Thursday, July 31, 2014

High Tea and Cottage Garden Flowers

A garden brings pleasure in so many ways. One way is to share it with visiting friends; another is to bring beautiful cut flowers indoors. I enjoyed both pleasures recently when some dear fellow gardeners came to my home for high tea. Prior to their arrival, I picked cottage garden flowers to decorate the dining room. My July garden peaked late this year and my arrangements showed a large variety of blooms.

Tea time was fun. I love to set a table with pretty, English china, tea sandwiches, scones with cream, strawberries, trifle, and tea cakes, on a lace table cloth. Best of all was the conversation with like-minded people, following a tour of the garden of course.

Wonderful friends share my English tradition.

The white jug was given to me by my friend, Karen, some years ago. I filled it with phlox, cleome, Queen Anne's lace, and purple cone flower. I added spikes of Russian sage, gooseneck loosestrife, and obedient plant.

Pink phlox 'Bright Eyes' with cleome and Queen Anne's lace.
As you may remember, I removed all my echinacea after it was struck with aster yellows. I planted a different variety far from the infected bed, hoping it wont suffer the disease.

Echinacea Purple Cone Flower
For the table arrangement I used white shasta daisies, tiny yarrow, and Queen Anne's lace, punctuated with colorful nasturtiums, delphinium, and marigolds.

Table arrangement.
Yellow thread-leaf coreopsis and pink cleome also add color.
Shasta daisy is a must-have cottage garden flower

I added a yellow dill flower.
My friend Karen brought flowers from her garden. Karen introduced me to the joy of growing zinnias many years ago, but this year my zinnias were very disappointing. Hers, however, left me gasping with envy. Large and colorful, they made a striking bouquet.

Karen uses hosta leaves in her arrangements, to great effect. 

She decorated the mason jar with burlap and ribbon. How lovely is that?

Thank you, Karen, and all my wonderful friends, for an enjoyable afternoon of flowers, food, and conversation.

Enjoy the rest of your summer (it's going too fast.)

Pamela x

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  1. It was a lovely afternoon and I greatly enjoyed seeing everyone again along with your beautiful garden, especially your pond! :-) Love, Mary Anne (and Steve and Madeleine too)

  2. Pam, what a lovely high tea you put on! Your gardening friends really enjoyed being treated to such a wonderful time, I'm sure.

    Your flowers and arrangements were just beautiful as well. Thanks for showing them.


  3. How lovely to share afternoon tea with like minded friends, and the flower arrangements are just beautiful. What a great tip, using hosta leaves with cut flowers, I've never thought of doing that before.

  4. It is wonderful to enjoy the garden, inside as well as out! A different layer and fit of pleasure.

  5. Beautiful flowers arrangements! So inspiring!

  6. Lovely! What pretty flower arrangements. Such a nice way to spend a summer afternoon!

  7. So nice to have gardening friends for high tea, it all looks lovely. Beautiful flower arrangements, just the way I like to do too.
    Happy gardening in August, summer goes so fast.

  8. What a lovely table and sumptuous tea you set, and such beautiful bouquets from your garden. Thanks for sharing this day celebrating the glory of the summer garden with us! -Beth

  9. Looks like a great afternoon was had by all. The zinnias are great, mine are just starting and I need to remember to cut a few... it only helps them bloom more, so it's silly not to!

  10. The summer is going very fast indeed, can’t believe ewe are already in August! Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos, so many pretty flowers :-)

  11. Such pretty bouquets, and such a lovely party it must have been! Now I feel inspired to host one of my own! Though, the few times I've had visitors by this summer, it's rained every time, and I haven't had the opportunity to show off my gardens! Doesn't it just figure?

    And yes, the summer is going by too fast! Less than three weeks of summer vacation left for my two high schoolers, and some of my autumn flowers are in heavy bud now. (And I will turn 50 before summer's end, so my inner soul is screaming, "Slow down, slow down!"

  12. Pam what a delightful event...I adore high teas and yours looks scrumptious. And you vases are stunning. You have given me so many ideas. You should post about your vases more.

    Someday I hope to have tea with you my friend!

  13. You are very good at flower arranging. I love seeing all your designs.

  14. I very seldom remember to bring in cut flowers from my garden, isn't that awful? Lovely bouquets!