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English Garden Tablescape Mixes Romance and Vintage Charm

By Alexa Stanard

THE ROMANCE OF AN ENGLISH GARDEN was Derek Woodruff’s inspiration for this summertime tablescape.

Woodruff, owner of Floral Underground in Traverse City, created the table for an event showcase in New Jersey sponsored by floral supplier Syndicate Sales. The showcase was intended to offer layered looks for budget-minded planners and brides.

“English-garden themes are very popular in the thick of summer,” Woodruff says. “Everyone is very into locally grown flowers, so I combined all these elements that are locally grown or USA-grown, but are still able to achieve that English garden feel-romantic, with soft colors.”

Woodruff used colors that play well together-pink, gold and green, for example-and used a simple table linen so the elements on top stand out.

He also brought the outside in with cement containers for his floral pieces. “Concrete is such a huge thing right now,” he says. “It’s really where containers are going because you can make it look like anything.” The containers he used are from Syndicate’s Urban Earth line and are lightweight, padded on the bottom and treated on the inside so they don’t sweat or bleed moisture.

Inside the containers were peonies, roses, large and small hydrangeas and hypericum berries. The flowers’ large, lush blossoms were intended to bring romance, with the glamorous pink shades giving a touch of Gatsby glamour and the green offering a modern balance.

“I often suggest peonies, roses, flowers that give you a big, full show,” Woodruff says. “They give you a lot for your money, too. I didn’t use greenery-hydrangea has such beautiful foliage and is so abundant on the stem that often you don’t need to use greenery, which is a good budget tip.”

Finally, he says, berries are always huge: “You get longevity, and the color variety is amazing.”

Placed along the table were vintage-feel glass bottles in pink, amber and green, chosen to help pull out the flowers’ subtle, soft shades. The bottles, which Woodruff helped design, come from Syndicate’s Vintage bottle collection.

Woodruff chose the glassware for its “detail and interesting shape,” he says. “I liked how it wasn’t so ordinary.” The pink linen napkins helped accentuate the pink flowers, while the white napkins’ lace trim reinforced the table’s heirloom design. Finally, gold utensils, plate chargers and Chiavari chairs completed the look.