Who knew that a tulip bulb could be like a light bulb and energize an urban landscape?
Thirty years ago, the late New York philanthropist Mary Lasker, an early advocate of city beautification, helped fund a charity to plant tulips on Park Avenue as well as luminous cherry trees and colorful begonias in the summer. To celebrate this milestone, Scully & Scully, New York's fine home furnishings store, asked the Fund For Park Avenue committee members to design table settings inspired by spring tulips.
Because of the Fund for Park Avenue's success, not only has New York City planted over three million tulips but over eight million bulbs all over New York. "It's basically a flower for every New Yorker," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "This is a program that has been imitated but not duplicated in many cities." In fact, flowers have a calming protective power. "I've never heard of a fist fight in front of tulips," he quipped.
Why not use spring's tulips as inspiration to set a table at your own home, As poet Silvana Krculic wrote, "If I was a tulip, And you were wind's wings, I would not count my broken dreams, But bless the coming spring."
Hopefully this will inspire you to have this floral theme at your own dinner table to mark the new season. Tip-toe through these tulip designs and see the ways celebrated designers and hostesses mixed and matched dinner plates, florals and objet d'art to create pleasing presentations.
Anyone who has a tray can use it to start a display. New York's Nancy Swiezy, who runs an events and floral company, loved this Buddha and put it on the tray. She then placed green floral oasis easily purchased at any garden store and then added the white tulips and sprinkled them around the Buddha. She bookended this major feature with floral urns on trays surrounded by dog and cat objects d'art. You can use trays and line them up to create a personal statement.
To create a jolt of color, find jewel toned glasses and add them to the table. While wine glasses can be crystal, designer Nancy Swiezy used Varga copper glasses as water goblets which blended with the "Chinese Bouquet" Herend orange and white plates. Notice how she placed three glasses in a triangle shape. This is obviously for a more formal dinner that includes various drinks.
Salad Plates: Meisen "Ming Dragon"
Chargers: Hermes "Jardin Des Orchidees"
Colored Glasses: Varga
Dog, Cat & Buddha figurines: Herend
BY Jill Brooks
All photos from Laurie Lambrecht for Scully & Scully