Limelight Hydrangeas Lend Inspiration for a Romantic Summer Table

Welcome to the 462nd Tablescape Thursday!

With all this organizing of my tablescaping goodies that I’ve been doing this past week, I couldn’t resist taking all that organization for a  spin and putting a table together for today’s Tablescape Thursday. Just the little bit of organizing that I’ve done makes me wish I had done this a long time ago. (Read more about how I’m getting organized here: Storage for Flatware, Chargers, Napkins & Napkin Rings)


The inspiration for this week’s table came from the two Limelight Hydrangeas that are still blooming so beautifully out front. If you don’t already have a Limelight somewhere in your garden, I definitely recommend adding one. It’s such a joy in the garden and provides beautiful flowers for a wonderfully long blooming period. Love this hydrangea!

Limelight Hydrangea, Standard, Tree-form in Planter


Since I’m able to access a lot of my dishware more easily now, I decided to use a beautiful pattern that I haven’t used in ages. I only have 5 of the soup bowls so this table started out with 4 place settings. (Note to self: Check eBay for a 6th cream soup bowl and under liner plate.)

Table Setting with Limelight Hydrangea Centerpiece, Orchard by Syracuse China


I really prefer setting a table for six for Tablescape Thursday, so I put away the soup bowls and added two more place settings.

Table Setting Ideas for Summer


But before those soup bowls disappear, let’s see how they look in a place setting. This vintage pattern is by the Syracuse China Company and was made here in the USA. The pattern name is, Orchard. I don’t remember where I found this set, probably antiquing. I think the first time I used it was in THIS table setting back in 2009.

I chose a flatware with soft, cream-colored handles because I wanted this setting to feel soft and romantic, just like the Limelight Hydrangeas from the garden. This flatware doesn’t have a cream soup spoon, so a regular tablespoon/soup spoon filled that spot. (Flatware is available here: Flatware.)

The green wine glasses are from HomeGoods, many years ago. I love the color and need to use them more often. Maybe I will now that I’m getting a bit more organized.

Vintage Orchard by Syracuse China


I think the napkin rings were a find in Old Time Pottery. I’ve paired them with vintage embroidered napkins found antiquing many years ago.

Vintage Embroidered Napkins


Here’s a better view of “Orchard” with the soup bowl removed, but the under-liner plate still in place. These under-liner plates would work great as dessert plates, too.

This set included cups and saucers, as well as bread plates. Whenever I collect a beautiful vintage pattern like this, I feel such a connection with its previous owner. I know this pattern was special to them since they collected the cream soup bowls, bread plates and several serving pieces, too.

Orchard, Made in USA by Syracuse China Company


A view from overhead after the bowls had been removed…

Soft Summer Table on the Porch, Limelight Hydrangea Centerpiece


The flowers of the Limelight Hydrangeas have begun that transition where they move from white to a soft green. It’s a gorgeous transition with a mauve pink coming in, as well.

Limelight Hydrangea Centerpiece


Evening was approaching…time to turn on a few lights on the porch.

Limelight Hydrangeas for a Summer Table Setting


Hope to be sharing more tables with patterns I don’t often use as the new cabinets arrive and I get more organized over the next couple of weeks. 🙂

Pssst: I post almost daily to Instagram. Follow Between Naps on the Porch on Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch.

Looking forward to all the tables linked for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

Tablescape Thursday

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  1. Susan – I have been religiously reading your tablescape blog for a few years now but this is my first time commenting. Your blog is one of the first things I read on Thursday mornings. Today’s setting has prompted me to comment, thanking you for all I’ve learned from you. This china is so beautiful and you’re right, one wonders about the original owner who certainly treasured this. The green goblets and the green in the hydrangeas work so well with the china. Really a beautiful setting. Thank you!

    • Thanks so much, Michael! Your comment made my day…so appreciated! ♥ I sometimes feel that way about vintage or antique furniture that I find while antiquing. There’s just a connection there sometimes, like you feel the same love and appreciation its previous owner must have felt, and now you’re being entrusted to care for it for the next generation.

  2. I love your blog and have been a subscriber for many years now. I get so many wonderful ideas. This tablescape is so beautiful. I thought how wonderful it would be for Thanksgiving. I am so jealous that you are going to Ireland. Can’t wait to see all you do. Have fun and be safe.

  3. Susan,
    Your tablescape is enchanting. The china is absolutely beautiful. I’m sure it was loved by someone long ago. I’m feeling your upcoming trip to Ireland with the lovely green wine glasses. 🙂 I love everything about this table!

  4. Another beautiful table! This china is so soft and makes for a dreamy, romantic setting. Your limelights are just gorgeous! I need to put one of those in my yard somewhere. A pot may be my best bet. Did you do anything special to yours to overwinter in the big pots in front of your house? Which direction does your house face? I don’t think I realized that they bloom longer than the mophead varieties. That makes them even more desirable.

  5. Good morning,

    Where did you get your “Summer Breeze” sign? I am a child of the 60’s and that always spoke summer to me.

    Love your posts, always positive & uplifting….have a beautiful day!!

  6. Beautiful! The green glass goes well with the limelight colors. Love your comments about the dishes’ previous owner (could be several?)..they will always be cherished by someone. I have a question: Can you please post a picture of your bottle art that I keep seeing in the background on your deck? I got ahead of myself and ordered blue bottles on Ebay and I could have just bought the beer at Walmart and waited for my husband to drink it! By the way, where do you get your energy? You’ve been very busy!

  7. Charlotte says

    What a beautiful china pattern and the green goblets really set it off! I will think differently now when I see a full china set at an Antiques store. In my Family we have several sets of china that belonged to my Grandmother, Great Aunt, a Friend’s Mother and everytime we use their china we share memories about them and have a fun time.

    • Thanks for that link, Julie! Love those bowls…very tempting to buy those since and I don’t have that style soup bowl, yet! Thanks again for the link!

  8. Susan,
    Try Replacements for missing bowls for your set. I always seem to find discontinued pieces there .

  9. Susan, I love your blog. You inspire me to attempt things I doubt of myself. I genuinely love most of your items and designs…as you know Re you’re porch sign for starters; birdhouses, hydrangeas, etc. You always share! Grateful!

    Keep up the detailed work and blogging. We need what works and what fails. You are appreciated.

  10. Beautiful, Susan. Very elegant. You are so right about using things you can access. Out of sight ,out of mind.
    My dh passed away suddenly Memorial Day and I will have to sell my home. Too big for me to handle alone. I will have to get rid of my dish collections, I am finding things I didn’t remember I had. It’s a monumental task.

    • Kathleen, I’m am so, so sorry to hear about your husband and especially that it happened so suddenly. I know there are no words that I can say to make it any better, I wish there were, I would say them a thousand times. 🙁
      I understand about wanting to downsize your home, I am thinking about doing that in a couple more years…envisioning a small house with a screened porch and hopefully a little storage shed for those things I still want to keep. Do you have a place in mind where you would like to move?

  11. Your limelight trees are incredible. They are perfect in your landscape and so convenient for cutting flowers. Definitely a win/win!
    Pretty table too. Glad you are getting so organized. I’m working on doing that here, though not as far along as you are. ‘-)

  12. I like the soft palette for the occasional break from bright summer colors. Hope the limelights dry nicely; the colors look perfect for early fall.

  13. Elizabeth Roderick says

    This setting has such a beautiful vintage feel. I love hydrangeas in all colors. I remember a beautiful yellow, hot pink and tangerine beach wedding where they had dyed them yellow. I was smitten. Enjoy Ireland. It’s one of the few places I think I would like to visit, I know it will be lovely!

  14. I love vintage tablescaping – it has a unique quality that cannot be readily matched with current retail. Even by adding recent elements to the overall, it still makes my vintage heart sing. I love the limelight, and just added one this year to my garden. It makes a beautiful centerpiece for tablescaping. Thanks for hosting, Susan, and i look forward to seeing more of your dishware rotations.
    Btw, my hairdresser was just complaining to me yesterday about receiving a UPS-delivered, extensively damaged cabinet from Home Depot for her product storage. I relayed your experience as she told of the unbelievable state of the cabinet delivered – chunks of shelving missing and a box crate demolished. She will be doing as you did with WM, only her source was HD – having them delivered to the store, where she will inspect (unboxed) before ever taking home.

  15. Chandra Naylor says

    I thought you might enjoy this…

  16. OMG Susan, you did it again to me!!! The vintage Syracuse Orchard china is SO PRETTY I had to have it, especially since they stopped making it 51 years ago! I raced over to and bought 8 dinner and 7 salad plates. I’ll have to find that 8th salad plate somehow.

    This is SUCH a pretty pretty table, I just love it. You are blessed to live in a climate in which you can grow gorgeous hydrangeas in your yard, I am so envious! Here in Phoenix even through the wholesale flower market, just ONE hydrangea is between $5.00 and $8.00 per stem. The wholesale flower market has the freshest flowers available, but even so, I have to be careful when I pick out hydrangeas there. By the time the hydrangeas get to Phoenix they may be one to two days old and they’re already starting to wilt.

    Love the Syracuse Orchard china, love your charger plates, love the flatware, love EVERYTHING. Thanks for another great Tablescape Thursday, Thursdays are my favorite day of the week. :0)

    P.S.: Getting ready for dear hubby’s eye-rolling when yet another large box of dishes shows up on my doorstep. It’s not the cost that bothers him, it’s the space my dishes take up. But of course, that doesn’t stop me, LOL.

    Have a wonderful dayXO

  17. I really love your “Orchard” dinnerware! I also learn so much from your articles. We have quite a few hydrangeas in our front yard, but they range from deep raspberry to true blue. They are my husband’s “babies”. The other night we went out to eat and in front of the restaurant were beautiful limelight hydrangeas. My husband, the gardener, wondered why they were still a green color. I piped up “They are Limelights”. I finally knew something about gardening that he didn’t. Thanks for that info.

  18. Beautiful table setting Susan. Love the China pattern

  19. I don’t remember seeing these dishes before. Such a pretty pattern and I like the hydrangeas as an accent with them. Limelights are also my favorite- mine are at the early stages of the flowers forming. They are truly one of the easiest to grow and reliable. I hope the new plan works out for the delivery of the cabinets to Walmart. You’ve made a big effort for this- it’s time for it to come to fruition!

  20. Another very pretty tabletop. I am thinking you could keep the bowls on the middle four place settings and add in a neutral bowl such as ivory- on the ends and it would still be pretty. I have some patterned clear glass little bowls I use sometimes when I want to add dimension but still see the plate pattern below. Downsizing is a topic around here too. We currently have a large walkout lower level, but a nice unfinished basement would be an awesome storage/staging area. We would finish the walls and floors and it would be wonderful to have everything there by season. Have a wonderful trip. You will love, I know.

  21. Orchard is my new favorite and this is one of your best table settings. Thank you for sharing. Simply perfect. I can’t wait to see your pictures from Ireland.
    Yesterday I received an email and ad for boots at LL Bean. Thought you might like to browse. I couldn’t figure out how to send you a link. Here’s what the ad said:
    “After 105 years perfecting the original, we’re rolling out one-of-a-kind small batch editions of the L.L.Bean Boot. Meticulously handcrafted in Maine. Just like the original.”

  22. Donna Weatherspoon says

    Replacements, Ltd. has the saucer for the cream soup bowl for $3.99.

    Replacements is about 20 minutes from my home. I was actually there earlier today.

    • If I lived 20 minutes from Replacements, I would probably shop there every day! Talk about tankescaper heaven. :0)

  23. So pretty! The china pattern is lively! …Christine

  24. Beautiful setting! I love hydrangeas. The plates are gorgeous.

  25. Cynthia Raines says

    Very pretty china pattern, soft and romantic. The Limelights are lovely! My mop head hydrangeas are in full bloom and huge! Love them! One of flowers is a mixture of pink and blue and I love it! Never had that before. One side of the plant must be a bit more acidic than the other for the variation in color. 🙂

  26. Lalia Perry says

    Hi Susan, my name is Lalia Perry and wonder of wonders I live in Dunwoody! I’ve been reading your blog for about nine months. I have enjoyed all your trips and your life on the porch.

    I am seriously considering joining you, other bloggers and friends on the trip to Ireland. I will check into it in the morning. I can’t quite believe I might do this but I saw Ned Devine too and had the same reaction that you did.
    I will keep you posted on how things are progressing.

    • Hi Neighbor! Come join us! I think it’s going to be an awesome trip! Let me know if you’re able to join in and if you can get a flight. Hopefully it’s not too late.

  27. Renee Cook says

    Beautiful! The pops of green just bring it to life!

  28. Dawne Marie says

    The Orchard pattern is so pretty. The green glasses are stunning. How I miss hydrangeas here in FL. Your table setting is truly romantic and soothing. Thanks again for making my day!

  29. Your table is so pretty. I really like vintage china and linens. It takes you back to another time.

  30. Hi Susan,

    Love my limelight hydrangeas but I rarely bring them inside for floral arrangement since ants are also loving them. Any suggestions for the ant problem?

    I’m thinking my best option is to limit myself to cut flowers on the deck.

  31. Susan, the cream and green color inspired. The green goblets are elegant and provide a whopping pop of color without overwhelming the overall romantic vibe you were going for. What can I say about the versatile hydrangea? From off white to deep purple/burgundy, it is amazing what colors can be achieved with acid/alkaline soil.

  32. Mamey Brown says

    LOOOOOVE the green from the hydrangeas and the goblets!! It adds the PERFECT touch! As always, your blog just lifts my spirits! Thank you for everything you do!

  33. I love dishes and love different table settings very pretty you are so creative

  34. Hi Susan! I am making my wish list and would love to have some colored-handled flatware ( Hampton Forge) that you often show. I think they are just beautiful. However, they don’t get very good reviews. Can you give me your opinion? The price is definitely right compared to so many others.

    • So far, mine has held up well, but then I wash it by hand. I do not think it would do well being washed in a dishwasher. Flatware with plastic-type handles never fair well in dishwashers…would probably fade and crack from the heat. This flatware is pretty inexpensive, so I think it’s worth the cost, but it definitely won’t be as durable as an all stainless flatware would be. Hope that helps a bit, Delphine.

  35. Michael Cyrus says

    You create absolutely magical table settings! I’m in awe! May I ask you a very pedestrian question though? If you have all the dishes for the meal stacked up, is it expected that you will serve each course, say the soup, and the guest will eat it from the bowl on top of its liner, atop the salad plate, atop the dinner plate, atop the charger? After soup is consumed, you clear those bowls and then serve the salad and so on? Do you take away the charger with the completed dinner plate? Or do you set a dessert plate atop the charger? If you have a moment, I would love to know how you choreograph all this at dinner time!!

    • Thanks so much, Mike! Appreciate your kind words so much! I rarely ever serve soup, I think I’ve only done that at one dinner party that I can recall. I am not positive how it would be done in a very formal situation but I’m pretty sure the soup would be served on top of the the salad plate. In this case, the soup bowl is the style designed for a cream soup so it has its own underplate, making this stack a bit taller than normal. When I served soup in a soup tureen for a party a few years back, the tureen was sitting directly atop the salad plate and I left it in place.
      After everyone has finished their soup, they can help themselves to salad. For dinner parties, I always have the food on the my kitchen counter (buffet style) and everyone serves themselves. Even when I’m using fine china/crystal, the atomosphere is very casual, so that works well. Most of my dinner parties are on the porch these days since it’s more fun dining outdoors than inside, unless it’s too hot for that.
      At some dinners, I’ve noticed my guests will forgo their salad plate and put their salad on their main plate, which is fine. I like mine on a separate plate.
      From what I’ve read in etiquette books, leaving the charger in place is up to you…it’s done both ways. If it’s left in place, it stays in place until it’s time to serve dessert, then it’s removed along with the dinner plate. I always leave it in place until it’s time for dessert because I love how it looks.
      So the way it normally works in my home for a casual dinner party is the soup would be served right on top of the other plates, then after that’s finished and the bowls are removed (either by me or my guests) we would have our salad. After salad is finished and that plate removed, my guests would take dinner plate to the kitchen and help themselves to the food that is spread around on my counter. Once the meal is over, I would take all the plates including the chargers (often one of my guests will help me with that) and then I will bring dessert to the table or to the sideboard for serving. I hope this makes sense. Again, I don’t really entertain formally, even when I use my more formal china/crystal. So everything is done pretty casually.

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