Elopement Under the Horse Chestnut Tree

Beaumont House sits in between two enormous farms.  To the north is a farm with a long history of raising champion thoroughbreds and was once the home of Nellie Custis.  To the south is a farm that has been in production since the 1750's.  It's this farm that has captured my imagination.  From my kitchen window I can see the old farm house which is shaded by an enormous horse chestnut tree.  Earlier this year I was able to create a beautiful table under that tree.  I imagine this tree has lots of stories to tell from shading family picnics on hot summer afternoons, couples stealing kisses behind its enormous trunk and children using it as base during games of tag.

Together, our gang of creatives set up a simple table set for six, imagining a lovely couple exchanging vows under the big branches with the magnificent Blue Ridge mountains in the background. 

We sourced locally grown flowers and used heirloom china, crystal and silver from our own mothers and grandmothers set on a locally made farm table.  I love using heirloom pieces for many reasons.  People can actually enjoy them instead of just looking at them behind glass in the china cabinet.  Each of these pieces has a story.  As we were setting the table, we shared stories about family dinners, holiday traditions and favorite recipes.  The silver on the table was my mother's.  We have used it at every family gathering for as long I can remember and now my sister continues the tradition at her house with it.

The flowers were the highlight of spring. The locally sourced poppies and sweet pea vines make me melt.  The vase is an aged terra cotta urn, one of my favorites to design in.  It has a beautiful shape with green moss growing on the terra cotta.

The fun part about this table is that after we photographed it, we sat down and enjoyed it with the finest take out pizza and bottles of red wine.  We talked around the table until it was dark, laughing and telling stories.  I know the tree was listening.

Photography: Norman Photo +  Paper

Vintage metal garden chairs:  Hip and Humble Interiors