Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Welcome Summer with a Seaside Garden Centerpiece {Tutorial}

Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither.
~William Wordsworth, Intimations of Immortality
Side Note ::: My father enjoyed reading Wordsworth's poetry.  I now have what I always thought was 'his copy' of Wordsworth Complete Poems :/ turns out he was borrowing the book while he was dating my mom, because it has 'property of _________ University' stamped on the inside.  I guess he was trying to impress mom with 'his' poetry!    
Let's gather in the garden and imagine the salty air and ocean breeze, with the sound of seagulls in the distance.  Tonight I will share with you an easy to recreate Seaside Garden Centerpiece.  Soon I will share the table we will be dining at.
I envision our dinner on the patio of a garden home set in The Hamptons.  Table is a large, rustic farmhouse table, with benches and cozy chairs (to linger in as the sun disappears) . . . I don't ask for much do I? 

I am using my imaginaaaaaaation of what the setting for our dinner will be like.

Won't you join me?  You'll also have to use your . . . Imaginaaaaaaation (a la Spongebob Squarepants Idiot Box Episode -- most moms & grandmas know this episode).
I typically imagine the centerpiece for a table before I even plan what I'm going to cook (yes, I am the sister who likes to set a cute table).  

After all, the centerpiece is the crown of your table.  
And this table's CROWN will be a repurposed iron planter.
So let's gather our materials to make our latest crown . . . 
1.  Variety Pack of Moss ($5.99 at Hobby Lobby, use 40% coupon)
2.  [Coronado] Stone Planter and plants (keep reading for choosing plants)
3.  Assortment of shells in a variety of colors (if possible, otherwise -- use what you have)
About 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sand.
4.  Candles a must on ever table I set -- because everyone looks better by candlelight.
Please please use unscented when choosing candles for a table.
5.  Small ornaments (I keep some non-Christmas-y ornaments unpacked to use throughout the year)
6.  [Stiletto] Glass Pedestals -- to raise the candles up & away from the plant & moss.
and the most important piece to pull it all together . . .
an iron garden [Charles Street] Planter
Now, before I potted my plants, I wanted to make sure the stone planter I envisioned fit inside the iron planter . . . and it did, perfectly.

I imagined airy or wispy plants, or even tropical plants, will be appropriate to mix and mingle with shells.  

I approach my container gardens just as I do my door buckets -- I'm looking for a little Spiller (to tumble out the sides), the height of Thriller (to catch the wind and gather attention), and a bit of Filler (to fill in the gaps in between).  
1.  Filler = Palace Purple Coral Bells (love the hint of purple with the green & gray)
2.  Thriller = Autumn Fern
3.  Spiller = Goldilocks Creeping Jenny
Before you add your soil.  Line the stone planter with a coffee filter to stop soil from falling through the drainage hole.
Source ::: This Old House
It works like a dream!
Next, come the seaside details . . . play around with it until your happy.  I don't want our guests to look up from their takeout dinner amazing meal and see dirt . . . so I am adding some sea shells.
A large starfish, assorted shells and PB Mini Glass Buoys
Next we get mossy -- softening the hard surfaces of the stone, metal and glass.

First place your glass pedestals.  You want them to be on a solid surface.  
Second, rip open your variety bag of moss, and simply start placing it on top of the metal and the base of the glass.  I used about 1/2 of the bag and I probably used too much.  The purpose of the moss is not to cover the base, just soften it.

Almost done . . . 
Grab a couple of cups of sand -- and add a little to each of the two Glass Pedestals . . . 
. . .  add your candles (the pillar candle is from Michael's and it came with the twine 'bow'.), add a few small shells, starfish or ornaments if you have them handy.   Add larger, more ornate shells to the base.
Ta Da!  A new CROWN for  your table! 
I move the 'crown' to the server, while I set the table :)
The lighting is better here on this overcast day . . . so I think you can see the detail a bit better.
Of course . . . we all look better by candlelight . . . and I must admit . . . I love the textures of the moss and the sand paired with the metal and the glass.
I hope this tutorial inspires or encourages you to seek out an unusual centerpiece CROWN for your table as we welcome summer.

A few additional notes about the items used . . . 
The Charles Street Planter can serve many purposes.  I use one to house my kitchen canisters during many months of the year . . . 
Charles Street Planter with Belle Meade Canisters
. . . the Charles Street Planter also flips over to be used as a riser for a buffet during entertaining . . . 
Charles Street Planter, Riverstone Tapas Server, Tuscan Goblets & Gramercy Beverage Server.
. . . just pop out the removable tray and place on top of the flipped planter.  Of course you can dress-up and personalize the removable tray with a piece of linen or fun party napkins . . . and many other uses (besides being your table's CROWN or your patio's planter).

The Gramercy Beverage Server is also versatile.  This ceramic server can be used for both hot or cold beverages and comes with a cast iron stand as I used here . . . 
From Four Sisters Brunch with a Pig
. . . When not used for entertaining, it becomes an adorable cookie jar . . . 
. . . just by turning it around.  You can even write on it with a Sharpie or dry erase marker.  I prefer to use a sharpie -- and all you need is a squirt of Windex to remove it!
And these beautiful pieces are both on sale this month, along with many many many others.  Including the Stiletto Glass Pedestals I used within the Iron Planter.  

So to avoid being selfish, I wanted to be sure to share these deals and amazing sale with you!  If an item sells out, that you had your heart set on, please contact me -- I might just be able to track it down for you!

A HUGE Thank You for Stopping In and following along -- or skipping to the end (I understand you're busy ;).  Hope you have a wonderful day -- and don't forget to stop back in to see how the Seaside Garden Table turns out!
Linking Up With :::


  1. It is lovely and I can just see myself sitting by the sea!

    1. ah yes, and I can picture us there . . . thanks to our Imaginaaaaaaations :)
      Thanks for stopping by! Have a fabulous week
      ♥ Susie

  2. Great centerpiece Susie! I love all the details and colors you put together! It looks amazing!

    1. Thanks Diane! You made my day :) Hope you are having an amazing one ♥ Susie

  3. I love this! Thanks for all the details ~ I can't wiat to try this out!!

  4. Hi Susie, You centerpiece is lovely. You truly captured the spirit of coastal areas. Blue is my favorite color and you put together a fabulous centerpiece with the plants, shells and moss. Kudos.
    New follower coming over from Tickled Pink.
    Have a great day, Ginger

  5. I followed using GFC and Linky, just in case one or the other disappeares.
    xo Ginger

  6. What a versatile little platter. Loved the sea-inspired centerpiece! Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create!
    <3 Christina

  7. this is so fabulous! i ADORE IT!!! thanks for sharing...your newest follower...

  8. Nice job! I really love this center piece! Thanks so much for sharing with the newbie party.

  9. I love the look of this table 'crown'! Beautiful...
    Saw you at Debbiedoo's :)

  10. I love how ou show all the steps in creating the centerpiece....I would like to highlight your post on my blog in the next couple of days.

  11. How beautiful! What a perfect summer centerpiece! Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

  12. Thank you for linking up at

    I love this idea of using seashells. I am a big fan of seashells and have huge bucket in the garden....Very interesting ideas.


  13. Such a pretty display! I would love to have something like that, but I think it might be too tempting for my kitties... Thank you so much for linking up on Dare to Share. I look foward to what you share next.


  14. You have some serious talent. I really enjoyed looking at your Willow House website. Thanks for sharing at Restyled Sundays.

  15. I love your seaside garden. Such a pretty display!


I love reading your comments! Thanks so much for sharing with me.
♥ Susie