Crocus of various kinds
With the coming of February the days begin to lengthen, and we realise that spring is coming. This month brings us many brave spring flowers. There are snowdrops, that, in all their fragile loveliness, aptly have been named "Fair Maids of February"; scillas, which, with their deep blue colouring, appear to reflect a southern sky and not an English February one, as well as crocus, golden, purple and white, winter jasmine, with its abundant display of yellow blossoms, and the winter aconite, with its quaint golden blossoms surrounded by a whorl of glossy green leaves. All these and many others brighten our gardens, so that, with the addition of the imported flowers, our materials for February table decorations are by no means limited.
We all love the snowdrop, not only for its delicate, bell-shaped green and white blossoms, but also because it is the first promise of spring, the best-loved season of the year.
Snowdrops grow-ing around a lake form the subject of one of our illustrations, and very realistic they appear. A piece of mirror is required - any shaped piece can be utilised, oval, square, or round. If looking-glass is not available, a very good substitute can be arranged by placing a piece of ordinary glass over green glace silk of the same shape and size.
Having placed your mirror in position, take any number of snowdrops, bulbs and all, and plant them in little jars or tins full of wet silver sand. Little queen cake-tins will be found to answer this purpose admirably. Place these around the mirror at intervals, and then hide the edge of the mirror and the tins with pure white cottonwool, so that it has the appearance of snow. Put some crystal frost in a small flour dredger or pepper-caster, and sprinkle the snowdrops and wool. With this scheme a lavish use of scarlet will produce a charming effect.
The gondolas should be Cut out in thin cardboard, and then covered with scarlet paper. If preferred, little boats can be substituted for the gondolas by just folding the bright crinkled paper into boat shapes.
Use bright scarlet shades for the candles, and, if the candlesticks are white, tie a bow of red ribbon halfway up the stems. For menus have white menu-cards with a scarlet bow of bebe ribbon at one corner holding a cluster of snowdrops, and guest-cards to match.
Snowdrops are very pretty in baskets. That shown in the illustration has been crinkled paper, could be arranged in groups, at the base of each of which should be a fringe of Parma violets and their leaves enamelled a bright shade of orange and tied with a bow of satin ribbon to match. The snowdrops - which are double ones - are planted in it in a tin of wet silver sand.
Purple and white crocus, planted in pots covered with purple
The purple and white crocus can be successfully employed as decoration for the luncheon table. The illustration given here shows the two shades planted in a small pot that has been covered with purple crinkled paper. Some of these pots should be placed about the table - say, in a group of five - and at the base of each may be arranged a fringe of Parma violets.
Lilies and Parma Violets
A charming design of lilies and Parma violets is portrayed in another illustration, in which an artistic white china vase supported by cupids is used as a centre, and is filled with a few tall white lilies. Around this, on the cloth, Parma violet blossoms are used to form a design, pointed at each end, and curving inwards at the sides.
Two lengths of cotton long enough to extend from the top of the vase to the points of the design should be threaded with Parma violet blossoms so closely that the cotton is not seen. Place one end in the vase each side as seen in the illustration, and let the other end droop towards the point of the design.
The candlesticks shown are of white china, with full paper shades.
The sweetmeat dishes are of silver filled with Parma violet fondants. Pretty sweetmeats play quite an important part in table decorations nowadays, and if they are made at home, it is quite easy, with harmless vegetable colourings, to match the flowers used.
The following are good firms for supplying materials, etc., mentioned in this Section: Messrs. John Bond's Marking Ink Co. (Marking Ink) Godiva Carriage Co. (Baby Cars); Potter & Clarke (Asthma Cure);
Whelpton and Son (Pills).
A charming design of lilies and Parma violets, admirable alike in its simplicity and beautiful colour scheme. The candle-shades should be of the exact tint of the violets