I have a very clever party decoration to share with you today, but first... Hello everyone it's Anke! Peony season is here and is one of the most beautiful times of the year, don't you think? In Germany it's one of our biggest and most celebrated flower seasons (here they are called Pfingstrose with the various shades of pink being the most popular variety found in every flower kiosk for very little money). As long as there are fresh, fragrant peonies in the flower shops, gardens and at the farmers' markets, they'll be in my house too! The same holds true for rhubarb, which is also in season at the moment. Yum!
When decorating with peonies, my table setting almost always becomes a romantic one in soft colors. Who is playing the leading role in the following picture series is clear -- Miss Peony! For my tabletop, I chose four different types of peonies in shades of white and pale pink, some with yellow inside. I'm not sure of the name of this particular one, but if you have time maybe you can help me. Also, there is a list here for identifying the various peonies in English.
As an additional eye-catcher, I ordered a white painted "Tafelklem" (*Dutch for "table clamp") online at Deens – and oh my! How great is this idea? Holly has one of them too, she found the idea first inside of a very famous Dutch design magazine called VTWonen and vowed she had to have one but hasn't used hers yet.
Is this something that is available in your country? What would you add to yours? I wonder if you can buy clamps and DIY something like this? Hmmmm. Thankfully, Deens ships to Germany so I ordered mine from their site. There are so many creative ways to use this, it's definitely one of my favorite discoveries when it comes to tabletop decoration.
Using the table clamp for the first time, I printed some peony images and floral patterns on heavy paper to hang the prints in the rack afterwards (mainly using the napkin pattern by photocopying it). This tiny picture gallery has been joined by a small hanging glass vase with a big peony blossom and some more attached with white raffia at one end of the pole.
Speaking of pattern, you see one of my favorites on this table. It is called "flora dusty green" from the gorgeous Danish home brand, Bungalow. I made four napkins by sewing them out of two block-printed kitchen towels. The leaves could almost pass as peony leaves, right?
What else? Yes – a sweet rhubarb dish for the guests invited! For my June table (aka my family and neighbors after the shooting) I made "Coconut Cheesecake in a jar". I crumbled coconut rusk/ zwieback, mixed it with melted butter and pressed it into small heatproof preserving jars. I filled in with a cheesecake mixture of your choice (maybe use a little coconut syrup?) and baked according to the recipe (mine went into the oven for 20 minutes/ 180° top and bottom heat). Nigella Lawson's Rhubarb & Ginger Compote (from the book Simply Nigella) was my choice of topping together with some zwieback crumble and fresh mint! Bon appétit! :)