A Summer Setting

summerflowersWith the bounty of produce at hand, summer is an ideal time to bring the garden indoors and enjoy the benefits of nature’s bounty at your table…especially in the air conditioning!

My inspirations often stem from interesting places and the springboard for this tablescape was a green plumb. The vibrant green yet soft and strong simultaneously led me to think of the different shades of greens that abound. Table linens depicting exotic summer flora and fruit and napkins in an ochre chartreuse proved the perfect pairs for the green inspired tableau.

Though the linens boast gorgeous colors in vivid rich hues, a simple gathered arrangement of garden greenery and faint colored blossoms was ideal for the centerpiece. Using a silver plateau inverted to hold oasis, I mounded and layered leaves of variegated hydrangea, acuba, hosta, fern fronds, and pale blue lace cap and ‘Ayesha’ hydrangeas. The tapestry of greens and soft florets were grounded with creams of ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea that carried the cream theme into the cream glazed earthen ware from Provvista Desgins.

As for other elements of the setting, the garden inspired natural theme was continued with hydrangea leaf chargers, arrayed in concentric rings around and under the plates. Since the wild green plums were the inspiration for the tablescape, bowls brimming with the tart fruits served as perfect take home gifts for guests and place settings.

summerflowers3For the backdrop of the tableau, blue and white jardinières filled with ‘Nikko Blue’ and ‘Glory Blue’ hydrangeas served as sentinels on my console, guarding and framing the dessert of peaches, crème fresh, and angel food cake.

The blues of these hydrangeas picked up the faint blues of the lace cap and ‘Ayesha’ blossoms on the table, serving now as an accent color emboldened into a statement of their own. This is a quick way for punch and pizzazz to a table setting or display – run with a theme, use an accent color in a soft fashion, and then saturate the backdrop with the color for aesthetic prowess and pleasure.

Twirling twigs of curly willow danced and delighted atop the hydrangeas, adding a touch of drama and movement to the arrangement. Their green shoots picked up on the homage to the color and its tones that interwove throughout this setting. When a theme is inspired from a single color, continuing it throughout the entire tablescape adds harmony and congruence to your event.

A casual dinner for four or soirees for dozens - Whatever the season, whatever the celebration, use nature as your inspiration to set your table. From this Farmer’s garden and table to yours, make the seasons memorable with their own offerings and bounty, enjoying every moment with your friends and family.


James T. Farmer III was born and raised in Georgia, where he continues to live and work as a landscape designer. He shares his love of food, flowers and photography on his blog All Things Farmer.