Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Purple Season: A Spring Tablescape

In the spring a livelier iris changes on the burnished dove;
In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.
             -- Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809–1892), Locksley Hall. Line 19.

 My mother's favorite color is purple.
As a twenty-something bride, she selected violet-sprigged china. Now, at eighty-four, she wears purple sweaters, shoes, and jewelry--even her reading glasses are pale purple.
I'll bet you can guess her most-loved flower.

She was thrilled when we drove up to Rattlebridge and were greeted by the Tennessee state flower,
the purple iris. I've always stayed indoors to write and cook; but I've inherited a garden, a real garden,
and I've got a lot to learn. In the past, we've had lawns and shrubs, but never a garden.
I'm looking forward to digging in the dirt and planting purple flowers and dreaming purple dreams.

My mother offered this advice:
The Gardener's Rule of thumb. "Weed'em and Reap.”

I was in a purple frame of mind when I set the table for lunch this weekend.

To have complete satisfaction from flowers you must have time to spend with them. There must be rapport. I talk to them and they talk to me.”
            -- The Late Princess Grace of Monaco

Me, I talk to dishes. Yep, I do.

That's why I'm thrilled to be dishing at Cuisine Kathleen's every Wednesday night for her new linky party, "Let's Dish!"

I have long dialogues with napkins and napkin rings.
I talk, and they listen.
Dishes are very, very good listeners.
If you break one, they're, like, "Oopsy-daisy, get the glue pot, girlie!"

I have a feeling that flowers are the same way--quiet and kind and forgiving.

I do not talk to food, but I mutter to myself when I cook. For this spring lunch, I made a tomato-cucumber salad with a garlic vinaigrette.
The printable recipe can be found HERE.

The dishes have itty purple and green flowers.

They're part of Pfaltzgraff's Circle of Kindness--the Dunwalsh collection.
It's based on the book Circle of Kindness,
written by Jana Kolpen and Mary Tiegreen.

After the table was set, we enjoyed the afternoon--birds chirped and the ewes called to their lambs.

I tried to capture the sounds with my iPhone camera. 
It's real faint--you might need to turn up the volume to hear the sheep.

 “It is only when you start to garden--probably after fifty--
that you realize something important happens every day.”
                                              -- Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

“I believe that gardens themselves are very healing.
To be surrounded by the exquisite beauty of nature is to experience a healing of the soul.”
                          -- Author unknown

I'm delighted to participate in Let's Dish at Cuisine Kathleen
and Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.

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  1. ML it looks wonderful there! Look at those flowers, just gorgeous! The dishes are like bunnies, they multiply!
    Love circle of friends, I have a few pieces.
    Your table is lovely, how wonderful to sit and enjoy lunch outside surrounded by all that beauty!
    There is a farm right near me, so you get the beach and the barns!
    My mom loved purple too, she was always so well co ordinated down to her shoes!
    Thanks for linking up to Let's Dish! See you for Foodie Friday!

  2. Oh Michael you have soothed all our senses here today. The visuals are stunning. I SO want to be there smelling the freshness of spring and the sweet sounds of nature awaking. LOVE IT ALL! As I get older PURPLE is more and more a part of my life too, HOW Sweet your Mom must look in her FAVORITE COLOR! Iris' are a wonderful FAVORITE Flower! God Bless Her! She is the same age as my Mom so I can picture them in all their LOVE of LIFE enjoying every moment...
    Thank you for your beautiful post today!
    Big Hugs to you,

  3. What a lovely serene and special outdoor tablescape. And you even showed us the SOUNDS you hear - I really felt like I was there with you!

    Lovely and beautiful post.

  4. Your tablescapes always Blow me away! I look forward to opening the page each week! You are so talented and make it look effortless! Just beautiful!

  5. I can feel the peace of your surroundings! I would adore a lunch at this table. Gorgeous dishes and food. Purple is my oldest daughter's favorite color also...she's been known to have purple hair even! Hugs, Linda

  6. What a beautiful setting - thanks for sharing it all with us!
    Enjoy your weekend.

  7. I love the dishes and the beautiful table with the touches of purple. I can see why you fell in love with Rattlebridge Farm, beautiful property. It seems so serene and peaceful, it was great listening to the ewes and birds at Rattlebridge Farm.
    I am new at gardening and even though it is back breaking work the results are very rewarding.
    Email me sometime and I will give you the scoop on a great place in TN to buy herbs, annuals, shrubs and all sorts of garden plants. Also, I will share with you the most wonderful tool a gardener could possibly have.
    Blessings to you and yours and Rattlebridge Farm. Thank you for all the inspiration you share with us.

  8. You have a gorgeous setting for your tablescape...your property is spectacular! A perfect back drop to a magnificent table!

  9. Just looking at the pictures and listening to the birds and lambs makes my blood pressure go down. Lovely, pastoral, serene....

  10. What a beautiful pastoral setting...beautiful table, too. My iris are budding up nicely, can't wait for them to spring into blossom!

  11. Your new farm looks glorious. Love all of the purpleness!

    - The Tablescaper

  12. Wow, the farm is so beautiful. I especially love the fencing. I saw fences like that in Kentucky and have been in love with them ever since. My iris plants haven't even dreamed of waking up yet. So pretty, especially in purple as you would know I would love them in purple! The Circle of Friends is so pretty too. See you in a little while for FF.

  13. Michael Lee, this is one of the most charming alfresco settings I've seen. I turned up the volume and I could hear the birds and even the sheep toward the end. Fabulously delightful post!!!
    I talk to my dishes too. ~ Sarah

  14. LOVE! The setting...the tablecloth...the purple...*sigh*

    I talk to flowers :)

  15. I love everything about this! And the purple is just gorgeous!

  16. I love your spring decor with those blooming flowers! You got a gorgeous space.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)
    Have a nice day.

  17. Beautiful. It sure wouldn't be hard to enjoy a lovely afternoon at that table. Gorgeous plates!

  18. Your landscape is just beautiful and perfect for your tablescape. Beautiful china!