Hydrangeas are in full and glorious mophead bloom in the Cape at present. Hydrangea macrophylla is the formal title, and they come in a whole range of colours.

The most common are the blue plants, sometimes with a bit of pink peeking through. You see swaths of them along the roadside and tucked into gardens, as our maritime climate suits them down to the ground (pun intended). Varieties include Seaside Serenade, Endless Summer and Nikko Blue.

The luscious grape variety is less common. Known as “Deep Purple Dance “, it’s aptly named. My feet do a little happy dance every year as the blossoms transform from tight green bunches of promise to the full glory of the amethyst bloom.

Well, they’re here! And I had to set a table to celebrate. Like the hydrangea, Toile Tale by Lenox comes in a variety of colours: chartreuse, teal, sky blue, chocolate, Sienna and scrumptious amethyst. Oh, happy day!

“Toile” more typically refers to fabric; indeed it’s a French word meaning “linen cloth” or “canvas”. But language is an evolving thing, and today the word conjures up images of what Wikipedia describes:  …”a type of decorating pattern consisting of a white or off-white background on which a repeated pattern depicting a fairly complex scene, generally of a pastoral theme such as a couple having a picnic by a lake or an arrangement of flowersThe pattern portion consists of a single color.”  Yup. Exactly. 

Toile Tale by Lenox was very reasonably priced on Replacements, at least in the Amethyst. I cottoned on to the pattern through a summer promotion email from Replacements highlighting the teal blue shade. The dinner plate is quite large at 11.5″. You can see it goes almost to the edge of the Gold Lustre Rim Charger from Pier 1, which is 12.75″.

The salad plate also generously sized at 9″.

That sent me off on a quest to find some pagoda themed accoutrements. At first, I looked for salt and pepper shakers, naturally. All I could come up with were these gold and freshwater pearl ones, which seemed a bit over the top to me. They’re lovely, but at $235 from Gracious Style, I thought I’d keep looking. 

I ended up using these little open salts from a number of years ago.

Hmmm – what else could I find that was pagoda themed? I tried Ballard Designs and hit pay dirt. Pagoda lanterns by Bunny Williams seemed like a much better investment. The muted bronze tone is very versatile and will work with a lot of different table settings.

Pagoda lanterns seem to be in this year. For anyone in the market for them, oddly enough (for they are not a source I’d usually think of)  Home Depot has a very attractive offering. 


As does Frontgate. All three choices are similarly priced.

But back to the table! My trusty Amerian Lady Iced Tea glasses by Fostoria got another outing, as did Graham Clear by Juliska, much to their mutual delight.

I loved the table during the day.

And it was just magical at night.

The oval cachepot holding the hydrangea is also by Bunny Williams from Ballard Design. It’s well sized as a centrepiece. The bottom of the brass lattice portion is covered in a protective material and the container in the middle is removable for thorough cleaning.  

A couple more shots. Can’t resist.

We didn’t get our lobster rolls on the beach last night; the weather was quite dismal. It’s continuing to bucket down this morning, but things are looking up for this afternoon and evening, in time for a lovely weekend. I hope everyone enjoys theirs. It’s summer – let’s take advantage of it!

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