsense word from The Owl and the Pussycat: “They dined on mince and slices of quince, which they ate with a runcible spoon.”

I’m unclear on the history of Bideford Aqua. It’s by Wedgwood, and to my mind, much more appealing than the white version, known simply as Bideford. In any event, it’s discontinued. I found it during a web-crawl on Replacements. They had no stock, but I loved the pattern so much I requested they find it for me. They came up trumps a couple of years ago with eight plates and I’ve been dying to set a table with them ever since.

I paired the plates with antique aqua needle-etched and Venetian goblets from Elise Abrams Antiques

The aqua-edged napkins with a faint grey stripe are from HomeGoods. The bakelite handled flatware is part of a canteen set I got many years ago from now-defunct Country Dining Room Antiques.

The napkin rings are from Amazon. They provide a lot of bang for very little buck.

The open salts are from Etsy, lo these many years ago.

Votive candles sit happily in chicken-wire-clad jars are from Harvest of Barnstable. Though they’re a rustic element, the delicacy of the bronze wire works well on the table.

The Gold Lustre Rim Chargers are from Pier 1 a few years ago. Enormously versatile, they take up surprisingly little space; they’re not awfully thick, though quite heavy. They’re still available.

One more look at the ranunculus. Happy sigh. Hmmm – where else can I deploy their charms?

It’s shaping up to be an unsettled weather day here on the Cape. We are hoping to get lobster rolls from the takeout place at the local harbour this evening and enjoy a picnic dinner on the beach at low tide. Fingers crossed that it works out. One of my favourite summer rituals is enjoying a glass of wine on the beach late in the day, lingering until the returning tide chases us off the flats. There is slight swelling on the tide flats I call “Gilligan’s Island”, where we often sit. Engrossed in a book, it’s easy to get marooned on the “island” as the incoming tide creeps in behind and catches us unawares, Realization dawns with wet feet and sinking beach chair.   

Enjoy your respective days, dear readers!

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