Fall Arrangement from Garden

With fall in full swing and Thanksgiving not too far behind, many start to think of all the preparations that go into planning the celebratory meal, including the centerpiece. But you don’t have to spend a fortune on your table decorations – and there’s no need to wait until we’re closer to Thanksgiving to start decorating. Here’s an easy, inexpensive and beautiful centerpiece you can put together with just a few candles, some natural materials from the garden and a cup of coffee in your hand.

Three Autumn Candles

Start your decorating by placing your candles in a pattern on the table.

Photo Credit: Veronica Lorson Fowler

Candles & Natural Items

Place the larger focal-point items around the candles. (Play with the positioning and number until you come up with a combination you like.)

Photo Credit: Veronica Lorson Fowler

Little Vase with Yellow Flowers

If you’d like to include some fresh flowers in your centerpiece, bunch the stems together with a rubber band, place in a small glass (or jar) of water, then hide the container with more natural materials.

Photo Credit: Veronica Lorson Fowler

Making this seasonal decoration has become almost a ritual at our house. The kids like making suggestions as to what we should include in our collection of natural autumn materials, and they enjoy being “assigned” the job of combing the neighborhood for the biggest, most colorful leaves.

Here’s how to make this centerpiece for your own fall table:

  1. Start with the candles. I like tall pillar candles – 3-5 in a row – on my long, rectangular table. If you have a circular or square table, cluster 3 candles together instead. Choose bright fall-themed colors (like orange, red or glowing yellow) that will contrast with the predominantly somber hues of the garden this time of year.
  2. Add a few focal point pieces. Find a few natural items that can be colorful focal points in your arrangement, like small pumpkins, squashes, pinecones or gourds. (If you don’t have any in your garden, you can purchase some for a few dollars at a fall farmers’ market, a garden center or your supermarket.)
  3. Fill in around the focal point pieces. Tuck in clusters of seed heads (taken from your garden) so that the cut ends are tucked into the center of your arrangement. Everything should fan or radiate out from the middle of your centerpiece. If you have a long arrangement, feather out your seed heads at both ends for a graceful look.

How long your arrangement will last depends on the materials you use. If everything is nicely dried from the start (or if the materials will still look attractive as they continue to dry), your centerpiece should last for weeks. Of course, autumn leaves will last only about 2-3 days before they shrivel and crisp up in the dry, warm indoors – but these are obviously easy to replace as needed. Little pumpkins and gourds will last for a few weeks.

As the season progresses and your natural materials need replacing, you can keep changing the look of your centerpiece, mixing and matching based on what your autumn garden has to offer. (My bet is that you and your family will find out that’s half the fun!)

Enjoy your decorating – and all the nature-filled goodness!