Tea garden events were popular in
England long before the advent of “at home” teas.
At these outdoor social occasions, members of
fashionable society could, for an entry fee, stroll
in beautifully manicured grounds while tea with
bread and butter was served. Tea gardens soon
became the talk of London.
You can create your own talk of the town by
making a tabletop tea garden complete with grass
inside your home. All that is needed is a little
sense of adventure.
• Miniature spring or summer flowers and flowering bulbs. (This might be a good time to divide
your perennials and use some of the clumps
for the tabletop. You can replant them outside
after the party.)
• Garden knife.
• If you have table pads, lay them on your table.
• Lay the plastic on top of the pads.
• Place the plywood template on top of the plastic
and then cover with the partially dried, pre-cut sod.
Supplies • Trim if necessary and stick any plastic that is
• Plywood, cut 1/2 inch narrower than all sides visible back under the plywood.
of your table’s shape. • Wrap the entire edge of sod with the coordi-
• Heavy-duty plastic cut to match your table’s shape. nating ribbon.
• Clean, partially dried pieces of rolled sod that • Remove most of the excess dirt from your
have been cut to fit your tabletop. (This initial bulbs and flowers.
stage requires pre-planning, as rolled sod is • Using your garden knife, dig holes in the
very dirty. It must be hosed off, turned over sod and insert the flowers. (I like to make
occasionally and partially dried for two days to little clumps of assorted flowers down the
remove any excess mud and moisture and to table and between platters and trays.)
make it lighter to carry into the house.) The placement of the flowers should
• Don’t worry about
perfectly matched tea
sets. This whimsical
table calls for a mix-and-match approach.
• The grass is damp, so
place napkins, silverware
and all food on trays
• Remove the sod right
after the tea party, give
it a good soaking outside
and roll it up once more.
You will be able to use it
to patch worn spots in
• Coordinating ribbon, equaling the circumference look natural, not planned.
of the cut-out plywood.
By Pat Volchok, Editorial Director