Lemon Grove Lane

alfresco dining | setting a casual table

alfresco dining, market flowers

Alfresco Dining | Setting a Casual Table:  Now more than ever I’ve appreciated our home, family, and the opportunity to make our meals extra special. Today I’m sharing a very typical and no-fuss tabletop set with pretty linen, drippy candles, and local market flowers.

alfresco dining, market flowers

Alfresco Dining | Setting a Casual Table

This is the summer to make alfresco dining extra special. With all of us home more I’ve felt inspired to get creative with our tabletop so that dinnertime feels extra special.  My style is simple, no fuss, and often inspired by nature.  A relaxed look, complete with wrinkled linens, dripping candles, garden or market flowers, and a mix of my favorite pottery pieces.

alfresco dining, setting a casual table

Setting the table

Every space I decorate has some sort of foraged treasures from nature.  Get creative and if you have small kids, get them involved! Maybe they’d like to add their favorite garden clippings, stones, or shells ..sharing a story of the day.  Sometimes I lay a napkin on a plate and layer dishes for each guest, other times I might stack dishes on each side of the table and allow my family and friends to grab what they need.  It’s fun when you allow the guests to set the table and decide where everyone will sit.

alfresco dining, market flowers


Replacing paper napkins with linen is a quick, easy way to make your dining experience extra special. I do this so often that I seldom even bother to iron my linen (sharing my wrinkled linen:)  Instead of a traditional table cover try layering runners or adding a vintage textile.


Candles and candle stick holders are so fun.  I like to get creative and use a variety of candle holders and add different colored candles.  You can purchase candles in pink, neon, black, blush, etc.. giving you endless opportunities to create a fun or moody ambiance.

alfresco dining, market flowers

Ceramics and Pottery

Rather than the using traditional dinnerware I’ve been mixing various pottery pieces.  Pottery is an investment so you might consider purchasing pieces over time.  Etsy is good place to start for reasonable prices.  I’ve linked a few of my favorite sources below.

Glasses and pitchers

Fresh ‘spa’ water is something I always have on the table.  I fill a pitcher with lemon, lime, or cucumber slices and have that available for my guests to pour during their meal. This summer we’ve been using Moroccan tea glasses and Roli Poli glasses (discount with code lemongrovelane20) for water.  These glasses also double as ‘small pour’ wine glasses or mini vases.

alfresco dining, arranging store bought flowers


Small glasses and pitchers can double as vases. You can also fill mason jars, or a standard size crock.  I prefer my flower arrangements to be loose and not overly fussy, reflecting the natural environment they came from. Flowers and foliage give every space life so you will always find little clippings or potted plants in our home. Typically I use just one or two types of flowers in a vase.  This summer we’ve had an abundance of colorful wild flowers available so I’m going with that and enjoying all the color.  Dried flowers and grasses are gaining popularity and can be used if flowers aren’t available.  Add a few sprigs of lavender, dried hydrangea or Indian rice grass to your vase for a different look.  Dried flowers and grasses look so pretty and will last a couple months.

alfresco dining, how to create a wild floral arrangement

How to make a wild floral arrangement using foraged and store bought flowers

  1. Gather or purchase foliage or florals and place in water while you grab your supplies: vase, scissors, clippers, and flower frog if needed.
  2. Choose a vase that won’t over shadow your bouquet. Your arrangement should be about one and a half times as large as the vessel.
  3. Trim your flowers and foliage with clippers or a scissors. No worries if the stems are naturally curving, those will look pretty next to the straight branches.  I find with my foraged flowers that there are lots of imperfections.  Rather than tossing those pieces, I’ll add a browning, curling leaf to add a bit of whimsy to the arrangement.  At my local market I am able to purchase single flowers so what I can’t get in my yard I will supplement with store bought.
  4. Flower frogs make it easy to arrange your florals.  Placed at the bottom of your vase, the grid openings will help hold your flowers in place.  You can also make a grid on top of your vase with tape.
  5. Start with greenery first and don’t worry so much about symmetry if you are going for a wild, natural look.  Allow your flowers to do what they want to do.  If you are using a long branch for example, allow it to extend out while the other flowers in a different direction.
  6. Avoid crowding or packing in your flowers.  I remove lots of leaves to allow free space between my florals for a more natural, less-fussy look.
  7. Don’t forget to turn it.  Check each angle making sure each side is equally as beautiful.

alfresco dining | arranging market flowers

Pin for later!

How to create a wild floral arrangement with store bought flowers

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- Leslie

- Leslie

Welcome to Lemon Grove Lane, where I share seasonal recipes and heartfelt home inspiration, all curated to nurture the art of a well-lived life.

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7 Responses

  1. Love your flowers! Your Vermont pottery is so beautiful. I visited the store a couple years ago when visiting my husband’s parents. They make the pretties pieces. Thanks for joining us today!

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