This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
This is a matter which many take great interest in, and to which they devote much attention. Like all other fashions it needs to be changed to retain admirers. When the numbers at dinner vary and the tables are changed in size accordingly, plants of different size can be worked in, and a change of the plate or chief centrepieces affords the same chance. Alterations of the kind are always favorable to those who decorate, as none of us like to have the table the same night after night before the same company.
As a rule lightness is always appreciated. Plenty of green with a few bright colors is generally most effective. Small glasses are, to our mind, much more pleasing than spreading the decorations on the cloth, and the main pieces should always be done well. Of these we have arranged many, but one of the best we had recently. The stand has a massive silver base some two feet wide, and on this stands for figures holding a flower basket over their heads. This basket is about eighteen inches across, and is sometimes filled with plants and sometimes with flowers. On the occasion we refer to there was a good plant of Cocos Weddelliana in the centre. A quantity of a small green Selaginella covered the pot of this and filled the basket. As a fringe Adiantum farleyense was used, and white Chinese Primula and Roman Hyacinth spikes were out and placed, not too closely, over the surface of the green. The effect of this was more pleasing than any centre we have made. The Primroses and Hyacinths looked as if they were growing on the little green mound, and the graceful Palm spreading over the whole made the combination complete. - M. W. in Journal of Horticulture.