Al Fresco Tablescape for Two

After some really hot days here, the temperature finally leveled off at more of our normal upper 70s to low 80s daytime highs.  Even if it is hot during the day, when the sun goes past the mountaintop to the west, it cools considerably.  Early evening temps are pleasant, with a light breeze, and the quiet calm at the end of the day is inviting to linger outside.

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I noticed a Carolina Wren flitting around the veranda a few days ago, and DH discovered her secret.  She was building a nest inside the iron birdcage that was sitting next to the front door.  We decided to move the cage to the opposite side of the veranda, against the outer railing, so we wouldn’t disturb the goings on by using the door.

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Unfortunately, that made her abandon the nest.  She came back to see it, but then never added to it or lay any eggs.  Oh well, at least she could build somewhere else and lay her eggs in peace.

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It was so nice outside, that a meal on the veranda was appealing.  DH was going to grill bratwurst, and I dug out some fun things for a simple table for two.  White plastic placemats are topped with yellow chargers and these green checked melamine plates – of course a thrift store find!

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Yellow napkins got ceramic rings with flowers and butterflies.

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Everyday flatware, some drink glasses and individual salt and pepper shakers completed the settings.

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For a centerpiece, I took my thrift store find wheelbarrow and set two mason jars filled with water inside.

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Then I clipped three hydrangea blooms from the huge bush.

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They are tending to the blue side for the most part, so I need to add some lime to the soil to push them over to the pink side.

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I love the lavendar color, and putting a bit of lime out should help it produce more of that color.

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Table set, and waiting for evening to cook out.

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It is difficult to get a good photo of both the table and the view.

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The veranda is looking like summer is here.

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Finally, time to get started on dinner.  I have these vintage food covers for outdoor dining in green and yellow.  Yes, I got them at the thrift store, LOL!!  But they were perfect for this table with the yellow flowers.

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Matching covers go on our plates, with buns waiting for the brats to be done.  Other covers kept the side dishes bug free.

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Now the place setting is truly complete.  All we need now is the food.

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On the feeder, the goldfinches are wearing their summer colors.

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A cardinal and his mate are daily visitors in the evening.

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Are you enjoying cookouts or outdoor meals at your place?

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26 thoughts on “Al Fresco Tablescape for Two

  1. As I was reading about that cage, my thought was that she would abandon the nest and then I read the next sentence. I am curious as to why she chose that place to begin with being so close to people.

    I enjoyed your post. It was enjoyable and relaxing. Almost like I was there.

  2. lynn bourgeois

    Your table arrangement is very appealing. Isn’t it amazing what you can find at thrift shops. My husband regularly hunts the shops, and happily brings home treasures, sometimes for us, but often items he finds for others. The greens of spring are for me, the most beautiful of green collections. Here, in Nova Scotia, we are not yet at the season you are experiencing, but yesterday it was 22 C. a beautiful day for being out and about. We were golfing, and the beauty of spring was round me everywhere.The song sparrows are here, the ravens patrol our yard daily, and the woodpeckers make a pleasant music from their trees. Aren’t we fortunate to have such abundance.

  3. Gwynette in NW Arkansas

    Simplicity creates such elegance!! Lovely setting for two. Carolina Wrens (house wrens) are so friendly. I use several red Folgers coffee cans to water my porch rail baskets. I leave them on a table beside the back door and reached for one the other day. A wren flew out of rhe can and, perching on the rail, really told me about it. Looking in her can, I found a nest with three lovely eggs. We decided if she had built and laid while we were using the door, we would just leave the can where it was. She and the male are happily tending the nest and singing their sweet little song. Not to say we don’t occasionally get a raucous scolding…😊. Love your view from the table!!

  4. Sue in Marion, IN

    At our handwork group last week we were talking about the birds we’ve seen this week…many of us have feeders. Our hostess was talking about the house wrens that nest around her home every year. She thought they built more than one nest. I looked it up and here’s what we discovered: the male wren builds several base nests—twigs, etc., for the female he is courting. If she likes him, she chooses one of the nest sites and finishes the nest with the soft parts-grass, feathers, etc. and lays her eggs there. They will build very close to human habitation…doesn’t seem to bother them. Several at the group said wrens have built nests in their porch light fixtures or even in a recess above the front door.

  5. Carole, your veranda is lovely – and what a view! It hasn’t been quite nice enough here in Colorado yet for outdoor meals, but we’re getting there. We have seen some goldfinches at our feeders, though, and on a hike the other day, some beautiful yellow warblers!

  6. What an enchanting meal and diversion you created with your lovely scenery and photos of the dinner you and hubby shared. Thank you for the peaceful setting and feeling you gave to us all.

  7. Karen Marlow-Goad

    such a pretty table and I love the plate covers to keep the bugs away – I haven’t cooked outside this year the bugs have been bad or else it is rain! I know I have seen screen covers on line – not vintage pretty like what you have but would work if they are not pricey

  8. Oh my, your view from the veranda is so pretty! We have almost all of our dinners on our deck in the summer. The grill gets a good workout, and it’s such a nice way to end the day. Such a pretty tablescape too! Our table doesn’t always get jazzed up like that, but I have been using the placemats I recently made. Hope you have many more lovely evenings on your veranda!

  9. Lovely table for alfresco dining. With your fabuous view, I’d eat all my meals out there. Love the pretty plates. Great find!

  10. Naomie Moore

    Absolutely beautiful! I dine on my patio all the time. My view is no where near as beautiful as yours. When we go camping, I always take a potted plant along to decorate the picnic table. I gather twigs and rocks to make it look pretty.

  11. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole, I was amazed that the Carolina Wren would build her nest so close to an area where people were coming and going. It is to bad that she abandoned it when it was moved, but it was an all around best choice. Your wheelbarrow is such a perfect addition to have ready for your table settings, I just love what you did with it this time!! All of your bright lovely color choices just made me want to sit down and enjoy the table setting while watching all of the natural beauty and wildlife going on. I have never seen the plate covers before and think they are perfect! I am going to start looking for some. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful table and pictures with us! Have a fantastic day!

  12. Catherine

    Beautiful veranda, Carole! Boy, you guys eat in style, lol! Lovely table setting. Those plate covers are adorable. Thank you for showing us.
    I heard if the birds detect human scent, they will abandon the nest.
    Hope your knee is doing well.

  13. What a lovely verandah to enjoy meals and the peaceful views. I love your table settings with the pretty plates and covers, gorgeous hydrangea,

  14. Sue H

    Love the pictures of your birds. Reminded me to tell hubby that on my morning walk today, Gracie (dog) & I saw a pair of cowbirds. I like seeing all the different birds even if they aren’t “nice” ones. Your veranda looks so inviting! No hydrangeas yet here in my part of the Midwest!

  15. I like how you set the table so that you both can look out at the view. Carolina wren males build several nest sites in the spring, and then the female chooses the one she wants. We had them building inside our gas grill. Thank goodness they didn’t choose that one to lay eggs in. After they lay the eggs, you are prohibited from moving it.

  16. Wonderful to be able to eat on your front verandah, you have a beautiful view. So nice to see the birds come visiting. We often have a bbq in the sjmmer and sit out the back.

  17. I love the colors on your hydrangeas, and those bug shields, how very stylish! We have had two very unusual bird sightings this year. In March we saw a cardinal, and during the last snow storm there was a bluebird sitting on the garden fence! We have never seen either of them before! I think cardinals usually stay east of the Misssouri River, but I’m not sure.

  18. Sharon in Colorado

    What a lovely view! This weekend was the first truly warm one we’ve had, even Memorial Day was a bit breezy and chilly. We had a huge 1st birthday party for my granddaughter at her other grandparents house yesterday, at least 40 people! they made bbq, (cook the roasts overnight in a crockpot, drain off the juices, shred, add your fave bbq sauce and heat through. I add onion and sometimes green peppers and mushrooms as well.) We did the weinies in refrigerated crescent rolls as well, a child pleaser, and Charlene has tons of cousins! a bit of blow up wading pool and pinata. It was overcast, so temp just right, but when the sun came out we Irish have to seek shade or become toasties!

  19. What a lovely table and a lovely view! Those domes to keep the bugs out are brilliant! I, too, am glad the super-hot temperatures didn’t last. Last weekend was much more pleasant than Memorial Day weekend, which was stiflingly hot.

  20. thedarlingdogwood

    What a lovely table and a lovely view! Those domes for keeping food bug-free are brilliant!

  21. dezertsuz

    No cookouts here until I build a new deck and buy a new grill. Not this summer. It was fun to see your table setting and I love those food covers. That’s an idea that it seems like should come back! The birds are so gorgeous.

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