The Many Beautiful Colors of Spring Create Endless Inspiration


One of my favorite spring combinations is purple, lilac and light green and when the flowers are ready, it is time for entertaining. My love of this combo was inspired by a birthday cake my grandmother would make for me every year in May. The cake was  always decorated in violets, and sometimes narcissus with spring green leaves as the background. It was an angel food cake with fluffy meraingue frosting, and just thinking about it makes me smile. Once in a while she would take the same theme but ice the angle food cake with whipped cream and coconut. I loved both!

I transferred this theme for a special birthday party I threw for a friend. To me, having a theme for a party is essential in creating an impact, and it gives even amateur event planners a focus. This makes decisions around decorating so much easier.

The tone of the lunch was set with hand delivered invitations that I managed to create on the computer. By attaching a sweet bouquet of vintage velvet violets it helped set the scene, and grabbed the special attention of the invitee, giving them a taste of what to expect on the lunch itself. Perhaps it’s just me, but I always feel my excitement rise with a good looking special  invitation.  As the old saying goes “God is in the details,” evidenced by the effort put into the invitation – it gives the invitee a harbinger of more beauty to come with the actual event.

A three-tiered cake was the main feature of the table. Created by baking genius Sylvia Weinstock, the icing mimicked an eyelet wrapping paper (I used to sell  on my web site.) The cake was topped off with edible violets  and a beautiful picot ribbon made in Icing. It is this sort of detail that really enables a theme to be effective.

Individual, smaller, three-tiered cakes were included at each guests’ place sitting, and we boxed these to take home and enjoy. These were decorated with faux violets, so of course couldn’t be eaten, but you could replace them with candied or old fashioned sugared versions, that one can find online. This is one my all time favorite individual cakes, also  produced by the brilliant Sylvia to complement the big cake.






Above is the paper that Sylvia copied to create the icing, it is magnificent!

All the gifts were color coordinated in various combinations of paper ribbon and flowers. I sent the various guests the wrapping elements so we would not have distracting wrappings if left up to everyone’s discretion. I know I am compulsive but I always disliked Christmas gifts that did not go together under the tree!

The flowers I used  for the bouquets were all in the purple palette – hyacinth, anemone and sweet peas – the violets tied into the bow of the gifts were all faux, and the tag for the present was produced by me on my computer, tying everything together.

The green glasses I purchased in Italy for the collection sold on my website were the perfect green. You all know how much I love colored glass.

The menu stayed true to the green and violet theme, starting with a chilled asparagus soup, followed by seared bay scallops served on arugula. followed by the cake.

I also recycled  all the ideas (presented above) for a wedding shower luncheon  – substituting the individual cakes for more affordable favors as the numbers of guests was much greater.  Petit fours look particularly inviting with an individual violet on each. For lunch favors I arranged dragee in pale green and violet, and as another option I filled  adorable pyramids with silver heart shaped candy.











Now waiting for the peonies about to burst and then what promises to be an extraordinary season for the roses. Can’t wait!



47 thoughts on “The Many Beautiful Colors of Spring Create Endless Inspiration

  1. Sooooo… pretty, who doesn’t love lavender/violet, green and white together, fresh, clean and springlike. This makes me want to bake a cake and have a party.

      • Ok Carolyne-I LOVE he silver heart candies
        Where can I find those for my sons rehearsal dinner?

        • What a great idea! I just did a quick online search for ‘silver heart dragees’ and found a few options. Enjoy the dinner and of course, the wedding, cr

  2. Just extraordinary! How blessed to be counted amongst your friends! I hope they all treasured these thoughtful and memorable gifts.,

  3. Dear Carolyne,
    You always make my day. With a picture or a thought. My birthday cake as a child was always red velvet. Made with love. Have a wonderful Saturday morning.

    • Thank you Heather. I guess we all must remember our birthday cakes from younger days…given that a year back then seemed like an eternity – unlike now where they seem to fly by! Glad you enjoy the posts, cr

  4. What a fabulous post! The colors are breathtaking! Always look forward to your posts!

    Thank you!

  5. Dear Carolyne,

    You are a master with colour.
    I see many examples of tablescapes from some of the famous designers in your country but none come close to yours.
    Love your talent.

    Marie 🌿🥀🌿🥀🎨

    • As always, thanks for your kind words and encouragement Marie…’s what inspires me to keep at it! cr

    • Thank you Lillie, and reading this comment has had exactly the same effect on me! cr

  6. Thank YOU for the heart and effort that you put into every single detail. The world is a more beautiful place because of your God given talents.

    • What kind words Lori, thank you. Right now we could certainly do with more beauty in the world, and I am so grateful to be able to contribute in any small way, cr

  7. always inspiring…now to see how I can duplicate your beautiful colors…Merci, Carolyne

  8. Beautiful! My dear Mother-in-Law’s 95th birthday is later this month and the family is gathering to celebrate! Her name is Viola (you have met her) and in years past I have provided cupcakes for her party and always use candy violets for decoration. This year, inspired by your post I will include a small tiered cake with violets! Her gift (which I will wrap lavishly to carry out the violet theme inspired by you) is a framed print of your sunflowers and the beautifully gift boxed note cards of your assorted flower prints. Thank you for sharing your many talents and gracious entertaining ideas with us. You help to make this world a much kinder and more gentle place! Wishing you many blessings.

    • Dear Katy.
      Thank you so much for your post –that is a birthday present to me!!! I so hope she likes the print and the notecards. Now you have inspired me to so a painting of violets. Please wish your mom a very Happy Birthday from me!

  9. How wonderful! These are some of my favorite spring colors and flowers — and as usual your artistic touch has created a beautiful display. This reminds me so much of a somewhat unusual custom of the small town in Iowa that I come from. On May Day, the children make pyramid baskets, fill them with spring flowers (usually violets) and candy, and hang them on doorknobs, ring the bell and run away so that they don’t get caught and kissed!

    Thank you for your lovely posts. Your endeavors do provide inspiration.

    • Hi Valerie, thank you. I have heard of that beautiful tradition, right across the Midwest. Wouldn’t it be lovely to bring it back? cr

  10. Child, it knocked me over that you posted this two minutes after I returned from the antique store with eight Depression era purplish amethyst glass plates. I had to snatch them because of the manner in which their semi-transparency reveals the bottom’s relief of starburst surrounded by grape bunches and garlands, so striking, and similar to ancient Greek decorative patterns I saw in Sicily.

    Tell your readers that the colors in your scheme have significant meaning. Purple stands for royalty and nobility, and green for renewal and rebirth. This symbolism used to excite me when I was a kid in Loos-iana looking at purple and green Mardi Gras banners.

    Can’t wait for the peonies! I know you’ll yank out the exquisite Delft to arrange near the pink and red blooms, so breathtaking. As you said in “Blue and White,” peonies only bloom for around three weeks, and you take advantage of their “sumptuous beauty.” – Virginia Billeaud Anderson

    • You know I would have been snatching those plates too! What a great find. As always, thanks for your kind, and informative words, cr

  11. I’m going to a Tasha Tudor tea on June 21st, and I am putting those candied violets on my petit fours. I love the color of them. Thanks so much for your wonderful details. They take a lot of work, and they are an inspiration to us all!

  12. What a beautiful post. Filled with all my favorites, violets, cake, flowers, etc. This really made my day.

  13. beautiful and inspiring – thank you for sharing your thoughtful creativity and especially the joy you take in doing it.
    the details are a delight and everything is woven together seamlessly.
    (and understand completely about sending the guests the correct wrapping paper to use…!)

    • Thank you Sandra….I know it seems a little extreme to some, but it just makes for a perfect display! cr

  14. Carolyn,
    Splendid photography and your friends are fortunate indeed to have such a wonderful birthday party. I used to be friendly with one of Silvia Weinstock’s daughters ( in the 80s) and she showed me her mother’s cake workshop. Imagine my delight a seeing all the tools of a cake master including multiple drawers of the most exquisite candied flowers and marzipan creations used to decorate those magnificent cakes.
    KL Gaylin

    • Thank Karen. How fortunate you were to see the workshop……she really is something else, and so ahead of her time, cr

  15. WOW!! If a picture is worth a thousand words there aren’t enough in any language I speak!!

  16. Awesome!!! Want to duplicate it all!!! Need such inspiration for a mid July 80th birthday celebration for our bridge group….any suggestions?

    • I think this would work perfectly for an 80th. If you need to bring ’80’ into it, perhaps decorated cookies, or an ’80’ favors box? Good luck! cr

  17. Stunning and inspirational as always. I have always liked different shades of purple but you really made them look so beautiful the way you mastered all the different shades and textures. I must add more purple to my flower beds. BRAVO!!

  18. You’ve inspired me as I begin planning a bridal luncheon for later this summer! The colors are so cool and soothing! Perfect for a southern delta day. You certainly are my go-to event planner as I have incorporated your floral choices and color combinations into so many dinner parties, luncheons, and afternoon dessert parties! Thank you, thank you! Betty Kate

    • Thank you Betty Kate, makes my day to hear this….and you are right, this would be ideal for a delta, bridal lunch. Hope it all goes well! cr

  19. any suggestions for locating the beautiful green glasses – or something similar?

    • Hi Sandra, sorry for the delay – I would try looking online for Nason Moretti, or a general search for Italian, fine glass, cr

  20. LOVE purple and GREEN!
    In fact my master BATH are those colors with an ancient stone sink I picked up on the side of the road in ITALY!
    I wish I lived closer to You as I SO appreciate your efforts!!!!
    Looking forward to seeing the PEONY……….I just got back from CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW and theirs were EXQUISITE TOO!

  21. Wow, wow, wow! I love the colors together. This is simply gorgeous, oh how I wish my name were on one of those beautiful place cards. Thank you for inspiring us with your creativity and talent.

  22. Dear Carolyne: Several years ago, I discovered your books and was inspired by your beautiful floral arrangements made from flowers you had grown on your own property. I kept thinking how wonderful it would be to have my own cutting garden and to create flower arrangements throughout the seasons. Last year, I went through the Master Gardener Program in our county in Texas and this spring, planted a cutting garden. Today, I thought of you when I made my first arrangement exclusively from flowers I have grown. It is so lovely and I would never have had any of these marvelous experiences if I had never discovered your books and admired your creative energy and profound sense of color and beauty.

    Thanks ever so much,

    • Hi Nancy,

      You are a dear to say that. Bravo to you for jumping into taking that class. I am sure Texas is not easy to garden in because of the heat so very smart to learn about a garden that will specific to your state. I wish I had done the same as it would have spared me a lot of disappointment and expense. Bravo on following your dream and now being able to make that first bouquet. carolyne

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