feature designs


This seasonal selection offers something for every taste.

According to a post-Thanksgiving survey conducted last year by the Society of American Florists (SAF), 76 percent of florists said that sales of centerpieces remained the same or increased over Thanksgiving 2004, indicating that the dining-room table accommodates more than just the bird. The five delicious designs shown on these pages cater to a range of decorative tastes, from traditional pumpkin containers to unconventional flowers for autumn. Let them be your inspiration for the season of thanks.

Designs by Talmage McLaurin, AIFD

autumn zoning
Evoking a homespun feeling for the autumn season, this low arrangement features materials that are grouped in sections. The materials—yarrow, Hypericum, Dahlias, Chinese lanterns and thistles—are pavéd into foam row by row, offering vibrant bursts of color in a quiltlike pattern.

MATERIALS: Ceramic Earth’nWare Dish Garden from Syndicate Sales; Chinese lanterns (Physalis) from The Sun Valley Group; Dahlias, Hypericum, yarrow and thistles from favorite suppliers.


seasonal switch
Although tulips are available year-round, they typically are not a top choice for Thanksgiving. The trick to using these nontraditional flowers for autumn, however, is to choose a color that speaks to the season. Here, a garden of orange-hued tulips emerges from a woodland bed. Arranged into a floral-foam design ring, the spiky sweet-gum fruit—both attached to and removed from the woody branches—and the changing colors of the Hypericum berries create an autumn atmosphere. The leaves from the sweet-gum branches are adhered around the ring, with their stems attached for a natural look that reflects the deconstructed edges that are popular in today’s apparel.

MATERIALS: Aquafoam® Designer Ring from Syndicate Sales; tulips from The Sun Valley Group; Hypericum and sweet-gum branches (Liquidambar) from favorite suppliers; Tack 2000 Floral Adhesive from Design Master Color Tool.

HOW TO: Spray adhesive onto the top sides of the sweet-gum leaves, and adhere the leaves to the outer perimeter of a floral-foam ring, with the stems of the leaves resting on the tabletop.

asian pumpkins
These arrangements offer a gardeny approach to Thanksgiving, with assorted autumn-hued botanicals “planted” into floral-foam-filled ceramic pumpkin containers. Wooden stands, attached to the bottoms of the containers, upgrade the arrangements with a bit of Asian flair and give them a slight lift. The small arrangement of Gerberas offers a minimal complement to the fuller composition and could be sold in multiples for placing down the length of a dining room table, along with candles, perhaps, for a festive composite centerpiece.

MATERIALS: Pumpkin Planters from The John Henry Company; wood stands from Oriental Trading Company; ‘Fairfield’ Asiatic lilies and Chinese lanterns (Physalis) from The Sun Valley Group; Gerberas and Hypericum from favorite suppliers; Cling® floral adhesive from Floral Specialties.

Adhere florist’s clay to the wooden stand, and press the pumpkin container onto the stand.

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