Back in August my husband and I hosted the most amazing dinner in our back yard. It was a combination of flop and huge success if there ever was such a thing. It all started 7 years ago when we decided that we wanted to build a non-profit organization that helped orphaned children. That is a very long story and has nothing to do with flowers. You can read about it here (and I really really want you to). The organization is called Sweet Hope Foundation and it is like a second child to me.
Back to this event.
The flop part. The original intent was to host 2 dinners for about 40 people each. We asked our board of directors to make a list of people who could be potential supporters of our organization, we’d invite them and have a lovely dinner. Easy right? We sent out over 80 invitations and only received a handful of responses. A few were no, but those that responded yes were some of our very best friends. The flop turned into something amazing.
We called it the ‘One Sweet World’ event.
We had 16 people join us that night in our garden. I set one giant table and enjoyed a lovely evening with our friends.
We started the evening with wine and cheese and for the wine table I created a huge arrangement in a tall crystal vase. I wanted the theme of the event to be rather soft and romantic. I went with a pallet of soft pink, cream and blue. The organization’s theme colors are pale blue and yellow with a splash of orange.
The curtains in the background were attached to the posts of the pergola over the patio. I dip dyed them earlier in the Summer and they make a beautiful backdrop. All of the burlap on the tables had a stamped bee pattern. I found the burlap at the fabric store and it was perfect since Sweet Hope is very well known for its bee.
For the centerpieces I chose birch covered containers. It was a little hipster chic, but the birch was very appropriate since the organization works primarily in Russia and a major art medium in Russia is birch. The color pallet started with Limelight Hydrangeas. It just so happened that the garden center I work at has 3 giant Limelight shrubs out front and they were in perfect bloom at the time of the dinner. They were just starting to show blush pink. I added soft pink roses, cream roses, garden roses, seeded eucalyptus, ammi, spray roses, poppy pods and rose hips from my Rosa ‘Glauca.’ I wish everything was locally grown, but sadly it was not.
I made 6 low centerpieces that stretched down the table.
The table was 16′ long with a single continuous table cloth. I repeated the wine table look with the bee runner. The plates were simple white and topped with Sweet Hope blue napkins wrapped with a small explanation of the organization. The table was lit up with small candles and there were candles and torches elsewhere in the garden.
I had been planning this event for months so the garden was in prime shape. What you don’t see in the photos are the copious amounts of white impatiens in containers all over the garden.
I had a few flowers leftover so I made a small arrangement for the counter in the washroom right inside of the house. We had just remodeled that room so I was particularly happy with that little touch (although it didn’t photograph that well).
Despite the lack of responses for the event it turned out to be a huge success. It was a lovely evening with wonderful friends for a great cause. I invite you to learn more about Sweet Hope and the children it serves to help.