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Aiken
                                                      Regional November
                                                      2017





A Thanksgiving Centerpiece That Highlights Your Creativity

By Amanda Whatley Owen

web posted November 20, 2017
GARDENING This week, let's take a break in the yard and get ready for all the family and friends that will be coming to your home for some delicious, Thanksgiving turkey!  Aside from all the festive foods, and delightful home smells, what about adding a touch of southern charm to your dining room table for your guest to admire?  Instead of spending a fortune at a florist for an extravagant arrangement, you can use the resources in your own yard, or maybe your friendly neighbors' yard, to make a simple, but tasteful, centerpiece that will have your guests awestruck.

Making a native homemade arrangement, I feel, adds a touch of simple southern class without overwhelming an area. You can spend as much or as little on your own arrangements as you like. For the arrangement demonstrated in this article, I spent two dollars at Dollar Tree.  One for a wet foam block and one for a silver plastic dish.

If you're doing a fresh arrangement be sure to get the wet floral block. These blocks come in many shapes and sizes, and can be found at any craft store, as well as Wal-mart. 
      Centerpiece


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I also got a small silver plastic dish to put the arrangement in.  I chose something with sides because I didn't want the water from the wet foam leaking onto the table. Now that I have the dish that I want, and the right size wet foam block, it's time to scavenge the yard to collect clippings for my arrangement.

For our foraging trip, let's grab the hand pruners.  With little rhyme or reason, I cut what I like. Typically, I only keep the base of the arrangement (a larger leaf shrub or some variety of evergreen tree) and my focal point in mind.  My base will be Magnolia.  For a focal point, I love dried up hydrangea blooms.  They have that earthy tone I am looking for.  They are very popular this time of year  and many folks are using them in arrangements, or wreaths.  Next, let's consider fillers. A filler would be inserted, after your base and focal point are created, to fill in the spaces. No empty spaces should be visible in any arrangement.  I've used pine, variegated pittosporum, pine cones, and camellia clippings with the pink blooms for a touch of color.

Upon returning home, lay out all of your materials.  Places the wet foam in a bowl of water. Be sure not to push the foam into the water because this can create air bubbles in the foam that will lead to some of your clippings going dry.  Just let it sink to the bottom of the bowl naturally.  Once it's saturated, pull it out and place it in the dish.
         Centerpiece


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Start along the base of arrangement.  I cut my magnolia clippings at an angle, with a fresh cut, and hold the stems like a writing pen, slowly guiding the stem into the foam. Once, my base of magnolia clippings have been installed, I add my Hydrangea cuttings in three points.  One being the high point, the other two being stepped down points. This will be the focal of my arrangement.

Then I fill in the blank spaces using pine clumps, camellias, I even added a touch more magnolia as a filler. I also buried a few pines cones in the blank spaces to look as if they are in the arrangement peeking through. After I fill in the arrangement, I make sure no stray pieces are poking out too far.
         Centerpiece


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Once completed, place your arrangement at the center of your table, or anywhere you wish! Your  homemade native arrangement is an inexpensive way to add warmth and creativity to your home this season, in a cozy, but classy, way!


Next week, we'll be back in the yard preparing to plant our spring bulbs, so don't forget to wear something warm!






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