Our backyard’s prima donna moment comes in late March and early April. The wild lilac’s violet blue flowers complement the rose bushes’ magenta blooms. Orange and lime tree blossoms compete with the tiny pink blooms of the breath of heaven bushes to see who can fill the spring breeze with the most intoxicating scent. Nasturtium, geranium, westringia, euryops, jasmine, rosemary, and lantana add every color of the rainbow to the scene. Dust colored towhees scratch about on the ground, the black-and-white phoebe darts back and forth from his perch on a lawn chair, hummingbirds buzz around the trumpet vine, parrots feast on the ripe Chinaberries, and the orange and gold western tanager makes infrequent cameos.
This scene unfailingly brings the hospitality queen out of dear ole Eve. This year, we are inviting the relatives and friends to our plot of primaveral paradise for Easter. A garden brunch with mimosas, quiches, fresh fruit, lots of colorful eggs and chocolates. I spent an afternoon wandering in and out of stores to find table decorations, serving dishes, and some ideas to freshen up this holiday party. And find I did, more than I should really buy, but options are always good.
The hunt started at Cost Plus World Market, which is never short on whimsical (and affordable) touches for any party.
The brass-finished glass terrariums caught my eye for a buffet-table centerpiece. I envision filling one with sprouts of succulents from our garden, silk butterflies, and colorful eggs (Brass Geo Terrarium, $23.99 for the medium size). The butterfly clips were handcrafted from goose feathers ($7.98 for the six-pack). Also for sale, a green, round Mossy Table Mat, a faux grassy spot to lay the terrarium ($7.99 for the 10-inch mat).
Cost Plus offered a colorful array of papier-mâché eggs handcrafted in India ($41.88 for a set of 12). The Kelly home goes big with eggs over Easter — hard-boiled, wooden, Ukrainian decorated blown eggs, glass eggs. We welcome all eggs.
To hold the eggs, Cost Plus sold vintage-inspired fluted-glass eggcups in purple, green, and blue ($5.97 for the set of three).
For the kids’ place settings, I found Easter Crackers. Don’t think saltines, think little party favors whose string you pull to make a pop and reveal some sort of delight. Cost Plus carried Nestler bunny design crackers, which pop to reveal a party hat, joke, and gift inside ($19.99 for eight).
To add a little whimsy, I brought home the freestanding yellow Chick Feet cupcake liners (silicone reusable liners, $4.99 for a four-pack).
As I headed to the register, a white metal cake stand with scalloped edges caught my eye. I had to give it a home (Ivory Amelie cake stands, $19.99 for the 12-inch size).
At Target, I picked up a box full of colored foam eggs, speckled with gold (Egg Filler, $9.99).
Pottery Barn Kids offered felted wool Easter containers in chicks and lambs designs, a perfect little tabletop container to hold some jellybeans for the little guests ($6 for the six-inch-high containers).
Over at Pier 1 Imports, I discovered snuggly, handcrafted lambs, fuzzy little beasts, either standing or sitting (Natural Lambs, $6.95).
I also found a plethora of rabbits, but settled on the gold terracotta painted napkin rings ($3.95 for one).
My Uncle Joe is a punster, so for him I also grabbed a set of salt and pepper shakers. Two ceramic eggs, sitting on black chicken feet with the saying, “Every bunny needs some bunny” ($14.95).
And for my man Patrick, the man of the house, an Easter bowtie. For $9.99, Trendy Gents on Etsy offered many springy options. One that caught my eye: a geometric shapes Aztec tie in pink, teal, black, and orange.