The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor
I am beginning to think that the second weekend of June is marked for rain. For the second year in a row now, I have planned to host a Ladies Garden Tea, in our backyard, and though we have had sun in the days leading up to, and sun in the hours and days that follow, during the hours of the party itself, it has rained. We have decided that it will now be called simply, “The Ladies Tea”, and have given up on hoping that gardens will have anything to do with it at all!
I’m not too worried about it though, because this year we planned to host it indoors, and made our preparations accordingly, so there was no last minute scramble to move the party indoors when the day dawned with grey clouds. An added benefit of holding the party indoors, is that even if it doesn’t rain, you sometimes must contend with wind, sun in your eyes, sunburn, flies in the lemonade and mosquitoes that refuse to leave you alone. By setting up the party indoors, you avoid all these problems, and you can always open the windows to let the fresh air in (and the bugs out) 🙂
We changed things around this year, (because we were thinking ahead for once) and set up the sideboard and a table along the side of the living room, so the food and drinks would be close at hand. It worked so much better, rather than having the food in the kitchen like we did last year, as people didn’t have to break up the party in order to go in search of sweets. Last year we had so many leftovers of desserts that hardly even got touched, and this year we had very few leftovers. On second thought, maybe we should have the food in the kitchen again next year; I wouldn’t have minded a few leftovers. . . 😉
Since the party was supposed to be a Garden Tea, it had to have a summery and “gardeny” feeling to it. So, the morning of the party we went in search of flowers for bouquets. Last year we had peonies, but this year the season is late and so the peonies had not started to bloom. However, we managed to catch the very last of the dark purple lilacs. Two days before the party, I thought to myself, “The lilacs are still in bloom, and should stay so until the party”, but the very next day when I looked at them again, they had started to wilt, turn brown and fall off the hedges. Only one day before the party!!! We thought that we wouldn’t be able to get any for a bouquet, but fortunately the dark purple ones still had flowers. They were falling fast though, and if you even looked at the bouquet, I think that petals were dropping off. We got two lovely bouquets though, and paired the purple flowers with Caragana branches. Caragana is a rather strange bouquet material, but I love how sculptural and fluid the bouquets turned out to be, and yellow and purple is such a lovely colour combination. For the rest of the smaller bouquets, which we placed on the tables, we gathered wildflowers and weeds, and came up with enough material to make several miniature bouquets. All in all, the room did have a rather summery and festive feeling to it, despite the rain.
And of course, the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended the party! There were sixteen of us, some of whom were new acquaintances who came with friends, and we all had a lovely afternoon of tea and sweets and conversation. I can’t wait for next year!
Do you enjoy tea parties? Have you ever hosted an event? And have you ever been rained out?
June 26, 2017 @ 7:15 am
Your tea looks as lovely as the ones served in the renowned Huntington gardens tea room. They also are held inside, but the windows of the white tea room look out onto their famous rose gardens on one side and a very large and beautiful herb garden on the other. There are advantages to being inside, as you said, but still enjoying the flowers and the view. It makes conversation with friends that much sweeter.
June 26, 2017 @ 4:38 pm
Thank-you so much for your lovely comment ♥ It’s true that flowers really do create such a lovely atmosphere!
June 26, 2017 @ 7:40 am
What a fun idea!
It all looked just amazing. Photos straight out of a magazine spread.
And your collection of tea cups is very impressive. I have that same tea cup and saucer, with the pink trees : )
I would just love to host something like this. Sadly all of my friends live about 1,000 km away, most of them three times that.
June 26, 2017 @ 4:40 pm
That is too bad that your friends are scattered about the earth- I suppose a virtual tea party wouldn’t have quite the same feeling to it 😉
Thank-you so much for your lovely comment! I should also mention that some of the cups are my mom’s, and some are my sister’s (though about 1/2 of them were originally my Grandma’s)
June 26, 2017 @ 4:30 pm
How lovely! Such an elegant affair indeed! I have never hosted a tea party, or alas attended one. Something to aim for in future I think!
June 26, 2017 @ 9:50 pm
Tea parties are so much fun- and you would probably enjoy hosting one as I have seen that you have gone to several different tea rooms before. Hosting doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair either- sometimes it can be as simple as setting out a tablecloth, and bringing out some pretty cups and desserts (store bought sweets are perfectly acceptable too, if you don’t have any baking!) The most important part is simply time spent with friends 🙂
July 5, 2017 @ 5:48 am
Such a pretty event, your collection of tea cups is marvellous. All the sweet things look very tasty indeed!
July 5, 2017 @ 3:33 pm
Thanks 🙂 I love collecting tea cups, even though I don’t drink out them every day.
July 9, 2017 @ 10:02 am
I’m hosting a small afternoon tea next weekend for some friends; but it won’t be nearly as elegant as this! It looks delicious and classy 🙂
The only time my friends and I tried to have an outdoor tea party, we weren’t rained out but we were smoked out! There were bushfires blazing and although they weren’t threatening us at the time the smoke was very heavy so we ended up inside too and the worry dampened the mood too!
July 10, 2017 @ 3:00 pm
Oh dear- smoke is not good at all. I can see how you would be worried too- about whether the fires were spreading!
I hope your party next weekend goes well, and it doesn’t have to be super fancy to be enjoyable and special 🙂