Thanksgiving Floral Centerpiece

Thanksgiving Floral Centerpiece

Flowers always make the occasion special. Celebrating Thanksgiving is no exception.  Flowers create an atmosphere that says the occasion is special, the guests are special.  In Florida, we are truly blessed with an environment full of greenery and flowers year around. Just walking outside and picking a few greens, adding a few florist flowers in a special container is easy. It just takes a little planning.

Note: You who live up North trump us at Christmas time. We may have poinsettias blooming in our yards in Florida, but where is all that beautiful blue spruce.  At your house!

Choose the space to be adorned with the floral arrangement: a serving table, dining table, side table. Then, choose the container to hold the arrangement. For my dining table I decided that the arrangement should be low so people could see over it and long in accordance with the shape of the table.

Then, the greens and flowers need to be gathered together. I pick my greens from the garden surrounding my home. As a matter of fact, I planted the plants with a “picking garden” in mind. If you live in other parts of the country where picking is not done in November, greens can be purchased from the local florist.

Many flowers come with a few greens already in the bunch. I purchased this bunch flowers from the local grocery store. Many stores now date their flowers, so examine the flowers you choose for the freshest available.


When you get everything picked and home from the store, you must condition them for longest life. Please do not skip this step. Flower bunches usually come with a water conditioning packet wrapped right in the bunch. Cut it open, pour into a bucket, add lukewarm water. NOTE: The water you place flowers in should always be comfortable to the touch. Think of it as preparing bathwater for a baby.

Open the floral pack, separating the flowers. Pull the leaves or most of the leaves off of the flower stem. Leaves take up water first, the flower gets it last. Since your goal is a lovely, long-lasting arrangement, get rid of those leaves. Now cut off at least 1 inch of each stem with a sharp pair of scissors or clippers under the conditioning water. When cutting under water you allow the continuous flow of nourishing water through the stem to the flower.
Note: If you cut your flowers in the “air”,  the stems suck up air when cut, not water, and creates an air-lock so NO water can get past that point.

Now, let the flowers soak in the conditioned water for at last 1 hour. Do the same with your greens. Cut them under water and let them sit in that water for at least 1 hour to condition.

Next condition your Oasis, that foamy green stuff that will support the life of your flower arrangement. (You can purchase Oasis at your nearest Michael’s or craft store.  Make sure you don’t buy styrofoam bricks, but Oasis for live arrangements).

Place the Oasis on top of a bucket full of conditioned water. Do NOT push it into the water to speed up the process. Let it slowly soak and sink into the water. Again, if you push you may create an area that is air-locked and dry and will not support the life of your arrangement. Let it soak for at least 1 hour.

When all conditioning is done, place the oasis into your container, making sure it is secure, using floral tape if necessary.

Now the fun part begins. I arrange most of my greens into the shape I am trying to create: symmetrical in this case so it can be viewed from all sides on my dining table.

Then the arranging of the flowers begins. Again, as you arrange your flowers cut them the desired length under water then place them into the oasis.

Enjoy this process of arranging. Don’t be intimidated by it. Let your creativity flow. God created these beautiful flowers, let them display their beauty. I always remember one thing I read some where long time ago:  always place the flowers far enough apart that a hummingbird could fly between them.

Make sure to place water in the container when it gets to the display table.  And enjoy.

Your guest will be impressed with your talent.  And, YOU WILL GIVE THANKS!

Note:  This arrangement lasted 10 days.

The matriarch of Live Pretty, Roseddy, lives with her husband and children in Orlando, Florida. She is a native of Waynesburg, PA, but she has called the Sunshine State home for over thirty years. In addition to being a fantastic cook, Roseddy is an accomplished seamstress and former Home Economics instructor. Her flower arranging talents are the stuff of legend, and she is a valued member of her church’s altar guild. Roseddy enjoys entertaining, traveling with her husband, and, of course, a good martini.


  • December 30, 2011

    sara morris

    Roseddy, I so enjoy all your recipes and ideas…it is so nice of you to share your stores and include the pictures with everything…thank you…Sara


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