I have longed for spring and finally we have had a couple of days of warmth which has inspired me to have my first dinner of the spring season. But while I may have seen a lone robin or two and one day the temperature actually zoomed to 78 degrees we have nothing blooming at Weatherstone as yet. The daffodils are showing about three inches of leaf and the tulips have just peeked above ground. So I went to the flower market to “buy” some spring. I purchased flowers that are actually in the grounds of Weatherstone and will hopefully be showing their beautiful faces in the next month. So inspiration struck when I saw hellebores in the market. My hellebores are just staring to unfurl but were not quite ready for the table. I mixed hyacinth, thistle, tulips, under a canopy of cherry blossoms and then added pansy plants in little pots de creme cups and miniature faux Kangxi pots. We served hot asparagus soup, veal with morels and cream, and a chocolate mousse infused with Grand Marnier.
I wanted my bold spring flowers in a bright violet, hellebores in a strong celadon and a marvelous deep red violet to contrast with the soft pink of the cherry blossoms.
Of course my ubiquitous blue and white works with all of these colors.
I love the odd coloring of hellebores and think their coloring adds a level of sophistication to the clearer colors. The smokey blue grey of the thistle works as a lovely foil as well.
I adore pansies! While strolling the aisles of Rungis, the wholesale flower market just outside Paris, years ago I discovered that those stylish and clever French used them as cut flowers. How beautifully chic these amazing flowers are bunched into little nosegays. On this table I took the actual plant and potted them in antique pots de creme cups. Pansies will be my next subject to capture in watercolor; the rich variety of color and the unique markings of their faces is so inspiring.
A top side view of the flowers and how the colors mix together. All of these colors would be just as beautiful with celadon or white porcelain as well.
I always add some silver elements, the pepper mill in this case, to my dressier tables as the sparkle adds a certain magic. It has the similar effect of a lady wearing diamond earrings