Porch Dining: A Springtime Celebration

Welcome to the 553rd Tablescape Thursday!

The weather has been so warm and beautiful the last few days, I really, really wanted to set this week’s table out on the porch. But just look at this! This was the state of the porch when I stepped outside today. Everything was covered in thick pollen and months and months of dirt and grime.

Pollen on Georgia Screened in Porch


I was torn–should I just close my eyes to the gorgeous spring weather, forget about the porch and set another table inside? Or, should I give in and do what I really wanted to do which was give the porch a good spring cleaning?

I couldn’t stand it any longer,  I had to work on the porch. By the time I finished cleaning the porch, including all of the furniture, molding, ceiling fans and flooring (thank goodness for my Mopnado!) it was quite late in the day. Getting such a late start on my table setting meant only one thing–it was time for a candlelight table.

Pollen in Georgia, April 2019


It was just beginning to get dark out as I lit the candles.

Spring Dining on Screened Porch


I can’t remember if I’ve ever used these hurricane globes in a table before. I purchased five at an estate sale many years ago, envisioning them down the center of a table in a table setting one day. I only needed three of the five for today’s table.

Candlelight Dining on Screened Porch


I interspersed the hurricane candle holders with crystal bowls overflowing with pretty blossoms. The Knockout Roses in the tall urns on one of my decks are in full bloom.

Candlelight Dining, Screened Porch


Remember the bunny napkins I purchased recently on sale, 40% off?

Shopping for Easter Spring Table, Bunny Ears Wine Holder & Bunny Napkins


They found their way into today’s celebration of spring. I’m imagining beautiful gardens with bunnies, lots and lots of bunnies.

Knock out Roses in Spring Table Setting


The green, sheer napkin covers were purchased from The Magnolia Room in Marietta, GA many years ago. I’m not sure if they still carry them since it’s been several years since I’ve shopped there. I need to visit them again sometime soon.

The napkin rings are from Old Time Pottery. Wine glasses are from Dollar Tree several years ago. They may still carry them. I love the color and use them often in tablescapes. Such a pretty soft green and perfect for a spring or summer table. Can’t remember where I found the green flatware now, may have been Tuesday Morning.

Spring Table with Ma Maison, Dario Farrucci


Had to bring out my favorite summer pattern for dining on the porch: Tabletops, Ma Maison designed by Dario Farrucci.

Ma Maison Dinnerware by Dario Farrucci


I found this pattern in HomeGoods many years ago. Had to drive around to 3-4 locations that day to collect all the pieces I needed. The white chargers are from Horchow online, ordered in 2008.

Dario Farrucci, Ma Maison Salad Plate


I want every day to be as beautiful as it is in this pattern. Is that asking too much?

Dario Farrucci, Ma Maison Dinner Plate


Nightfall came quickly. You can tell it’s still the Blue Hour by the way the white trim on my house appears to be almost glowing. If you’re out and you’re wondering if the Blue Hour is occurring, just look at a white painted house or white painted fence or trim. If it sorta looks like it’s glowing, you’re in the Blue Hour.

Screen Porch at Night, Dining on the Porch by Candlelight


Did you notice the oval table that lives near the windows on the right is missing?

Screened Porch, 12-ft Ceiling


Today I dropped it off to a local furniture refinisher and I miss it already. It’s been out here on the porch for 10 years so it was time to refinish the top and tighten a few things up. The refinisher had good reviews online, although I found him very, very gruff. I left the table with him in spite of his demeanor since he’s supposed to do good work. Keeping my fingers crossed that I like the results. Can’t wait to have a lamp back on that side of the porch.

Screened Porch by Candlelight


I love seeing the Blue Hour in photos. Funny thing I noticed this evening, when looking into my Nikon D700o viewfinder, I am unable to see the blue sky that happens during the Blue Hour. I can only see it after the picture is snapped and I’m looking at the photo.

But I could easily see the Blue Hour blue sky while taking photos with my cellphone. Isn’t that interesting?! I’m sure there’s a very logical explanation for that, probably having to do with mirrors or something, but I’m not really sure.

You can read more about the Blue Hour in this previous post: The Secret of the Blue Hour. In that previous post, I link out to a site that will let tell you the precise time the Blue Hour occurs each morning and each evening in your area of the world. It happens twice a day.

Spring Dining by Candlelight, Blue Hour Photography


Candlelight dining on the porch is relaxing after a long day of working in the garden–or, scrubbing down a porch. Of course, good food, good wine and froggy serenades don’t hurt, either. I never realized how much “life” still goes on after dark until I added on a screened porch.

Candlelight on the Porch for Dinner


Hope you are seeing plenty of spring green where you live!

Spring Dining on Screened Porch


Looking forward to the beautiful tables shared for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

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  1. Simply beautiful! Relaxing and spring fresh accented with the soft candlelight. What a lovely end to a day of work. I’m sure it feels good to have all the pollen cleaned away. We finally got all the pollen on our porches and porch furnishings cleaned off yesterday too. An unpleasant yearly task, but rewarding. The Tabletops Ma Maison china is perfect for spring. Someday when you are at a garden center I hope you’ll take a second look at the large clay saucers that go under flower pots. I think those would be pretty chargers for these dishes. I’ve used them as chargers on my outdoor table. They would be cute with Peter Rabbit too.
    I missed commenting on your Away bag post. That white is gorgeous and your blue and white bag with it just calls for another Hawaiian trip. Happy traveling and happy spring!

  2. Tell more about that mop contraption you used. I think I might like to try it. Thanks.

  3. Wanda Bradey says

    Lovely as always! I know it felt good to get the pollen cleaned off of everything. Happy Spring!

    • It really did. I always dread cleaning up all the pollen but once I get started, I actually enjoy the process and it always goes faster than I think it will. It’s so rewarding to see the porch clean again, it’s make the work worth it. Thanks, Wanda! Happy spring to you!

  4. Holy moly- that sure is a lot of pollen! I don’t think anyone could escape having allergic reaction to that much! I’m exhausted at all you did in one day! Your table turned out lovely. I always admired those dishes and yes I agree everyday should be as beautiful as that pattern depicts!

    • I know…must be all the trees in the backyard. It’s crazy here in the south! lol Aww, thanks Liz! I love that scene in the pattern. Happy spring!

  5. Wow, Susan, what a busy day you had: all that cleaning, then setting a gorgeous table and then completing a post!! Your porch looks beautiful, however. I can’t imagine fighting all that pollen. It makes me sneeze just looking at it, let alone wiping it all away. Love your table, too. You were right to travel around collecting all the plates to that pattern: it’s so unique, colorful and happy! All your efforts paid off: it was a pleasure “visiting” the porch today! Happy Spring!!

    • Thanks, Rosie! It was a long one but felt good to get all that done. I wonder if the pollen is worse here in the south with all our trees, I’m guessing it is. The good thing is, they say that the pollen you can see is not what really bothers you, apparently it’s super fine stuff that we don’t see and breathe in. Fortunately, I don’t normally have any problems in the spring, it’s fall when my allergies usually get going. I’ve noticed that the “cleaner” I’m eating, meaning eating more whole foods and less processed foods, the less issues I have with allergy issues of all types.
      Happy Spring, Rosie!

  6. I love the table and the porch, both are lovely!

  7. Helen Peterson says

    Your hard work cleaning was worth the effort. So gorgeous. I could live on that porch!

  8. Always enjoy a blue-hour dinner with candlelight!

  9. Your table is beautiful…..and I’m always fascinated with blue hour photography. I found this that your readers might enjoy:
    The optimum time to create these stunning, long-exposure photos is 30-45 minutes past sunset and 45-30 minutes before sunrise. https://www.bluehoursite.com/ will tell the blue hour in any city.

  10. OOOOOOOOOO it’s so good to be back on your porch. I’ve miss it, it’s such a beautiful porch and your hard work cleaning it up really paid off.

  11. Beautiful backyard! Never heard of the Blue Hour, but googled it and learned quite a bit. Thanks!

  12. Brenda Lawrence says

    Wow, that is a lot of pollen Susan! I heard it was really bad down your way. We are in the pollen now too, not fun for sure but so far, not as bad as your pollen. Beautiful spring table setting!! I learned about the blue hour from you Susan. I have taken a few winter snows during the blue hour. They are always a hit with people. When I first saw your photo that had the blue hour, I thought I wish our sky looked like that. lol Well, it does. My problem is I don’t have many trees around me, open fields so the blue hour dominate the photo. I still like it, but love your with a little of the blue hour peaking through the trees. Still fun though! I haven’t tried taking a photo during the blue hour on my camera, I always use my cell phone and yes, you can see it is the blue hour through it. That is so funny how it is different on a camera. Hugs, Brenda

    • Thanks so much, Brenda! Ohh, winter snow scenes against a Blue Hour sky sound beautiful! I know, I wish I knew why you can see it with a cell phone but not with a DSLR camera. I wonder if it’s visible with mirrorless cameras. I bet it has something to do with that, but not sure.

  13. Everything is beautiful! Your porch is fantastic, Thank you for the great post.

  14. Michele M. / Finch Rest says

    Spring is just hitting us here in mid-Ohio – my daffodils been out for about a week and was so nice to have them and the in the yellow glory for hosting Easter! My Bartlette pears are in full bloom and everytime it blows wind it appears as though winter has returned with all the “snow” flying about!

    Tulips are out too – but not mind, I had to dig all mine up and give away ‘cuz they’re candy to the deer. I have enough deer concerns not to TEASE them into my yard. Shame though – one of my all-time favorite spring flowers is the tulip.

    I cannot ever see a blue hour without thinking of you, Susan. So yes, milady, I think of you several times a week. : – )

    You have the best screened porch ever in the history of screened porches.
    And no, I still haven’t built one. I am at the point where I probably won’t ever get one – but at least we happily can live vicariously through you. ♥

    • I love it when we have spring here and then I go see family in Ohio and get to experience it all over again. I guess if I kept going north, I could have a 3rd spring. 🙂
      Aww thanks, the blue hour is like magic to me! Just amazing to see!

      I do enjoy a screened in porch. It makes it hard to think of moving or downsizing one day and leaving it behind. Thanks so much, Michele!

  15. Simple is so pretty. I really like the flatware paired with the dishes…perfect. Is that a platter of the same pattern over the hutch? The roses are gorgeous. I hope you sat down on the swing with something wonderful to drink after all your hard cleaning. The porch looks beautiful! Maybe the refinisher will be more happy when you pick up your table!!

    • It is, it’s the same pattern and the dishes on the hutch are the same, also. I didn’t get a chance to last night, had pictures to sort and a post to write, but I hope to do some of that this weekend. That sounds really nice, Kathleen.
      lol He was a most unusual guy. I think most people would have left because his behavior was so outlandish, so beyond the pale. The only reason I left the table with him is because his reviews are so great online. Maybe he was just having a bad day, not sure. He was that way the moment I pulled in, it was really unlike anything I’ve ever seen. He was much, much nicer when I came back with the $150 deposit “in cash” that he demanded.

  16. Froggy serenades, lol. They do carry on, don’t they? Noisy little critters. I have a small creek behind my house and between Fred and Ethel (my name for two noisy frogs that croak to each other) and another unknown little critter who seems to grunt like a piglet .. my backyard is a veritable symphony. But I love it.

    And I love the way the green stemware and flatware compliments the dishware in your ode to Spring table setting. 😀 I’m impressed that you had the energy to set the table and take pictures after your clean-ado!

    • lol I love it, Pam! Fred and Ethel…great names!
      I was starting to run out of energy there at the end and my back was starting to hurt. lol But I got it done and I’m so happy I did. Today I got two repairs done around here that have been needing done, so that felt really good. I’ll blog about one of those real soon, I think a lot of folks will be interested in it for sure. Happy Spring, Pam!

  17. Dorinda Selke says

    Hi Susan ~ How blessed we both are to sit outside and listen quietly to Nature’s songbook. Right now, in my life, it is something much needed and much appreciated. Your tables are and sparkling clean porch looks stunning. Hugs, Dorinda

    • You are so right…my favorite song of all. Dorinda, do you know about Lang Elliott’s website, The Music of Nature? https://musicofnature.com/home/

      He goes out and spends hours recording wonderful nature recordings. I’ve purchased a few and love to listen to them when I’m sorting photos or working at my desk.

      He shares a lot of his recording for free in his blog posts here: https://musicofnature.com/blog/

      Look in the sidebar on the right at his blog and you’ll see all the recordings/blog post categorized. Be sure and check out the bird recording, those are my favorite. He records a lot of rain storms and creeks/water and I don’t care for that sound but I notice people love the sound of water. I’m weird.

      So my favorite recordings of his are the bird ones that don’t include water. They are all filmed out in the wild, in nature, nothing is faked or simulated.

  18. The house in the place setting looks just perfect like the BNOTP logo. How clever and 4 place settings are ideal for intimate conversations with good friends and/or family. I’m beginning to not like big dinner parties since I can’t have a good conversation over all the noise.
    The blue hour – learned that from you.
    Thanks for sharing all your hard work and tablescape.

  19. Lovely table Susan, as always. Your porch looks so clean and inviting and
    such a lovely space…..I am trying to find some time to get to our porch as
    well. It needs a good cleaning too. Always love when it is done, such a good
    feeling and so nice to enjoy.
    Thanks for hosting Tablescape Thursday every week for all these years.
    Blessings and hope you had a wonderful Easter.

  20. Cyndi Raines says

    Awwww, the PORCH! So good to be there again, even if it is through the blog, lol. Love it. Thanks for the great job of cleaning, we appreciate it. I can picture myself on the swing listening to the nightly chorus and watching the flicker of the candle light. Just so special!

  21. Your porch is beautiful and so is the tablesetting. There are no other Tablescape Thursday participants showing up under your post though – just photo-links to previous posts of yours.

  22. Brenda in Virginia says

    My husband and I have always loved that time of day, never knew that it is called the Blue Hour! I really enjoy your posts and read them with a cup of tea during a quiet time of day.

    Thanks for sharing.

  23. We are in “drifts” of pollen…also, a profusion of flowers that is quite spectacular. Pay and Play!! Luv your {clean} porch!! franki

  24. Here in central Va., we’ve been dealing with yellow pollen all over everything.
    Yes, I remember your informative post re the blue hour. I take outside photos, like when Christmas lights are lit, at the blue hour. To see the house, I need a little background backlight. If it’s totally dark, all I see on photos are the lights, not in the context of the house.

  25. Our little porch is knee deep in pollen, and since I recently had my hip replaced, it will be all up to my husband to clean it this year. He is already doing so much for me that I hate to ask him when he might clean the porch! LOL. Soon, I hope, because nothing is prettier than GA in the Spring.

  26. I am a little curious and may have even missed an explanation or comment on the question I am going to ask next, so please forgive me if this has already been addressed. Do you have or ever thought about having a heavy plastic insert (framed) that you just pop into your screened “windows” on the porch during bad weather/pollen season, to keep out the worst of the pollen and dirt? Your cleaning would be cut down by so much, or rather it would be much easier I think. The plastic “panels” would have to be stored part of the year, but they would be rather thin and I would think could be stacked upright in your garage or even placed on a storage frame on the ceiling of your garage. Just a thought. As ever, your website/blog is entertaining, delightful, informative, and interesting and I keep coming back to it. Thanks for your dedication to keeping it fresh and updated.

    • That’s an interesting idea, Rachel. Fortunately, the prolific pollen issue is mainly just during a few weeks in April. I don’t do anything for bad weather since it’s a porch and can withstand rain, snow, etc… Would be nice if there were so big blinds I could drop down during the heavy pollen season.

  27. Tina Reynolds says

    Your blog is always filled with fun! I had never heard of “L’heure Bleu” but it is so wonderful to have something that is special and fleeting! Here in North-Eastern Indiana, Spring is really Winter 2.0. We have a lot of cold rain and dreary days. When the sun does come out, the grass is emerald green, practically glow-in-the-dark! We don’t have anything like the pollen you have. Is that from the trees? You worked hard to deliver a wonderful table and photos of your porch. I always enjoy seeing your bargain finds. I wish that I lived nearer to Pier 1, Tuesday Morning and Pottery Barn. All are somewhere between 50-75 miles from me. Internet shopping is okay, but never as much fun as actually seeing the merchandise. I will have a little work to do to get my swing ready for summer. The frame was toppled in a terrific wind storm and is broken beyond repair. We have purchased a clever kit , which, with lumber, makes the new frame easy to construct. Then, the poor swing must be scraped and painted. Not pretty work, but, I will love it when it is finished! Hot weather is just around the corner!

  28. Charlotte Bruce says

    Beautiful setting! So inviting and lovely. Whenever I hear of the Blue Hour I think of the link you shared. Am glad you included it in this post! I saw one the other night here in Olympia WA, and it was just stunningly gorgeous. And there must have been a thousand frogs croaking. I’m so glad I moved here last month!

  29. Jan Lonsbury says

    Your porch is so inviting! I especially love your Summer Breeze sign. What are the colors of the letters and the board?

    • Thanks, Jan! I purchased the sign back around 2008 from a local antique shop that’s no longer in business. There’s one here that’s like it: https://amzn.to/2J0a6za
      If you don’t like the colors available there, you may want to contact the Amazon seller and see if they can make it in a different color. The color of my sign is sort of a soft sky blue with black lettering. That was the only color/style available in the antique shop where I purchased it.

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