So Hard to Choose: Top 10 Favorite Tablescapes!

I’m sharing 10 of my favorite tablescapes in celebration of Susan’s 500th Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch! 

Tablescape Thursday at BNOTP was one of the first linky parties I participated in 8 years ago and it still continues to be a weekly favorite. In addition to all my tabletop fun, I have Susan to thank for contributing to my ever-increasing dish pantry and dwindling storage space. ;)

Narrowing it down to 10 favorite tables was much harder than I imagined, but I preserved and dug back into the archives of 2011 to find a few of my favorites. As some of these tables may be new to you, click on the link provided to revisit the table for sources, more photos and complete details.

My Grandmother’s Flower Garden

This is a favorite table from 2012 because of the memories of my grandmother. This hexagon quilt pattern is known by several names. . . French Bouquet, French Rose Garden, Hexagon Flower Garden, or more commonly, Grandmother’s Flower Garden. This heirloom quilt came from my grandmother and was the inspiration for this table with rose-folded napkins and some teatime treats, including brownie bites and open face cucumber sandwiches decorated with edible violas.

More Loggerhead Love

My loggerhead love table was inspired by a family vacation to Harbor Island, South Carolina and a recorded number of 64 turtle nests in a 3 mile-stretch-of-beach.

You can’t help cheer on these little turtle hatchlings knowing their odds of survival with all the sea life predators.

Sculpted shells and chocolate turtle hatchlings washed ashore on a brown sugar beach to add to some summer fun at the table!

How to Find Flower Fairies

Suspend your disbelief and enter the Flower Fairies’ magical realm with a table designed with fantasy over function. How to Find Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker is a treat for the young at heart, after all only true believers are able to see the fairies.

My table was inspired by a book review at Jain’s blog, ‘Food for Thought’ and prompted me to take the blogging leap back in 2010. Jain was also the inspiration and creative spirit behind The Novel Bakers, and no long blogs at FFT {*sniff*} but you can find her living a beautiful and quiet life, here.

Help yourself to some Fairy Cake, layered with lemon curd, whipped cream, berries, edible flowers and chocolate confection mushrooms!

Fantasy Island Getaway

My fantasy island getaway table is from 2011 and was in celebration of our 27th wedding anniversary. This August marks 34 years. Instead of an exotic tropical island locale like Turks and Caicos, Grand Cayman or St. Maarten, we stayed home and boated over to dine at one of 96 islands on Lake Norman.

The modern 27th wedding anniversary gift is sculpture, so I sculpted a Sand Castle for our table.

You Say Tomato

Nothing says ‘summer’ like a garden fresh tomato!

A favorite garden urn provides a casual centerpiece of tomatoes, wild grapevine and pokeberry and came together without any fuss. . . just piles of tomatoes and vines in an easy and organic way.

Enjoy a taste of summer with recipes for Heirloom Tomato Carpaccio Salad and favorite Heirloom Tomato Pie.

Off To The Races Derby-Inspired Tablescape

One of my favorite things to do when it comes to tablescaping is to create a table around a theme or holiday and this Kentucky Derby inspired table fits the bill!

A table inspired by the “Run for the Roses” and with plaid and roses married in Lauren Skylar Floral plates and served with floral flatware.

The unbridled spirit of 14 Hands wine is chilling in celebration! Napkins are dressed in their Derby finery. Mint Julep Cups are serving as vases filled with azalea blooms and sprigs of mint and a burlap tablecloth provides a foundation and texture in contrast to the sparkling surfaces of the crystal and silver.

Easter’s on its Way Table: Plaid, Bunnies, Eggs and Tulips

An Easter parade of pastels with a playful plaid tablecloth and my wedding china, Fitz and Floyd Classique d’Or, paired with coordinating Tulipe d’Or salad plates and mugs with their vibrant blooms.

The bunnies were the inspiration for the Easter table, dressed in pastel foil Easter finery.

I set the table two ways, which you can see by clicking the link above, playing with flowers and dishes, and a centerpiece of tulips in a vase with jelly beans that look like speckled eggs.

Forest Feast Gatherings Floral/Edible Table Runner 

I love adding a little nature to the table and this natural table runner was quick and easy to assemble using items from the back yard and the grocery store! Pomegranates, artichokes, apples, and pears join Baby Boo pumpkins, maple leaves, green oak leaves, lorepetalum foliage, hydrangea blooms and votives, making for a casual and organic natural runner.

Robert Sprays by Wedgwood was a favorite antique mall find and can be seen at an alfresco table, here.

Woodland Table with Birds and Winter Nesting in the Potting Shed

Winter Fauna salad plates and bird ornaments are enjoying a little winter nesting with a seed buffet and chalkboard runner for tabletop dining in the Potting Shed.

A Visit From St. Nicholas Christmas Table

A tartan Christmas table is set by the tree with Fitz and Floyd St. Nicholas dinnerware

Along with the table I took a little creative license with thr poem inspired by the Christmas classic A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement C. Moore.

I hope you enjoyed this little walk down memory lane and table retrospective! Ask me next week and my top 10 favorite tablescapes may have changed. ;) You find other tablescapes by searching by category ‘tablescapes’ on the sidebar, here.

Thank you Susan for sharing your table love and providing me with inspiration for 500 weeks. ♥

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

Tablescape Thursday

  50 comments for “So Hard to Choose: Top 10 Favorite Tablescapes!

  1. Kathy Menold
    April 26, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Amazing collection of tablescapes. All so beautiful. You are so creative. Thankyou.

  2. Karen
    April 26, 2018 at 7:20 am

    I could never choose just one of these absolutely stunning tablescapes. I love them all. Each one is more beautiful than the next.

  3. Nancy
    April 26, 2018 at 7:35 am

    It was so fun to revisit these with you!

  4. Stacey
    April 26, 2018 at 7:36 am

    Love all of your beautiful tablescapes! Thanks for being so inspiring!

  5. Nancy
    April 26, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful tablescapes. I am an antique dealer and also have done several tablescapes for charity dinners and teas and many museum displays in the last twenty five years. Luckily, I have photos of all of those events. For the last several month, I have been burdened with downsizing so that we can move to a condo when my husband retires next year. Just the thought of determining which china stays and which china goes has been overwhelming (and depressing) to say the least. When I opened your post this morning and saw your beautiful tables, I walked down my memory lane and was reminded of just why I have so many dishes, silver and linens. The love of beautiful things should not be a burden. Your post today inspired me to also SHARE my lovely things. But in another way. I have changed my mindset and intend to GIVE away most of my lovely things to those less fortunate so that they may experience the joy of setting a beautiful table. Your posts will continue to be a source of enjoyment and inspiration to me when I move into that condo with very little storage space.

    • Ellen
      April 26, 2018 at 10:39 am

      I have spent many years collecting things that I love, not for their worth, simply because they have given me pleasure. One finds as we grow older that in time these treasures will need to find new lives with someone other than ourselves. I have sadly discovered that many of my “loves” are not those of my children. I used to joke that there would be a tremendous yard sale of my things the day after I died. Truthfully, my treasures deserve a better fate. YOU have inspired me to SHARE and GIVE away my treasures too! I once read these words long ago : “He who gives while he lives, knows where it goes.” – Unknown by me. Thank-you Nancy!

    • April 28, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      I’m going to have to face that one day, too, Nancy (gulp), and I have come to the same conclusion. I love the mindset you’ve adopted; having lovely things should not be a burden, and giving them away to others is a way of passing on all the joy we’ve experienced. Brava!

  6. April 26, 2018 at 7:43 am

    WOW. Love all the pics. My favorite ones are the ones with the lilacs and the seashell candle holders.

  7. April 26, 2018 at 7:54 am

    I can only imagine how difficult it is to pick ten tablescapes, since everyone you have shown us over the years is a work of art! Thank you for all of your posts!!

  8. April 26, 2018 at 8:08 am

    These are all amazing!! It would be hard to pick a fav from any of these…everytime I think I have a favorite, a new one is published..again, thank you for including us in your favs…❤️🌹💐🍄🌼🌺🌷

  9. Susie
    April 26, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Just love your Grandmother’s quilt on the table! Such a wonderful *Southern* way of honoring heritage and so elegant!
    Thanks for all these wonderful tablescapes!

  10. April 26, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Mary, what an amazing feast for my eyes on this rainy Thursday morning. I could not possibly choose a favorite of these 10, I love them all. The Grandmother’ Flower Garden quilt resembles the quilt that I inherited from my Grandmother. I have wanted to use it in a Tablescape and haven’t. I am inspired to do that in the future. As always, Mary your tablescapes are gorgeous!

  11. Karen Wright
    April 26, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Magnificently Beatiful!!! Nothing better than lovely tablescapes, especially the ALFRESCO ones…(My Fav)!!! They make my day!!!
    Grandmother’s Flower Garden-just love the quilt and colors-amazing! Off to the races and Easter’s on its Way–love all things plaid!!! Fantasy Island Getaway-spectacular setting!!! Thanks for celebrating with Susan and sharing your lovely Tablescapes! Happy Thursday, Mary!

  12. April 26, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Wasn’t this a fun challenge Mary, and oh so difficult too! It’s also fun to see what everyone’s favorites are, and your choices are some of my very favorites too. Who can forget that beautiful flower covered fairy cake, and the sandy sandcastle!! Your tomato scape is my all time favorite, I think that one inspired me to start blogging! Happy 500!

  13. April 26, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Looking at the tablescapes I was wondering what you do about using quilts or fine linens or antique linens or expensive new linens? Most of these are not washable. I just had this issue…made a new table runner from fabric I have loved for years. I put it on the table and my almost 11 year old was bringing Nana her “special coffee” cappuccino. A bit of foam flew up and onto the new that day runner and he looked devastated. Before his Mama could say a word…some spilled a bit onto wood table also…I said THANK YOU and told him how delicious it looked and had a sip even before wiping anything up. Fortunately the small spots were on cream fabric and I was able to Shout pen them and then dap with clear water. They came out. I always set my kitchen farm table as well as the dining room table. The five grandchildren often eat in the kitchen for larger holidays and for daily dining in the dining room with adults…dh, myself, and two daughters. I want them to know about having family dinners in a beautiful setting. Three of them are boys and it is even more important to them because they need to know in case their partner some day does not or if they entertain alone. I have often used clear coverings but it is a pain because you have to remove them to have the table look lovely the rest of the day and that requires moving all the “stuff” I have for my tablescape. Any ideas for me?

  14. Granny Gay:)
    April 26, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Every picture included is a joy to behold…thank you for sharing your favorites (for now).

  15. Dorinda Selke
    April 26, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Hi Mary – I was surprised at how many of your beautiful, inspiring tablescapes I remembered. I have been retired since 2010 due to severe Fibromyalgia so I guess it’s been longer than I thought! So nice to see them once again. Hugs, Dorinda

  16. April 26, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Wow I remember so many of these. You are so creative with your fruits, vegetables and flowers! This is fun looking back at all these TT shared posts!

  17. Karen Cook
    April 26, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Love all the tables. Think you missed some of my favorite tables–most of the Halloween spectaculars!

  18. Virginia
    April 26, 2018 at 10:32 am

    With so many beautiful tablescapes you have made this very difficult. I finally chose the tribute to your Grandmother because your love for her definitely comes through in your design. I too have a Grandmother’s Flower Garden which my Granny made for me over 50 years ago. It’s still so pretty and treasured as your is. Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring.

  19. Debbie
    April 26, 2018 at 10:45 am

    These are some of my favorites, too. Then again, who am I kidding they are ALL my favorites. Thanks again for the beautiful inspiration, Mary.

  20. April 26, 2018 at 10:45 am

    I would think you would have had to ponder over this list quite a while, Mary, you have so many gorgeous tables! I loved seeing which ones you chose. What a treat to go back and see so many favorites!! What a special place we have at Susan’s Tablescape Thursday to share such talents.

  21. Cheryl
    April 26, 2018 at 10:49 am

    I love them all. They are magnificent and beautiful and lush and rich. But my favorite has to be the very first one – Grandma’s Flower Garden.

  22. Ellen
    April 26, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Your Tablescapes are always beautiful, as well as creative. I find it impossible to choose a favorite, they are all favorites. It is a special treat to see some from your archives. Curiosity makes me wonder how many tablescapes you have shared, it would seem that it must be 500 or more! Thank-you, you add sunshine on this rainy day. P.S. I hope that I have not offended you by adding my thoughts to Nancy’s comment. She just touched my heart and I had to respond.

  23. April 26, 2018 at 11:23 am

    All of your tablescapes are my favorites, but here I am absolutely in love with You Say Tomato. Perhaps it’s the season, but that one is calling my name this week. I am really enjoying all of these posts of favorite table settings. I missed the boat on that, but I may do one anyway next week.

  24. Gail
    April 26, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Good luck picking your favorite among this lovely collection

  25. April 26, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Every single one of them is my favorite!

  26. Catherine LUXEREAU
    April 26, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Bonsoir Mary ..toutes vos tables et décors de tables sont magiques…j ai un faible pour les tables de Noël mais j aime celle avec le lilas et aussi celle “bord de mer”…j aimerais avoir votre créativité…dommage que vous soyez très loin car je prendrais bien des cours (lecons) avec vous !

    • April 28, 2018 at 6:06 am

      Merci Catherine pour tes gentils commentaires et visites! ♥

  27. April 26, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Oh my gosh, Mary, all your tables are absolutely stunning, and I love looking at each and every one. I do have to admit that the grandma flower garden, the fairy one, and the edible autumn runner one rank up really high for me. O h my, I forgot the Woodland Bird one that you did in the potting shed. LOL! I guess, they’re all my favorites, Mary! One of these days, Cissy and I will have to make that gorgeous fairy cake. Wouldn’t she have fun creating that?? Thank you for letting us revisit all these pretty tables.

  28. April 26, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Mary, I hold you equally responsible with Susan for my budget busting tableware buying and musical shelves, drawers and cabinets in trying to find storage for it all! Your tables are always so fabulous, with amazing attention to detail. And, if that wasn’t enough, you provide the most wonderful recipes to accompany them. Since starting my own blog six months ago I have come to appreciate what you do even more, as I realize how much work, time and talent go into your posts.

  29. April 26, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    I cannot imagine you having to choose 10 tables from your vast library of the most gorgeous tablescapes! Such a major event and accomplishment of Susan…She is one of the people that I started following when I discovered blogs…Susan is talented (as you) and truly a kind and generous person…Beautiful tables Mary…so great to see them again to celebrate Susan’s 500th!

  30. Donna C
    April 26, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Wow!! They are all so gorgeous! I especially love the Fairy Cake itself. OMG that is amazing!

  31. Michelle W
    April 26, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Mary, your tablescapes are always so creative and beautiful to behold. I know I’m not the only one who wishes they could join you at your table! Your blog has inspired me over the years in my own decorating and entertaining. Sometimes I visit “Home Is Where The Boat Is” when I need to de-stress and I feel instantly happier and rejuvenated. Thank you for sharing your gifts!

  32. franki
    April 26, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful!!! If I HAD to pick “just one” it would be Flower Fairies!! That Susan…she is such an influence, huh!! Adore both of your blogs!!! franki

  33. Jane Marie Greene
    April 26, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    All beautiful…but the Flower Fairies table setting is stunning and so tranquil. I just love it!!! Setting a beautiful table tells a person they are truly loved.

  34. April 26, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    I’m entranced by all your tables — I look forward to seeing each one. You have such a creative way to bring your tablescapes up a notch or two. For this set, I particularly like “My Grandmother’s Flower Garden”. It’s pretty on its own and I have a quilt very much like it that my parents received as a wedding gift.

  35. April 27, 2018 at 12:07 am

    Mary, I loved a look back with you. Susan and her Tablescape Thursdays is one of the reasons I began my blog. I’m going to be late to this party because I’m still at work pulling a post together. I didn’t know about this till yesterday and little time here. But in honor of Susan, I really want to follow through. It is difficult to wade through years of tablescapes. Ha! Ha! Like you, I have Susan to point a finger to as to why my cupboards are full! Well, you’ve played a role in that too! Honestly you and Susan create the most amazing tables, time and time again. Your creativity and skill at photography is inspiring. Thanks, dear friend for continuing to inspire!

  36. Susan Harrelson
    April 27, 2018 at 3:06 am

    Every table setting is stunning and very creative. I often draw my inspiration from your designs. Thank you!

  37. April 27, 2018 at 6:08 am

    Yep, it was Tablescape Thursday that started everything for me too! Fun tables Mary, lovin’ everything from my favorite cake to the plaid. Oh, and the warm sun, nice to see it… somewhere:@)

  38. Cyndi Raines
    April 27, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Mary, your tables are total works of art! Love them all. Want to do a Fairy cake sometime in the near future. We went to the Biltmore yesterday, totally awesome! I have wanted to go there for 30 years and I finally made it. Also did a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, awesome views. This “lowlander” got a little woosey with all the snakey curves so we didn’t stay on too long, plus I wanted to get to the Biltmore, but enjoyed it all. Love your state. Today we are headed to the Billy Graham homestead and library and then onward north up 77, so we will pass by your beautiful Lake Norman and I’ll be sure to shout out a hello to you and a wave. Love ya girl! 😁

    • April 28, 2018 at 5:45 am

      Hi Cyndi, I thought that you I saw waving from the highway. ;) I’m glad you made it to Biltmore and the Blue Ridge Parkway is definitely worth the drive! I always feel like I should dose myself with some Dramamine before we start our zig zap climb along up the mountain. We’ve been a soggy mess with 4 inches of rain since Monday but the sun was out yesterday and it looks like it will be a beautiful weekend. I hope the rain didn’t impact your sightseeing too much. Safe travels to you, especially on 77. ♥

  39. April 27, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. I remember almost every single one of these, and it’s funny because a few of my favorites didn’t make the list. BUT the How to Find Flower Fairies might be my very favorite! I love it so much!!! LOVE this post! Enjoy your weekend!

  40. April 27, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    My fave has to be the Flower Fairies table! They are all so creative and beautiful and you sure have a talent for decorating.That one speaks serenity to me. Another fave is the fresh tomato centerpiece. Only you could make a pot of tomatoes look so inviting! Love them all!

  41. April 28, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Your creativity never ceases to amaze me, Mary!! This was such a delicious treat to walk down memory lane with you. Such wonderfully inspiring tables…thank you for sharing your visions with us!

  42. April 29, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Mary, your tables are so pretty and yet creative. Difficult to select a favorite. This gives me a chance to see all of your favorites grouped together. Happy Sunday.

  43. April 29, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    So fun walking down memory lane, what makes me smile the most was challenging you to set up on your island! The nbs should have a reunion in 2019 when my garden will be about 6″ tall! I miss all my living props, but I’m working on them! You have Loads of fun fun fun!

  44. Rita C.
    April 30, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Susan’s 500th happened while I was away, but I saved yours until I returned to visit – oh my! These are so outstanding, Mary! I love the early tables – esp Race for the Roses Derby and the Fantasy Island tables – you were so creative right from your start! All of these are so good, so very good. Lol, I’m trying to blame Susan for my bulging dish pantry(ies!) too.

  45. Edene Riggs
    September 30, 2020 at 8:42 am

    How wonderful–such beautiful tables!

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