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Spring Birthday Tablesetting

We had a small birthday luncheon for my mother-in-law last weekend and I'd like to share with you some of the little things that made it special.  With the menu already in place, it was time to decide how to set our table.  The color green, in keeping with the arrival of spring, quickly became my theme.  Walking around the house, with all the snowdrops blooming and with many patches of moss in the woodland, I began to think of ways to arrange them.  I also wanted a bit of bright color, so I bought some daffodils from my local florist and began from there.  This is what I did.

Moss was gently placed in soil-filled cafe au lait bowls.  Use a small bristle brush to remove any stray dirt and water your moss immediately.  You'll notice that the daffodils are sitting in tepid water awaiting their turn.  My snowdrops were perfect by themselves.

The daffodils (they were less than $2/doz.) were measured with a ruler, so that they came up just over the rim of my little vase.  I looked for flowers with closed buds & green, healthy stalk tips.  The vase should be filled with tepid water and plant food (or a bit of sugar).

I set them aside as I began arranging the table.  The linens were pressed, the glassware was chosen and my silverware was taken out.

Here's an overview of the table.  The tablecloth was a minty green linen, the napkins were an olive green cotton, the napkin rings were Italian alabaster, the silverware was mismatched and the plates were Wedgwood white bone china.

Within hours, the daffodils began to open up just in time for our guests.  I placed them in the middle and arranged the snowdrops and moss down the length of the table.

Here's a closeup.  The salt & pepper cellars were filled and the glassware was sparkling.

The Menu:
Lemon Chicken Cutlets with Capers & Sherry
Steamed Asparagus
Herbed Orzo with Sundried Tomatoes & Kalamata Olives
Spring Salad with My Signature Vinaigrette
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

When making flower arrangements for the table, please keep in mind that they should be at or below eye level, no higher.  Tall flower arrangements are dramatic, but not good for conversation across your table.  As you can see, I'm not fussy about having everything match.  One of the fun aspects of setting a table is being able to mix textures, colors and materials.  Let the season dictate what you're going to serve and how you're going to present it.  By the way, remember to have fun in the process!   


  1. What happened to the food? It would have been nice to show it. Could you tell me what kind of salt you put in those little containers?

  2. As far as the salt is concerned, I used coarse kosher salt because I like the clean flavor of it. It can be pinched with the tip of your fingers. I also like to use fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt. The food! Well, I had hungry guests & I was ravenous so photographing it didn't even enter my mind. We wanted to eat!

  3. I discovered your blog from Martha Moments. Nice to spoil your mother-in-law like that. Have a great week-end.

  4. Thank you for stopping by Helene! I really love my mother-in-law & she had such a good time with us. Have a good weekend as well!

  5. Oh you are so very sweet in preparing things for your mother-in-law's birthday! She's so lucky enough! But anyway, I like the table set up you made here as well as the moss grass! Very cute and will try to do this thing one of this days. Somehow, you might want to visit one of my favorite chair covers store on the net. Their items are really fabulous and are really perfect if you were having a big party to throw out.

  6. Thank you Victoria! I'm going to have to look at the chair covers you're talking about. Merci!


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