Table Bouquets From a Habitat Yard
It’s Thanksgiving morning. The linens are ironed, the table is set, the turkey is roasting, and the sweet potatoes and dressing are ready to pop into the oven.
And, it’s time for my favorite Thanksgiving ritual: gathering wild plants from my yard for the table arrangements.
But, it’s November! What possibly could be growing outside to use in a flower arrangement?
Mine is one of more than 250 yards in Towne Lake that are certified as a wildlife habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. This means there are beautiful berries, dried grasses, seedheads and gorgeous fall-colored leaves everywhere.
Each year, these items make up the foundation of my Thanksgiving table flower arrangements. To finish, I simply add flowers from two grocery store bouquets for color.
Even if you don’t have a habitat yard, you might be surprised by what you will find outside, once you look. Your landscape plants, the wild trees and plants along the edges of your yard, or on neighborhood walks … in Towne Lake, nature offers beauty everywhere.
If you’d like to make a foraged table arrangement, you’ll need a tall flower vase or two — the kind used on banquet tables to keep flowers above eye level, so people can see one another and talk. I got my two 30-inch brass vases at an estate sale, but you can find great options on Amazon by searching for “tall table vases for banquet.” I recommend 24 to 30 inches tall.
The drawings, below, show my “formula” for making beautiful Thanksgiving arrangements. Follow the steps below, and rotate the vases as you add elements, so your arrangements will look good from every side.
- Tall dry grasses and seedheads, 3 to 4 feet tall, create height.
- Twigs with leaves and berries make beautiful sculptural lines.
- Three fern fronds form a pleasing triangular base.
- Flowers from two grocery store bouquets fill in the color.
Most of all, enjoy taking a break from the kitchen to make these — an hour of quiet beauty in the midst of the holiday rush.
– Ann Litrel is an artist and certified Master Naturalist. She instructs nature journal workshops and paints in her studio, Ann Litrel Art, in Towne Lake.