Set for Spring

by James Farmer III

151Green, white, brown, and blue are my favo combos – this combo is truly classic, season-less and timeless! If you are setting a winter tableaux, a summer soiree or an haute holiday spread, greens and whites with accents of blue and grounds of brown are always apropos.

For this verging vernal setting, daffodils, tulips, blue florets of rosemary and tiny candles in varying tiny sizes all conglomerated together on top of my great-grandmother’s silver tray. I love the complement of silver and wood – it is so handsome and the perfect grounding for any event. Mix in shades of green, creams and whites and pops of blue and your table is set!

Blue willow is a favorite pattern of mine. Mimi and Granddaddy spent the first years of their married life in Japan and I just wish they had brought back crates and crates full of, as Mimi says, “our everyday dishes – there were mounds of blue and white! Imari, Canton-ware, the like!!”

I love hearing their stories of occupied Japan and, yet, I cannot help but feel their love for that culture, their cherished honeymoon years in a foreign, romantic land, helped, somehow, someway, spawn my love of Japanese and Chinioiserie… from gardens to plates!

Another love/passion/obsession is gingham. Checks, buffalo plaids, you name it, I love it! Pairing brown check napkins with blue and white dinnerware is just too much fun. Take a peek in my closet and you’ll see the passion for plaid doesn’t stop with linens. Susie once forbade me to buy any more “checker shirts.” For those who know my “keeper of the house,” you know she’s not joshing with me! A lady of few words, but weighty words indeed! Ha!

125Always good-looking and sharp, a combination of a gleaming wood table with blue settings is just itching for green and white flowers (au mon avais). My first daffodils and a few tulips were nodding to the season out in the garden and I couldn’t resist another favorite pairing – silver and mason jars!

The table, the dinnerware, the linens, the candles and silver tray are poised to continue a more formal setting, but plopping the posies in mason jars brings it down a notch – brings it to an everyday luxurious look. Celebrating the season with its floral offerings is a highlight of my “garden living” mantra, and coupling the blossoms, blooms and boughs with simple jars is just enchanting.

I cannot help but equate such color combos directly back to nature. Browns and blues anchor the natural scene and green is nature’s neutral.  Think about bark and rocks, soil and sky, water weaving together this tapestry of natural delight. White, whether from clouds or snow, sand or fog, highlight the other colors in such a crisp way.

If ever in doubt as to who to color coordinate a room, a garden or a table, I always go to some theme, some play on this set of colors – always gorgeous in nature and so true for your home too!

I hope spring has sprung for you and yours, and may a bit of Farmer’s style find its way from your garden to table!

Happy early spring ya’ll!


James T. Farmer III was born and raised in Georgia, where he continues to live and work as a landscape designer. He shares his love of food, flowers and photography on his blog All Things Farmer.

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