Lilacs & Daylight Tablescape


I was thrilled to have found lilac bundles at Trader Joe’s about six weeks ago, which was the inspiration for this table~ a surprise as delightful to me as their fragrance~ and the only way to enjoy them here since our climate is too warm for them to grow.

I pulled out my Mikasa Daylight Dinnerware for this table~ instead of dining with butterflies, I’m feasting on quilted fields of flowers with the lilacs~

Little clusters of flowers on the lilacs diffuse their heady fragrance, that I arranged with white hydrangeas and the new, green blooms of Chinese snowball viburnum  for a centerpiece.

I love the viburnum’s first lime-hued blooms, that appear before they transition to white. . .their arrival holding the promise of the flowers to come. . .

. . .and whose blooms are the same vibrant shade of the leaves on my Mikasa Daylight pattern~ a hue that reminds me of the energetic, new growth of spring~  trailing across the plates, winding their way inside the bowls & outside the cups.

Since our style is relaxed at the lake, quilts are my table covering of choice~ since they serve double-duty on beds as well as the table and best of all . . .don’t require ironing :-)

A few open-face cucumber sandwiches garnished with the last of the violas (organic!) and basil leaves for fresh-from-the- garden flavor~

And a cup of Chilled Berry Soup, recipe courtesy Southern Living

While the recipe called for blueberries, I used a medley of berries that I had in the freezer.

Refreshing and light for hot summer weather . . .

 And fun for a lunch with the girls, served with a salad garnished with the last of the violas and edible organic nasturtiums. . .

Strawberry Fields Salad, recipe courtesy Southern Living

A flavorful as well as colorful combination of strawberries, nectarines, feta cheese, green tomatoes, glazed pecans, and fresh basil~ on a bed of mixed baby salad greens~

 This 5- Star rated recipe is served with Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing. Not a huge fan of Poppy Seed Dressing, we enjoy Balsamic or Raspberry Vinaigrette on this salad. Adding a rotisserie chicken, would make this an entrée salad to be enjoyed in hot weather without heating up the kitchen!

“What makes lilacs treasured is not the years they can accumulate, however, but the beauty of their flowers, which come just as the last memory of winter and its ice and snow and barrenness are passing away in the May sun. They flower exuberantly then, hundreds of cobs of bloom appearing over gaunt, gray trunks. That conjunction is itself an emblem of the renewal of the year, but we wonder whether without the fragrance peculiar to lilacs they would matter so much.”

 – Our Life in Gardens

Please Eat the Flowers  :-) Lunch Menu

Lemonade Iced Tea~ with Floral Ice Cubes, how to courtesy Martha Stewart

Open Face Cucumber Sandwiches~ a mosaic “how-to” can be found in my post here.

Chilled Berry Soup~

Strawberry Fields Salad~

 Lilac & Daylight Table details:

Dishes/ Mikasa Daylight Dinnerware

Contoured chargers/ World Market

Flatware/Portmeirion Botanic Garden/HomeGoods

Green Goblets & Napkins/HomeGoods

Bird Napkin Rings & Green Urn/ Pottery Barn

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Metamorphosis MondayThe Scoop,
 Tablescape Thursday

  65 comments for “Lilacs & Daylight Tablescape

  1. July 6, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Wonderful !!

  2. PJ
    July 6, 2011 at 6:27 am

    You should be a stylist for magazine photo shoots, and I’m TOTALLY serious! This post BLEW ME AWAY! It’s one of the loveliest tablescapes I’ve seen…..and so much punch came from Mother Nature! LOVE the quilt! Drooled over it, in fact. And the green glass ware….and the dishes….and the use of Johnny Jump ups and lilacs…and the SALAD!!! Okay, loved EVERYTHING!!!!!

  3. July 6, 2011 at 9:04 am

    just breathing it all in… so tranquil, so relaxing, so perfect… where did you find the energy after your party weekend, i would be napping on the boat…

    i cannot tell you how much i love your shots… oh wait i have… but truly, its like coming home here, its all i embrace in my life, beauty, joy, loveliness…

    i always leave with a heavy sigh…

  4. July 6, 2011 at 9:34 am

    You’ve set a divine table for outdoor dining! Love the plant combinations in your arrangement. Everything ties in so nicely. I will have to look up those recipes, particularly the soup!

  5. July 6, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Gorgeous, gorgeous table, the food-fabulous, I LOVE lilacs but my three little bushes took a beating this year. :( Everything here is perfection, but then, it is you, Mary, so no surprise. :) xo, (I think you should have your own feature in a magazine.)

  6. July 6, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Mary you have outdone yourself this time! Gorgeous setting, view and lilacs. Breathtaking!
    And the salad! I am speechless!

  7. July 6, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Your posts fill my senses! How do you do it, Mary? Each post is extraordinary and full of the most amazing shots. Your table may be simple, but it is truly exquisite. I think I’ll just linger awhile and take it all in again and again. ~ sarah

  8. July 6, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Fantabulous! I love that quilt with every fiber of my being!

  9. Happier Than A Pig in Mud
    July 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Lovin’ your pretty quilt Mary and the green and purple are just beautiful! Fun flowers and fun food, bet the girls had a great time:@)

  10. July 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    That strawberry salad is one of my favorites!! I gave you another shout out today!
    Come enter my giveaway!

  11. Clare
    July 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I missed lunch and this makes me way too hungry! I’m going home and make that strawberry salad! It’s just beautiful!

  12. July 6, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Mary, breathtaking as usual…..You must have a room just to store your different china sets, crystal, silverware and accessories….! You really, Really, REALLY need to think seriously about putting a book together….A year of tablesettings and menus!

  13. July 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    You have done it again-A+++! I am drooling over the salad and soup. It is so pretty and I would love to taste the violas and nasturtiums. Your Mikasa dinnerware is so pretty especially the shape of the teapot and cups! LIlacs are a treat since we can’t grow them here. When I lived in Alaska I had my own bush and enjoyed it immensely. The lovely vase completes your table so nicely with its texture juxtaposed with the quilt and stemmed glasses along with the woven chargers. I love how you mix things- makes it draw you in. I agree with another blogger above, I need to go back and study each picture. I also agree about putting a book together. I would buy it.

  14. July 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Mary, I’m in awe once again at the beauty you have created. The quilt is absolutely stunning. I love the colors and the stitching and the design of it. I need more purple is all i can say! It’s perfect with daylight! Your flowers are gorgeous. I have killed two lilac bushes in two years, but you make me want to try one more time. I love your skill at pulling the look together so very artistically. ditto on the book! Many blessings, marlis

  15. July 6, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! This is one of my favorite of all the tables you have set, Mary. The purple with the apple green of the plates are quite stunning together…the centerpiece absolutely gorgeous and then to have the water as a backdrop…wow!

  16. July 6, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    This is one of the prettiest tables I ahve seen! That quilt is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The napkins match perfectly and the flowers are exquisite! I am drooling, it is all perfect! XO, Pinky

  17. July 6, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Your blog is one of my absolute favorites! It is always so beautiful! I agree with the above comments, I will be re-visiting time and again and going back–so many beautiful photographs! You are amazing! Soooo lovely!

  18. July 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Your table is stunning and the salads and soup are so interesting! I have never actually eaten flower blossoms, although I do seem them often in recipes. My lilac bushes were quite full here this year, with the mild, rainy spring. Oh, I just scrolled back through your photos and this table is just so beautiful, I am speechless! Linda

  19. July 7, 2011 at 12:05 am

    I love this table. I think your quilt is my favorite thing, but the soup looks delicious. I would have never thought of using flowers as an edible garnish. Beautiful!

  20. July 7, 2011 at 1:53 am

    Such an exquisite setting for an exceptional tablescape! I’m applauding this one with a standing ovation, Mary. I love the acid green shades combined with the deep purple hues. I remember when you told me you found lilacs & I was so happy that you got to inhale their heady fragrance.

    Did you make your quilt? The deeply scalloped border is awesome! I’ve always wanted to try doing one like that.
    Thank you for a ton of eye candy over this past year. You do outstanding creations, truly.

    p.s. Did I tell you I bought the blue goblets?

    • July 8, 2011 at 10:37 am

      Thanks for everyone’s generous comments *blush*….Rett, I’m NOT a quilter, I love them though! I ran across it at Bed, Bath & Beyond :-)

  21. July 7, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Very pretty table, I love your centerpiece and the outdoor setting is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your summer table.

  22. peg
    July 7, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I just loved looking at your tablescape…the contrast of colors, the food, the photography…all excellent! A feast for the!

  23. July 7, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Absolutely gorgeous colors, and such a beautiful tranquil background!

  24. July 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    What a beautiful table. The quilt, centerpiece and dishes all go so very well together!! I LOVE it!!! Sweet napkin rings too!

  25. July 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Absolutely beautiful!

  26. July 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I have never seen lilacs sold like that. They are always so fragile, I wouldn’t have believed they could sell them as cut flowers. How beautiful to pair the Daylight with the lilacs. Your blanket is just beautiful. Both the soup and the salad are works of art. I love edible flowers, they just make everything so beautiful

  27. July 7, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    This is stunning! Love the purples and greens — your artistic arrangement of foods — Picture perfect!

  28. July 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    The flowers, the colors, the table covering, the view! I always want to throw myself on the floor after reading one of your beautiful blog posts. I seriously want to bulldoze this place and head for the ocean.

  29. July 8, 2011 at 12:10 am

    Wow, just wow! I would sit at that table for lunch and still be sitting there as dusk kissed the lake. Thank you for sharing this delightful design. Cherry Kay

  30. July 8, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Hoping you will get this comment as I have been having quite a time trying to leave one tonight!! You made my night Mary….this is such an awesome post. I love lilacs and Lake Life! Truly beautiful. You have a gift…you really do!!

  31. July 8, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Mary, Your tablescape and delicious recipes are a “feast for the senses”!
    I don’t know where to start to tell you how much I LOVE this post. I was working on a tablescape and now I’m ashamed to post it after seeing yours. That happens to me everytime I see your tablescapes. I seriously need to go shopping and take classes in photography and merchandising. But for the moment, I’m going to make the Strawberry Fields salad and cucumber sandwiches. :)
    Hugs and have a great weekend,

  32. July 8, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Your photos are amazing! The colors are so vibrant! The salad looks delicious as well.

  33. July 9, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Found you from the Designs by Gollum linky. I was drawn in by the photo! I’d love for you to swing by Momtrends and share this gorgeous table on our weekly linky. Cheers!

  34. July 10, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Breathtakingly gorgeous; the setting, the china, the quilt tablecloth and the food!

  35. July 10, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I love lilacs and I can’t grow them where I live, either. I had no idea they were sold like that! Something I’ll have to keep an eye open for. Love your tablescape and the salad makes my mouth water. So colorful, too! Very pleasing!

  36. July 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I am in heaven here……….I have gone back through your old posts you referred to here and I am just swooning…….thanks! So many great things!

  37. July 10, 2011 at 5:40 pm


    All of your tablescapes are truly a feast for the senses! The colors are lush, the photography inspired, and the food always makes me hungry :) Thanks for sharing and Happy Seasonal Sunday.


  38. July 11, 2011 at 8:46 am

    This is a magazine worthy post. Each and every picture… just gorgeous! The centerpiece is the star of your table. Such a gorgeous mix of florals. I just love the way you carried the colors and the feel throughout the rest of your table. I just may have to look for those fresh Mikasa dishes!

    I think your food is amazing! So perfectly plated. The little touches of edible blooms add a delightful gracenote!
    I will certainly make both the soup and the salad. They are culinary stars in there own right!
    Thank you for bringing such beauty to OTMM this week. Your talent and impeccable good taste are an inspiration.

  39. July 11, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I really enjoyed your beautiful post, beautiful flowers and beautiful salad. Thanks for sharing and have a great week!
    Miz Helen

  40. Pam
    July 11, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Wow! Gorgeous lakeside setting, gorgeous table and gorgeous food! Well done!


  41. July 11, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    What a gorgeous table and those flowers! Your view is breathtaking too. The salad looks wonderful. Only one question…can I come over? :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  42. July 11, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    I often think of lilacs with a more elegant tablescape. This is so different and inspirational with a an artisnal flare. I really enjoy it.

    Thanks so much for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    – The Tablescaper

  43. Kitty
    July 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    What a gorgeous post!! Your pictures are breathtaking!! I
    wish I was a guest at your beautiful table.

  44. July 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Simply gorgeous and perfect! The food looks wonderful too! I would love to sit there!!

  45. July 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Lilacs are my favorite…the season never lasts long enough. That salad looks beautiful and delicious!!

  46. July 14, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Wonderful setting and recipes. Thanks for sharing. cheers

  47. July 14, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Ah, so lovely! What a gorgeous setting on the lake! I love the flowers and your glasses and the salad is stunning! I live on the south side of Charlotte so we’re not too far from each other.

  48. July 14, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I’m blown away by your beautiful photos, and that salad! All of that flowers are so pretty, and I didn’t know that they are edible.

  49. July 15, 2011 at 7:40 am

    This is a very beautiful post-definitely should be in a magazine! I am going back for another look.


  50. July 15, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Just wonderful. Every single picture is a feast for the eyes.

    I had to smile upon seeing your blog name. We live on a lake and my husband would definitely tell you that home is where the boat is.


  51. July 16, 2011 at 10:59 am

    HI, this is my first time participating in ‘Feathered Nest Friday’ and I am slowly making my way to all the parties.

    What a stunning tablescape you have created!! Gorgeous, just gorgeous! And the food looks divine also. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Have a great weekend.

  52. July 16, 2011 at 11:31 am

    What a breathtaking post!! I absolutely love your setting- so inspiring and gorgeous!! Your table is wonderful- your attention to detail is absolutely amazing!! Thanks for sharing this beautiful post at FNF :)

  53. July 16, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Oh my! What a gorgeous layout! Everything looks so wonderful! That salad looks delicious. I agree with one of the other commenters, these photos should be in a magazine!

  54. July 17, 2011 at 1:53 pm


  55. July 17, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Your table is beautiful. I love the setting and that salad! Thanks for linking this to Home Sweet Home!

  56. July 19, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    This is the MOST beautiful table and al fresco setting I have ever seen! Lilacs are my absolute favorite, and you captured them exquisitely.

  57. Liz
    August 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Every table you do … I think “This is the best one”! This is so elegant and yet simple. The flowers just add to the perfection! Thank you so much for joining in for Fresh-Cut Friday and sharing this post. It is so very pretty! :)

    Have a lovely weekend!

  58. August 5, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    C’est magnifique !
    J’adore !

  59. August 5, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Wow! Absolutely breathtaking! Stunning, stunning, stunning.
    The flowers are spectacular and your table creation glorious. I can’t get enough of this post. Besides being beautiful it also looks so delicious. You are a girl after my own heart because I love using all my quilts on the table too. Thank you for sharing this stunning post.

  60. February 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    WOW! One of the prettiest settings I have ever seen! The mix of colours, patterns, textures and all are just sooo beautiful. The quilt is gorgeous and just makes the scene! I love your choices here. The entire vignette just draws me in…fresh and serene. I should enlarge a pic and print it off to rest on my desk – I’m pretty sure it would lower my blood pressure. Hehe Very magazine worthy!!! You have a lovely talent.

    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  61. March 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Your blog is beautiful! Eye Candy. I am a new follower. patsy

  62. August 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Beautiful…I love Lilacs! I would have never thought to use a quilt for a table cloth…just beautiful!

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