I absolutely love Thanksgiving – and so does my family. Whether you are a gardener by hobby or profession, “harvest” takes on a whole new meaning. A harvest holiday is the seamless blend between summer’s bounty and winter’s quieter “downtime,” and seeing the results of one’s labor on the table just makes everything more delicious.
Besides actually eating our summer’s hard work, we like decorating with it. I have always been one for a natural and organic theme in the home, and have touches of the outdoors in nearly every room of my household. And when it comes to setting a holiday table, my own garden makes its way there, for a gorgeous, homey and unique look.
If you have leftovers from your autumn cleanup, you can compost them (and I advise it!), but do keep some scraps out for your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. The following ideas are in honor of Thanksgiving. Hope your holiday is wonderful!
Fall cleanup often involves pruning, and it certainly includes raking for most people. Gather some great scraps – choose pieces that appeal to you; curved? Straight? Lots of offshoots? – and allow them to dry. Overlap them in a circle, oval or rectangle and place candles, gourds or other decor inside. For a truly fun idea, create a table place setting “tree” out of a branch. Hang table setting cards from the branches.
Fallen leaves are, of course, very autumnal, and they can be gorgeous. Leaves may lose their fall color once dry, so I recommend picking no more than three days in advance of the event. Scatter around your centerpiece.
This is the time of year that we bring the outdoors indoors, and many gardeners enjoy indoor gardening at this time. A fantastic idea is to place a candle in a potted plant (be careful that the leaves and stems won’t be too close to the flame) and set out at intervals along the table.
If you grew gourds this summer, you have the perfect centerpiece and individual place settings. Buy a wicker cornucopia and spill the gourds from its mouth; sprinkle nuts, twigs, leaves, etc. among the bounty. Or arrange the gourds as a centerpiece. Another idea is to take any planter, fill with newspaper, an old pillowcase or anything supportive, and place the gourds on top.
Pine cones are traditionally winter decor, but they add a gorgeous “tie in” between fall and winter on your Thanksgiving table. Gather pine cones and add them to place settings, along the table runner, or in the centerpiece. Their fragrance is gorgeous and they will keep for years if you make sure they stay dry.
Hope your holiday season is wonderful – and full of all the bounty and blessings a gardener wishes for!
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