Interior designer Charlotte Moss, writing in today’s New York Times, says she “eschews matching dishes and serving pieces.” I’m right with her. White dishes are a basic and table settings can be changed delightfully with linens and accessories, but my daughter bought me these befruited dishes for summer meals. And I always think if a chicken or two can be added to the table so much the better. Although it is hard to see the pretty glasses are embossed (I don’t know the right word) with honey bees, which are so important to the garden. I am fortunate that my son’s partner Michelle Willey has a shop in Boston; she always keeps her eye out for things that appeal to our horticultural tastes.
Charlotte Moss says flowers on the table are a must. Some of my favorite flowers are on this table cloth which is really a length of upholstery fabric left over from a love seat I had reupholstered nearly 40 years ago. Basic white dishes here, but I’ve also used pink and white dishes with this cloth. Note the beautiful handblown pink wineglass made by our neighbor Bob Dane.
Roses for teatime. What could be more delightful – especially when the view out the window is still of snow covered fields. Friends give me roses as gifts, and sometimes I find an odd rosy plate or jug at an ‘antique’ store.
We would all agree with Charlotte that serving pieces are a way to add interest, possibly horticultural interest, to the table. I had the peony printed oval platter shipped in our crate from China, never dreaming I could have bought it in many inexpensive U.S. stores. The bamboo platter was a gift and perfect for hors d’oevres. I’ve added the Italian pitcher because chickens are always a suitable and charming addition. Wasn’t it Oscar Wilde who once said he hoped he would be worthy of his blue and whites. My blue and white dishes are not of that class, luckily for me, but blue and white is almost as basic as white.
It was a surprise to me to look around my house and see how many horticultural motifs there are in curtains, duvet covers, and cushions as well as on the table. Does this theme happen to everyone, or just to gardeners?