Here’s what will be on my Thanksgiving table. I know, we’ve seen this everywhere, but I wanted to remind you it’s still an easy, pretty look.
There’s a natural beauty to simple flower arrangements. I’ve sat at dinner tables where flower arrangements were so tall, I could barely see the person across from me. I’ve sat at tables where after the guests were seated, the hostess removed the centerpiece to a side buffet…leading me to think, “What’s the point?”
Tulips are my all-time favorite ‘go to’ flowers. They’re not specific to the Thanksgiving season, but in a globalized world where transportation, and refrigeration have made us almost forget what seasonal produce is, tulips give me the year round simple elegance I enjoy.
Tulips come in an assortment of colors to meet any occasion. They’re elegant, inexpensive, not over-done, and best of all they’re size appropriate, so they can stay on the table during dinner. Grouped with seasonal accessories, they fit in anywhere, anytime.
The Accessory List
1. A clear glass vase.
2. (Optional) a penny…yes, the information on this is all across the board…we’ll talk about it later. If using, use old pennies.
3. A bag of cranberries. (Cranberries are a hard berry, so you can rinse them after the flowers die, and continue to use them in other arrangements throughout the season)
4. Orange tulips. In Dallas, I find the best assortments at grocery stores like Tom Thumb, Kroger, or Whole Foods. You may want to phone first to make sure the store has them. Buy them almost three days before they are needed for the table. If you buy them tightly closed, it could take a few days for them to open, stretch out, and be gorgeous!
5. Leaves from your favorite Fall tree. On our neighborhood walks, Mac and I bring home pretty Fall leaves. My favorites are saved, pressed in a book, and dried to keep for years. The leaves in the table photo are two-years-old.
About Those Pennies
Now, about the penny…I asked several neighborhood florists about the penny in the tulip vase, and they all said, “Yes.” Dutch websites say the penny is not necessary, only clean fresh water. I always drop a penny, or two, or three in my vase. If you use a penny, use old pennies...the copper content is higher. The penny is used for the purpose of making the tulips stand tall. Personally, I find that it works.
Tulips DO NOT LIKE the sugar solution packets from the florist, so only use fresh clean water with or without the penny…your choice! When I take tulips to someone’s home, I always present them with a penny!
Cut the stems on a diagonal. The day I bring mine home, I cut them two inches shorter than I ultimately want them to be on my table. Tulips continue to grow after they’re cut. If you’re cutting them a few days before you need them, they will be an inch or two taller in a few days. You want them to be somewhere in the range of one and one-half times the height of the vase, but don’t fuss over this…do what looks right to your eye.
They also take up water from their whole stem, not just the tip. They live an average of 7 – 10 days.
With pennies in the vase, hold the flowers in place, so cranberries will distribute evenly. Fill the vase about half full with cranberries. Add cold water.
Surround with those Fall leaves from your favorite tree, baby pumpkins, or anything Fall.
Easy, simple elegance achieved without spending a lot of time or money.
PS. If you can’t find tulips…don’t fret, roses or any fall color mix will work perfectly! Don’t use the penny, use the florist packet.
My Favorite Cranberry Sauce
An After Meal Story
If you need a short after-the meal-audio story, head over to my podcast, The Literary Catcast—dedicated to the preservation of vintage books and writings with cats as main character, bringing their awareness into the modern form of a podcast.