It may be rushing the seasons a bit, but today we are featuring a table with hydrangeas—lush, full, colourful hydrangeas with an exuberantly blooming garden in the background.

Blue hydrangea is the consistent feature on this set of mixed salad plates by Portmeirion. Oh – and insects, so we have those, too.

Currently, in the garden, I have lots of leaves, but no mophead blooms on our hydrangea bushes. It’s still darned chilly, and we’ve had tons of rain. Happily, I have photos from last year, which remind us of the glories to come. So let’s dig into our floral abundance table. 

The borders of the Portmeirion Botanic Garden Terrace dessert plates comprise four shades. A pale blue.

A deeper, French blue.

The yellow is quite bold, but not in a neon way, more like butter from very healthy cows.

And lastly, we have pink. It’s a lovely soft shade.

The plates below the dessert layer are green Aerin scalloped edge dinner plates from Williams Sonoma (back in stock – yeah!) and Hartley Greens blue shell edged salad plates (sadly, discontinued and hard to find).

Since this is a flora and fauna table, Buttercup by Fostoria bloomed their way in. In the style of Depression glass, it came just slightly after (1942-59). There is quite a lot of it about on eBay if you’re patient or through if you want it right away.

It has the most lovely balance and feels marvellous in hand. When we are in the Cape, it’s my favoured pattern for end-of-day wine o’clock, as the glasses are moderately sized, unlike modern ones, which can tend to be overly generous.  I use the water glasses for wine and the iced tea glasses for water. 

While we are on the topic of glass, let’s visit the napkin rings. These were from Pottery Barn many years ago. I dropped one, so now I’m down to 11, but more than enough for this table! We have butterflies.

And dragonflies.

Beetles? (the non-singing kind).  No.  Grasshoppers (thanks, Beatrice)! 

(look at those legs drawn back – ick)

And bees. I love the honeycomb detail on the napkin band itself. 

Every garden deserves a birdhouse, so we brought in a couple – salt and pepper set from Ballard Designs.

The flatware is Berry and Thread from Juliska. My everyday set in the Cape, the softly burnished pewter finish is very durable and goes with everything. Juliska describes it as “bright satin.”

Thank you for joining me on the anticipatory garden tour.

Some of you may have noticed we had some downtime on the site yesterday, for which we apologize. It’s been a big week in technology land, and these things never go quite according to Hoyle. Thank goodness for my partner-in-crime, Mary Plumstead, who shepherded our transition from one internet platform to another. We now have a system with a CPANEL and PHP programming language technology, as well as an SSL certificate (she says, confidently, sounding like she knows anything about such things). All necessary upgrades, apparently, but tiresome to perform. We compared it to getting a new furnace – not as much fun as decorating, but vital guts and very noticeable when it doesn’t work. 

I spent yesterday afternoon wrestling with a Roasted Plum Tart with a mascarpone cheese filling. More on that another time. Suffice to say; I overroasted the plums while distracted with a technology issue and over-reduced the glaze. The kitchen was a sticky mess of collapsing plums and burnt sugar. But I think I managed to salvage the tart. We will see this morning when I try to photograph the thing. If all else fails, I’ll slap it back into the tart ring and take an overhead shot. Or just give up and serve it, messy. Here is the Bon Appetit version. Notice the photograph is shot with the pie still in the pan. Perhaps a clue as to the pie’s photographic stability. Hmmm….

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