I may have mentioned this before—I love to entertain.  I think setting the table is nearly as much fun as cooking for a party (and by “party” I mean any meal served at the dining room table with as few as 4 and as many as 10 {10 is the max that my dining room table will seat comfortably}.

I love the look of hydrangea with the Staffordshire figurines as added interest in the beautiful table setting.

I used to visit a wholesale flower seller where you could select cut flowers by type/color.  This was fun but could be quite expensive depending on what flower you wanted and it often meant too many flowers of one variety (the bouquets were large).  I would distribute them in vases all around the house but what I was really after was maybe 3 different flower species in 1 or 2 colors.

All of these plants were transplanted into the garden after the party.

Trader Joe’s and some of the local markets started carrying a greater variety of cut flowers and they weren’t too expensive.  The problem was the odd color combinations the supplier would put together.  I realize we all have our color preferences but I didn’t find mine very often—purple, orange and hot pink bouquets weren’t going to cut it.

Herbs make a wonderful Spring or Summer centerpiece

One of my friends, who happens to set an amazing table, had a party recently and set her table using potted plants.  (You know, the kind they sell in the nursery and warehouse home stores)  She took some of them out of the plastic pots and arranged them in color-coordinated bowls and cache pots, others she was able to leave in the plastic pots and add a layer of moss around the top of the container.  Bottom line, it was unique and beautiful and the best part?…she planted the little pots of flowers in her garden afterward, where they flourish to this day.  Is that great, or what!?

Jan Barboglio (an incredible artist that designed the napkin ring in this picture) says, "I seldom choose color or floral arrangements. Instead I select artifacts my children or I have collected..."

You don’t really need to stick to flowers when it comes to centerpieces for a table setting, as demonstrated in the picture above from House Beautiful as well as the picture below.

Seasonal Fruit can be beautiful as a centerpiece.

I plan to copy this idea for my next party.  In fact it has opened up a whole new creative stream of imagination for me. I now look at pottery, ceramic or metal containers in my home and stores with one thought, how would this look on the dining table filled with beautiful flowers that coordinate with my dishes?

Have you used potted plants as a center piece when you entertain.

Pictures:  Bottom 3 pictures courtesy of House Beautiful