The lilacs are blooming, the sun is shining, and I’ve just finished tucking a couple of dozen dahlia tubers into the perennial garden. It’s time to get cleaned up and have a mug of tea.

The table is already set with Chelsea Porcelain from the Royal Collection Shop. I spotted this pattern on a trip to London a few years ago. While I managed to restrain myself from purchasing any to lug home, I did avail myself of their worldwide shipping at a later date.

The scalloped plates in the collection featured in an earlier table, Chelsea Porcelain Plums.

Both Queen Mary (Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother famous for her acquisitive nature, so much so that she was known as “Mary the Magpie”) and the Queen Mother had a great fondness for Chelsea Porcelain. Their antique pieces inspired the modern reproductions that comprise this collection.

The colours are vibrant, with beautifully detailed flora and fauna.

Who knew that a cabbage leaf could make such an attractive motif?

The blue convolvulus and ivy frame it nicely, along with the brightly coloured insects.

Butterflies adorn the side plate. I’m not sure what the flower is. It looks like a flowering shrub, given the stem. Honeysuckle?

The lilacs brought out the milder purple shades in the porcelain, so I used tumblers in the same shade (Pottery Barn, years ago, long discontinued).

The green in the bamboo tablecloth from Pomegranate was just the right shade. I thought it might be too busy, but I think it works.

And who can resist lilacs? Such a short season, such a heavenly scent. I snip a few for my bedside table as long as they last. It’s a wonderful way to wake up!

The dinner plate is Aerin Scalloped Edge in Green by Williams Sonoma. Again, long been discontinued, but sometimes available on eBay.

Oh, happy day.

Ok – time for this girl to get herself back outside and tackle the roses. If I can get the dead branches clipped away before they get too advanced, it makes things a lot tidier as the season progresses. The die-off is concentrated in the lower areas; removing it helps a lot with weeding, too. The clippings from three bushes filled two wheelbarrows. I have all the cuts and scratches to prove it!

But it’s definitely worth the effort. The garden is coming along beautifully.

Don’t you love spring? All clean, shiny and hopeful!

One more look at the table.

Enjoy the day, all.