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Creating A Thanksgiving Centerpiece With Texture

The majority of items for your table centerpiece can be scrounged from the garden and yard.

An example of an autumn flower arrangement.

As the cold weather comes into my Midwestern garden, I grow somewhat mournful because it will be months before I see the results of the bulbs I planted this fall.  I remind myself of the Chinese proverb that advises, “Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a songbird will come.”

There is also an arrangement for the Thanksgiving table to think about. Perhaps this year I will concentrate on texture in my centerpiece.

  1. I think I will fill a shallow bowl with oasis (foam), though I could crumple up chicken wire to use as a support.
  2. Then I will poke some short evergreen pieces into the sides of the oasis to let greenery encircle the rim of the bowl. Yew, holly or box are fine, but whatever evergreen you can cut from your garden will do.
  3. Add a circle of berries, if you have any in your yard: evergreen or deciduous holly (winterberry), purple callicarpa berries, orange pyracantha or bittersweet.
  4. Maybe you can find some seed pods from perennials that have not been cut down yet, (e.g., coneflower, black-eyed Susan or butterfly weed pods and some grass plumes).
  5. A few sticks from a dogwood tree or a shrub of some kind can be stuck in also.
  6. A few surviving mums and/or colored leaves or rose hips may be found too. If this looks too haphazard or drab, buy a few flowers at the grocery store to insert and jazz it all up.

The majority of items, though, can be scrounged from the garden. The main thing is to keep it all low enough that the diners can easily see those opposite them at the table.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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