Posts Tagged ‘Hydrangeas’

May Day




Hydrangea Exploded by Qi Wei via

“The world’s favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.”
–  Edwin Way Teale

Happy May Day, love bugs!  What have you got brewing this spring?


How To: Summer Flower Arrangement


During my June beach vacation, I begged Drew’s 89 year old Grandmother, Ruthmary, to give me a flower arranging lesson. Roo-Roo as us “kids” call her is the type of Southern woman you read about in best selling beach novels. She is an amazing cook, gardener and charitable figure in her community yet she drinks bourbon with grace and cracks the wittiest jokes of anyone I know. Her flower arrangements are legendary in her hometown of Wilson, North Carolina and now we can all learn from her years of experience.

Home grown Hydrangeas

Start with a big selection of flowers. Pictured above are Roo-Roo’s hydrangeas and gardenias from her home garden which she transported 2 hours to the beach. She lines her table with newspaper to make a mess on and then throw out after clean up. Smart.


Ruthmary with grennery

She said to make sure your vase is at waist height or above so you can step back to examine the shape as it builds. Line the first layer of your vase with greenery from your garden or florist.


Ruthmary with Hydrangea

Add the largest stalks of flowers to the center and back of your arrangements to start the shape.


Flower Arrangement Structure

These four tall hydrangeas are the foundation of her arrangement but any large blooms will work for this step.


Hydrangea Arrangement

Fill in the front and center of the arrangement with shorter blooms and varied hues to create interest and depth.


Big Hydrangea Arrangement

Continue to fill in more blooms and greenery until your vase is full and your arrangement has a pretty shape.


Gardenias in a Hyrdrangea bouquet

Now add in some smaller flowers in contrasting colors and shapes. She added gardenias (which Roo-Roo would have wrapped with floral wire to keep from dropping if she had some) and some pale pink flowers and shooting star hydrangeas for contrast.


Ruthmary with arrangement

Ruthmary’s general advice on floral arrangements is “make it so that a bee can fly through it.” Natural and open, her flowers look artfully placed but not fussily stuffing into tight bundles.


Finshed Arrangement

The finished piece!


Beach House Flower Arrangement

She placed it on an entryway table to the back porch so all who passed snagged a scent of gardenias in their day. A lesson I will never forget, thanks so much Roo-Roo.




Elegant Outdoor Breakfast Table


Dining al fresco

Lydia and I had loads of fun styling this table for The Daily Meal. We wanted to recreate the feeling of an elegant outdoor restaurant at home, so we played with my nicest indoor pieces.  Using 1 set of pottery, 1 set of chargers, 1 set of flatware and 1 table we created 2 beautiful looks: breakfast in the garden with friends and an elegant candlelit dinner for two.

Here’s a close up of the breakfast table:

Outdoor breakfast table
For breakfast we fell in love with hydrangeas in cloud colors.  We set them in my favorite juice pitcher and built the rest of the look around that.  The sugar and creamer as well as the napkins pick up on the beautiful sky blue petals.  And what says morning more clearly than a rooster?  This one is part of an antique rooster and hen pair that my aunt gave me as a wedding gift.  It’s a happy table that invites you to linger over flaky croissants and chunky mugs of hot coffee.

Tell us, how would you make your outdoor table special?

Tomorrow- the dinner table!


Plate, Bowls, Mugs and Pitcher, Barre by Simon Pearce. Glasses by Juliska. Napkins and Chargers by Pottery Barn. Antique Rooster. Creamer and Sugar by Nigella Lawson. Flatware by Match Pewter.