Romantic Roses for a Summer Supper

I love my ROSES!

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I know I said I would be posting recipes from Italy or more about the biking in the Loire but the last week was consumed by getting ready for my first large dinner of the summer season. So the garden flourishing, after a very cold and rainy spring and early summer, is worth an interlude before I get back to those other topics.

For several years I have given a summer dinner in celebration of my peonies. But this years rain and my trip to Europe jettisoned that idea and as the saying goes; “when God closes a door he opens a window” is true in this case…. so while my drowned peonies did not inspire a celebration my roses have been the best I have ever had. Result, the peony party transitioned into the rose dinner.



the veranda at Weatherstone is perfect for one long table…and it makes life easy as if a thunderstorm appears out of the blue or despite my in spite of my wishful thinking we can still eat out side. I have made the mad scramble to move a party as the rain starts and this eliminates the last minute surprise.



Simon doing the analytical spacing while I do flowers….as I said in a previous posts he would make an extraordinary “butler” I eyeball everything but he is a Virgo and very precise!

As many of you may have seen in my books peonies on variations of blue and white are a constant theme so I felt a change was due for my rose dinner so I decided green, white and country had to be the look. I raced off to my favorite remanent store and found a lovely striped, always my favorite, fabric but with 36 guests there was not enough fabric for a super long table but then found I a big green check that would be different and a bit more ” country”. Squeezing out a table cloth for a 40 foot long table out of a limited supply of fabric is always challenging. With an inch or two to spare we made it! Next what china and vessels for the flowers? Well I returned to my tried and true big service of white French kitchen crockery. It is classic, simple in design, easy to care for and transitions easily between traditional and modern styles. To decorate the tables I mixed all shades of my garden roses in classic english milk pitchers, both antique and new, and then added small baskets of summer fruits in-between the bouquets.


Can you believe he is actually measuring the distances between settings???? How cute is that!


Margarida and Leila help prepare the roses that morning.


Preparation for the fruit baskets and roses supervise by Lucky with Trolly on route to see if Nancy has dropped a goody in the kitchen…..the other 9 dogs are already waiting in the kitchen with hopes and bated breath.



The long view of the table.



I love these deep odd colored plume roses mixed with the more vibrant ones


Margarida and Rosario pouring water just before the guests arrive from the garden


I originally planned an Italian dinner with vitello tonnato but for some reason, I simply cannot remember why, I switched to a light Mexican menu. Baby tacos, and guacamole were served in the cutting garden with cocktails. Then we returned to the back veranda for chilled gaspacho, a salmon in a green mole sauce, black beans with corn and cilantro, salad followed by coconut cake and homemade lime sorbet.


Chef Nancy Quattrini with Rosario preparing the dinner.


My roses in the garden were at their peak my guests loved being there and sharing their beauty and happily strolled back to the house on a perfect summer evening.


Some gardens I do in segregated colors of roses and some are mixed colors as shown in these two photos


The raised wall garden at the pool.



My friends Bill Thompson and Anita Triburzi seated in the vegetable cutting garden


Mish, of jewelry fame and Melva B. of art fame in the garden.


Some of the artful ladies; Melva Bucksbaum a great collector and patron of contemporary art, the lovely Gabi artist to her very core and a young dancer with the school of ABT and the talented jeweler Maja Du Brul in front of the white rose garden.


A last shot of the table with the fruit baskets in place




24 thoughts on “Romantic Roses for a Summer Supper

  1. Utterly utterly stunning. Your flower arrangements are not easy to replicate but furthermore neither are the amazing berries placement! There is no hope in the flowers but I might give those berries arrangements a go.

  2. Just magnificent.
    I could not see my name on the placements.Would love to have been there.
    Maybe next time!

  3. Totally beautiful! A summer party to bring a smile to ones face, a dinner table to remember.

  4. Your roses are magnificent and such an inspiration to the spirit! Your garden party in this exquisite setting of lush boxwood and roses is pure visual splendor. I have your large coffee table books on interiors and flowers and whenever I need encouragement in my own garden, I refer to them. Flowers give so much to enhance our lives and living with them is one of the great pleasures of civilization. Thank you for sharing your artistry1 Elga

  5. Very, very beautiful – such vibrant colours of the roses and the fruit against the backdrop of the white columns!

  6. Carolyne, your beautiful soul shines through your every touch, be it flowers, food or your incredible generosity to share your beautiful home. You are truly an inspiration…..

  7. Oh to be invited to one of your lovely parties! Always the best!!!!!!!!!

  8. Beyond spectacular!!! And so much work, praises to all for perfection. And Simon isn’t aging thanks to you! Lots of love and best wishes! xoox

  9. Simply stunning! Your attention to detail is so beautiful. I love the white crockery with the fresh green gingham fabric. Your Simon is so cute, measuring the placements! My dogs would have been in exactly the same place, hoping for a little fallen goodie.

  10. What a beautiful setting! I can only imagine the wonderful time your guests had. So happy I found your site.

  11. The lovely and inviting essence of beautiful roses and succulent berries wafts through the intracacies of this technological medium! Truly a beautiful setting! Thank you for sharing ~

  12. What a wonderful table. I admire your exquisite taste. Congratulations.

  13. What a beautiful party and I’m glad you featured a picture of my Uncle Bill. He sends me a few of the parties but not always of himself and since I do not get to see him often I’m glad he looks so good and happy. Joie

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