Hydrangeas had a rough go of it this year on Cape Cod—a severe late spring frost killed off the buds, leaving us largely bloomless. I was filled with joy when a few meagre stems made it through, and I was eager to make the most of them.

Enter the bud vase.

I trimmed most of the leaves from each mophead and arranged singular stems in a dozen or so clear glass bud vases.

When collected together, it gave a glorious bountiful appearance. The only trouble was the flowers were very top-heavy—a slight breeze would set the whole thing tumbling over, so I needed to be quick in snapping the pictures.

A runner purchased years ago on final sale from either Pottery Barn or Williams Sonoma formed the base for the table. Its chocolate brown background highlights blooms in pale blue, peachy pink and ethereal white.

Merletto Aqua dinner plates are topped with antique Majolica oak-leaf patterned salad plates, on which antique Venetian glass footed compotes rest.

The rest of the peachy-pink glassware is Depression glass in the June Pink pattern by Fostoria. I used water glasses as wine glasses and iced tea glasses as water glasses.

It was a glorious day in August. The brilliant pink phlox and the blue platycodon have done well. I’ve lavished attention on the garden this year, and assiduous attention to frequent dead-heading has paid off. Without the hydrangea to rely on, I’ve appreciated the other flowers much more. Every cloud does have a silver lining, it seems.

The visual fishes-and-loaves trick worked out despite making several dashes to secure the vases when a breeze whipped up.

It’s Labour Day weekend, with its usual mixed feelings and bittersweet sensation: sadness at the end of summer with its light-filled days and long walks on the beach alongside elation at the onset of fall with sweater weather, rich, slowly-cooked food and Christmas beckoning in the distance. The seasonal wheel has clicked over in its most pronounced turn. For me, September is the real New Year.

One last look at the table.

Wishing everyone a happy end of summer and much joy for a lovely fall.