Floral Friday: Alfresco Spring Table and Urn Centerpiece


Our spring weather has been all over the map with freeze warnings, rain, blustery winds and a tornado watch last week. We’re enjoying some sunshine and warm spring weather this week so I set an alfresco spring table in celebration!

It’s also the third Friday of the month which means I’m joining my talented blogging friends for Floral Friday!

You’ll find their links for more floral inspiration and flower therapy at the bottom of this post.

I started with a garden urn as a centerpiece. It has a distressed white finish that makes it a favorite container to use for an alfresco table or garden setting. It’s not watertight, so I placed a plastic container inside and secured it with waterproof floral tape. Instead of using floral foam, a piece of chicken wire makes for easy arranging to support the flower stems in the arrangement.

Our laurel shrubs are covered in their signature white spring blooms, so I cut some greenery with blooms as a base for the arrangement.

 Alstroemeria and Charmelia from the grocery store provide some spring pink and yellow color to the arrangement.

Our Bridal Wreath Spirea has been beautiful this spring and I added some sprigs to tuck in the arrangement.

For a long-lasting arrangement, add a packet of commercial floral preservative to the water that comes with your flowers. If you don’t have any floral preservative you can mix your own with this easy formula:


Mix one part lemon-lime soda (regular, not diet) to three parts water, along with 1/2 teaspoon of bleach. The citric acid in the soda helps the water travel up the stems to the flowers more rapidly, while providing food in the form of sugar. The bleach helps fight the growth of bacteria, allowing the flowers to stay hydrated and fresh.


Other tips to help your cut flowers last:

Cut the stems of your flowers at a 45-degree angle one inch from the bottom for maximum water uptake.

Remove all leaves below the waterline to prevent bacteria in the water.

Keep your arrangement out of direct sunlight.

If possible, change your water in your arrangement every two days.


A Ralph Lauren Antibes Floral Red tablecloth was blooming on the aisles of HomeGoods back in March. I love the cottage garden feeling that it evoked. It’s providing a floral foundation for a set of Portmeirion Botanic Garden plates.

Cabbage leaf plates add a little spring green to frame the botanical plates, while willow chargers provide some contrasting texture.



Our azaleas are popping this week

Portmeirion Botanic Garden flatware is a favorite pattern to use in the spring with the embossed blooms and butterflies.




Visit my blogging friends to see their beautiful floral inspiration this week:

Pam at Everyday Living

 Lidy at FrenchGardenHouse

Shirley at Housepitality Designs


 Dinnerware / Portmeirion Botanic Garden, used here

Cabbage Chargers  / Bordallo Pinheiro, Tuesday Morning, several years ago

Willow Chargers / HomeGoods, last fall

Goblets / Mikasa French Countryside

  Flatware / Portmeirion Botanic Garden

Ralph Lauren Antibes Floral Red Tablecloth & Napkins / HomeGoods, used here

Urn / retail days

Thank you for your visit!

Sharing with:  Between Naps on the Porch


  48 comments for “Floral Friday: Alfresco Spring Table and Urn Centerpiece

  1. April 20, 2018 at 6:35 am

    Doing a Happy Dance seeing your gorgeous centerpiece and table outdoors by the lake! As always a most elegant and charming flower arrangement…..accompanied with great tips!! I so love the fact that you were also able to use the flowers from your gardens. It truly has been a roller coaster of a Spring here too…we had freeze warnings last night into early this morning…We scurried around when we arrived home late last night to bring in the plants/flowers that I so anxiously bought last week…So wonderful to to be a part of this group with you Mary! Happy Friday and Fridays are even better with flowers!! ~ ~ Have a wonderful weekend too!

  2. Lori Wheet
    April 20, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Stunning table setting! Gorgeous photos.

  3. Karen Wright
    April 20, 2018 at 7:28 am

    YES!!! Beatiful floral arrangement! Beautiful urn! Beautiful table cloth! Beautiful table setting!!! And most magnificent alfresco setting!!! MY FAV!!! Happy Friday, Mary!!! 🌸🌸🌸🌸👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

  4. April 20, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Good Morning Mary, I always look forward to your beautiful tables and lake views! Spring has been a long time coming and I’m ready for it to get here already! Thank you for the flower arranging tips. Your garden urn is perfect filled with your flowers. Happy Weekend ;)

  5. April 20, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Mary, what a beautiful idyllic setting! The blooming urn filled with laurel and Bridal Wreath Spirea from your garden and alstroemeria and charmelia from the grocery is stunning on your alfresco table. Your tutorials are always so helpful and informative! The Antibes floral tablecloth is perfect with the Portmeirion Botanic Garden plates, which incidentally I recently purchased for myself. I love the spring of laurel tucked in the plate stack. With the backdrop of azaleas in bloom and the peaceful lake, I could spend hours at your gorgeous table! I love spending Floral Friday with you❤️

  6. Gail
    April 20, 2018 at 8:05 am

    All so very pretty especially the laurel blooms

  7. April 20, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Up here in northen New England we still have snow on the ground, tulips are starting to poke up thru the frozen ground. It’s been a very long winter. Looking at your beautiful flower arrangements is just what i needed to give me some hope that Spring is really just around the corner. I am already dreaming about having breakfast in our courtyard with a vase filled with my garden flowers on the table. Thank you for the inspiration.

  8. Kathy Menold
    April 20, 2018 at 8:33 am

    Weather here has turned cold again. So nice to look at your beautiful table setting. Went to an herb festival yesterday and bought lots of plants but will have to wait to do the planting. Such a frustrating spring in the southeast.Getting a bit tired of trying lots in and out from the deck. Please Mother Nature have some mercy on us poor gardeners!!

  9. Alice
    April 20, 2018 at 8:46 am

    I love that you shopped in your yard for some of the flowers in this gorgeous arrangement. One of my favorites I used to make when I lived in North Carolina was bridal wreath and iris. The iris don’t last very long but they are so beautiful and the bridal wreath will drop some of its white flowers but I love how they sprinkle little white flowers around the arrangement. A big arrangement is my favorite and the smell is sweet also.

  10. April 20, 2018 at 9:18 am

    What a beautiful floral arrangement you’ve created, Mary! The laurel and spirea added to the pretty flowers is so attractive. Your table setting is just perfect with your pretty dishes, flatware and cottage style tablecloth. I could sit at your table for hours, and hours, and just enjoy the water view and the pretty azaleas. Happy weekend to you, dear Mary!

  11. Sue Wallin
    April 20, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Thank you Mary! Still cold and windy, and not without snow somedays here in Idaho…so what a sight for sore eyes your blog, as well as your friend’s blogs are!
    Thank you for all your great tips and information, and a delightful vacation!

  12. April 20, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Oh how I wish I could dine al fresco…and with you would be even better!!!!! Our Spring has been a roller coaster as well, I am NOT enjoying this cold and wind but at least it isn’t snowing!!!! I hope you have a beautiful, SPRING weekend. Your table and arrangement make me happy. Thanks for all the tips too:) LOVE that flatware!

  13. Linda
    April 20, 2018 at 9:55 am

    What a lovely table setting. The only thing missing is me 😊

  14. April 20, 2018 at 10:03 am

    It’s simply stunning Mary! I love the laurel, so pretty, and of course I always envy your garden that is full of so many blooms to play with!! Such a beautiful setting, bursting with flowers everywhere! Glad you’re weather is settling down, and you can play outside. Always great tips and inspiration, floral Friday is fabulous!

  15. Cyndi Raines
    April 20, 2018 at 10:28 am

    What a beautiful table and view! Just gorgeous! Crushing on that flatware! Love the shape of the urn and your own flowers gives it the finishing touch! Love your water Mary and the fact that you have such a lovely yard is like a little bit of heaven on earth. Sweeeeeet!

  16. April 20, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Mary, oh.my.goodness. What a gorgeous, gorgeous setting for your beautiful table. If only I could transport myself there, together with Shirley and Pam, what a lovely time we could have!! Mary, your outdoor centerpiece is stunning. I am always inspired and delighted when I visit your lovely spot. Thank you, friend. Xoxo Lidy

  17. Theresa Keller
    April 20, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Beautiful flower arrangement! thank you and Happy Friday!

  18. April 20, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Gorgeous!! The table cloth is a beautiful foundation for your place settings and that fabulous centerpiece!! Your floral tips are always appreciated. Have a wonderful weekend!

  19. April 20, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Oh soooo, pretty! I am very envious of your beautiful weather…and that tablecloth…and those dishes…and the flower garden! The only things I have that is the same are the green plates & a similar urn. You inspire me, Mary!!

  20. Meredith
    April 20, 2018 at 11:35 am

    On the way to Boston we drove by Lake Norman, what a beautiful place to call home. I love you table arrangements and your blog.

  21. Catherine LUXEREAU
    April 20, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Bonsoir Mary, c’est ravissant…très joli bouquet printanier !!! Je vous souhaite un excellent week-end avec beacoup de soleil et de fleurs ! :-)

    • April 20, 2018 at 6:31 pm

      Merci Catherine! Je vous souhaite la même chose 🌸🌿🌺🐝🌻🌞

  22. April 20, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Beautiful as ever!! We are still waiting for Spring! UGH!!!

  23. Marilyn
    April 20, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Mary your flowers are beautiful.

  24. Joan
    April 20, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Lovely table setting. You always have the prettiest table.

  25. Marion
    April 20, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Mary the Azaleas are gorgeous. I like your plates.

  26. Marina Brivio
    April 20, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Very very beautifull Gable!!!👍

  27. Marina Brivio
    April 20, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Very very beautiful table…I 💗 Ralph Lauren home👍

    • April 21, 2018 at 6:32 am

      Thank you Marina!

  28. April 20, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    What a lovely feast for the eyes today with your beautiful table and the lake and spring flowers in the background. I love your Portmerion Botanic Garden pattern stacked with Bordello Pinheiro chargers on the lovely Ralph Lauren tablecloth. So cheery and pretty. I was intrigued by your laurel shrubs. Your arrangement is very creative with artistic choices in plant material. I did not know what charmelia was. Fun to learn. Bridal wreath was a great addition.

    • April 21, 2018 at 6:32 am

      Thank you Bonnie, I just discovered Charmelia myself a couple of months ago. I’m seeing at the grocery store all the time now and it lasts for about 3 weeks. Happy Weekend ♥

  29. franki
    April 20, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Gees…I have that garden urn. and we have the very same azaleas “popping out” all over!! The tree peony “hatched” today…your spring flowers are a beacon!! franki

    • April 21, 2018 at 6:29 am

      Enjoy the blooms and peonies Franki! Happy Weekend ♥

  30. April 20, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    O.M.G.!!!Breathtaking!Your pictures are fabulous! Magnificent!!!

    • April 21, 2018 at 6:28 am

      Thank so much Maristella. Happy Weekend!

  31. Virginia
    April 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    So pretty!

    • April 21, 2018 at 6:28 am

      Thank you Virginia. ♥

  32. April 20, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    It looks like a perfect spring day lakeside! I love arranging flowers in an urn, and your chicken wire flower frog made me immediately think of my mom. She was made such flower frogs for many of her vases. I inheritated her glass and metal flower frogs. I rarely use them, but would never part with them. Happy Floral Friday. This is a wonderful series!

    • April 21, 2018 at 6:26 am

      Hi Sarah, It will be perfect spring day here as soon as the pollen subsides…we should have stock in Nasacort and Zyrtec :) Hope you’re enjoying some beautiful spring weather in Texas. ♥

  33. Michele (Finch Rest)
    April 21, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Golly, that is truly stunning. I pinned it – there’s something just so perfect about this tablescape – I cannot WAIT for it to warm up enough here to dine outdoors. We don’t get great weather here so I sure hope to be free to take advantage of nice weather soonish. Thanks for the beautiful inspirations – love love love your blog, tutorials and tablescapes – that view is stunning.

  34. April 22, 2018 at 8:52 am

    Thanks for the spring fever fix! Thrilled you are loading, fingers crossed it’s the way of my future ;-)

  35. April 22, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Mary, We have lots of mountain laurel here but I don’t think I ever see the flowering laurel shrubs you have. I love them! I’m not sure we can grow them and have them bloom here but I’m going to look into it for my next garden!! Your urn is amazing with the mix of yard and store blooms. So gorgeous! The idea of Floral Fridays makes me so happy and I’m looking forward to all the beauty and inspiration from you in the weeks to come. Linda

  36. Dianna
    April 22, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    I beautiful arrangements. Makes me want to try growing plants, again. It’s really hard dor me to grow anything here in Northern Nevada.

  37. May 3, 2018 at 10:34 am

    I have a nice collection of urns. I need to make a centerpiece like this. Just gorgeous, Mary!

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