Arranged just right, zesty citrus fruits make a strikingly easy summer table look.
Southern Living Edible Summer Fruit Centerpieces
Credit: Kelli Boyd Photography

Bryce Vann Brock and Kelly Revels, the designers behind Saint Simons Island, Georgia's adorable Vine Garden Market, concocted this new way to put your fruit to work as a summery centerpiece. For an extra bonus, they included citrus cocktail recipe ideas and autumnal substitutions.

Step 1: Consider your occasion and season! This will dictate your color palette- for our "Ready for Summer" cocktail party we chose to incorporate citrus in shades of yellow and green. Try to stick to no more than 3-4 types of fruit or veggies.

Step 2: Head to go to the farmers market and source your ingredients! For our table (set for 10), we bought: 3 bags of lemons, 3 bags of limes, 2 bags of clementines, 2 bags of kiwi limes, 3 small seedless watermelons, 6 pineapples, 1 bag of grapefruit.

Step 3: Choose your containers! We used assorted sizes of our oyster-shaped containers, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Consider salad bowls, serving dishes, cake stands, soup terrines, baskets and bread bowls. When choosing your containers, vary the sizes and make sure that there is some common thread in the material or finish. For example, using all white ceramic bowls would allow the produce to be the star of the table and look more modern. If you use blue and white porcelain bowls, your arrangement will veer towards more traditional.

Step 4: Be the Designer! When we compose floral arrangements we consider layering colors and textures. Composing a table with all produce should be no exception. To make a clear design statement, we color blocked our produce. For instance in our "hero piece" (the larger container in the center) we grouped limes, pineapples and lemons only. The satellite (smaller pieces) going down the table is where we introduced the oranges and grapefruits to ombre the variety of citrus colors.

Step 5: Add in a few plants! To play up the texture, we introduced easy air plants to the table. Just plop go, avoid fussier cut flower arrangements that will steal away from your table's striking simplicity.

Other Fresh Ways with Fruit

  • You can introduce other colors with different containers or by cutting open the fruit. For example, a sliced grapefruit brings pale pink to the table.
  • Use one of the smaller fruits to place on top of the place setting - this adds color but can also serve as a "weight" for your napkin or menu if you're dining outside!
  • Let the season decide for you - this will help keep costs down and will be more appropriate in terms of the look. In other words, we wouldn't likely choose this palette for a fall party. We would likely choose autumnal colors in pumpkins, squashes, eggplants, etc.

If you want to be a garden and entertaining DIY extrodinaire, you can even grow your own fruit to use in the tablescape!