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May 16, 2024

Gathering Rosebuds

I’ve definitely got spring fever, do you?  I’m yearning for sunny mornings with cool, sweet-smelling breezes and tiny buds popping out on every tree. I’ve loved every part of springtime since I was a little girl: spring cleaning, opening up the house, preparing the patio for warmer days, and watching the garden wake up.  Every change of season brings its own wave of nostalgia, its particular collection of memories that align with the yearly pattern of our lives.  

For me, spring will always remind me of grandmother, Corene.  We both celebrated birthdays in May, and both of us looked forward to end-of-winter chores with the same delight and determination.  We’d clean her house top to bottom, change heavy quilts to light coverlets, and flick through seed packets at the feed store, plotting the summer garden.  One of my favorite jobs was changing her tablecloths and dresser scarves. She’d hand me a stack of spring linens, many hand made and almost all strewn with rosebuds.  Rosebuds symbolize anticipation, so they fit our mood perfectly.

I’ve been inspired to create a tablescape worthy of my grandmother and our favorite time of year.  I want a table as fresh and light as the start of spring, and I want beautiful rosebuds to star in each place setting.  I’m planning a table full of memories, but I want modern over maudlin, so I’ll make sure to keep some clean simple lines in my choices.

I’m starting with some classic rose and rosebud patterned salad plates.  Roses have long been popular on dinnerware, I’m guessing because young couples could be counted on to reach for symbols of everlasting love as they chose their wedding china.  I’m calling on Dolly Madison and Sunnyvale from Castleton, Billingsley Rose from Spode, and Rosenthal’s Moss Rose to give me those vintage vibes and sweet red and pink curling petals.  

To keep it from getting too treacly, I’m going to set my rosebud salad plates on Asiatic Pheasant Pink by Burleigh.  This design dates back almost two centuries, has been made by several potteries and is still in production today.  I love the soft shade of pink in this patter: it’s lighter than most pink or cranberry transferware and gives a lovely soft background for my vintage patterns.  These dinner plates also feature a smooth rim and sleek shape that brings our place setting into the present day.  

To round out the table, I’m using Villeroy & Boch’s Boston Rose drinkware.  It’s a wonderful, chunky pressed glass, and it’s right at home with vintage tableware.  I’m also going to grab Wild Rose flatware by International Silver, because, why not?  Everything’s coming up roses!

I’ve chosen a delicate pink toile tablecloth and pink linen napkins for a gorgeous monochromatic scene that is irresistibly romantic.   I’m using a cluster of milk glass vases for a centerpiece, in memory of the row of vases that topped my grandmother’s china hutch.  She collected them for years.  I’ll fill mine with some fresh flowers in pale pinks and whites, plus a little pale greenery to honor the season.

I can’t wait to share this table with family and friends and hear their stories of changing seasons, spring flings, and “gathering rosebuds” in our younger days.  It’s hard not to love a luscious rose, and I’m hoping these patterns will spark sweet memories.  What will inspire your tablescape this spring?


Julie R., Replacement's in-house product & design guru