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Creating a Thanksgiving Centerpiece


Thanksgiving is a time when family and friends gather to give thanks for a variety of things that are unique to each one there…and of course to enjoy a sumptuous meal together.  A fall floral centerpiece can set just the right mood for this festive occasion.  But the centerpiece is often moved from the center of the table to make room for…yes, more food!

So an option might be a floral centerpiece styled to be on a side buffet.  Something to think about…?  My choice for a container for the buffet is a long, narrow container made from a composite material that could pass for stone.  The container itself measures 20” long from one end of the handles to the other end.  It measures 7” high from the bottom of the base to the top of the open container, and 7” wide from one side to the other.

The flowers that I have used for this design include 5 large orange gerbera daisies and 5 stems of variegated brown and gold daisy mums; oak leaves that display colors of green and gold; and maple leaves turned fire red that are behaving like real “show offs”.  I will also use a variegated white pumpkin and 2 ears of Indian corn to create that Thanksgiving feel.

Since this design will be used on a side buffet, it only has to show the front side and the ends.  However, good floral design techniques usually require covering the back side of the oasis as well.  Use fall leaves or sheet moss to hide the mechanics of the back.  In the floral industry, this is sometimes called “washing behind the ears”.


Now I am ready to begin the design by placing 2 pieces of oasis into the container …one medium piece and one slightly smaller piece, end to end.  Fortunately, the container is waterproof so I won’t have to use liners for the oasis.  The interior of the container is slightly curved which makes it easy to firmly wedge the oasis in place.  All I have to do is add the water and let the “instant oasis” earn its name.

The first flowers that I will add are the 5 orange gerbera daisies to establish the height.  Next, I will add the 5 stems of brown and gold daisy mums. The ones that go on the ends will establish the length.


The next addition will be the 5” variegated pumpkin on the right side.  Then the Indian corn will be added on the left side of the arrangement.  The pumpkin is anchored with a wooden pick. The Indian corn is anchored with longer wooden sticks that pierce the husks of the corn.  The darkest ear of corn is used toward the center of the arrangement to balance the visual weight.  The fall oak leaves and the red maple leaves will be the last additions, and the 15” tall buffet centerpiece is finally ready to complete your Thanksgiving celebration.


Of course, no Thanksgiving is complete without a turkey!

by Evelyn Kinville, Behnke’s Garden Blogger

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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