Dramatic Thanksgiving Centerpiece

The Thanksgiving holiday is a celebration of friends, family and traditions. And, while we love traditional floral centerpieces, sometimes we want something different. In this video clip Leanne creates a contemporary round centerpiece with gorgeous flowers from Florabundance.com. You will love this stunning mixture of traditional autumn flowers combined with orchids, blackberries and pomegranates. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Flower School.com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, Director of the Floral Design Institute. Today, I'm here to share with you a fabulous Thanksgiving centerpiece. 

It's such fun to get ready for the autumn season, and today, florabundance.com is joining me in the studio. All the flowers are from them, and they are so grand. They sent me some cottage yarrow, Asclepias in this beautiful orange and red, pomegranates, decorative blackberries, spray roses, cockscomb Celosia ... Don't you love this in that vibrant orange? Perfect for Thanksgiving ... some chocolate phlox, and orchids. Yes, adding in the orchids with temperate flowers is beautiful. All of this, thanks to florabundance.com. 

When I think about Thanksgiving, I think about family and the circle that we fill. Thus, I chose a round container, this one from Accent Décor. Then, I filled it with foam using a separate dish to be able to just set it in so I don't get my container dirty, and I can use that over and over. 

Now, it's got wet foam soaked with flower food, the round dish. This is perfect for Thanksgiving because at dinnertime, of course there's no room on the table, but there's lots of time at the table with the family around dinner. Set this in the center, enjoy the conversation. Then, remove it for dinnertime and set it on a coffee table or a side table and enjoy, and then bring it back when the dinner's over to gather around and be a centerpiece for conversation. 

With so many fabulous materials, foliage almost becomes secondary, but I still love to use a bit. So, maybe just a couple Fatsia leaves, a large one, low and in the back. Then, a second one terraced over, adding just a little bit of height, and coming in with just a small amount of Ruscus to carry the green forward in the dish. Then, I'm ready to flower. 

I place my heavy materials first so that they anchor the design. The Celosia, how perfect is that? Removing the leaves so I have just a beautiful, vibrant orange. Then, setting it in, making sure it's down into the water so it will drink well, helping to break the line of the container. Second piece, see how that just pulls your eye inward? 

Then, of course, I want to bring it to the back side because a centerpiece is all the way around. So, carrying that orange on through, breaking the line of the container on the opposite side. I have one more bit, grouping it more towards the center so that the orange carries through from front to back. 

Then, the pomegranates. Oh, these are so fabulous. They're heavy, so I want to make sure they're placed in low and tight. Some of them have a little bit of the foliage on them. I'm going to leave it. Even rest with the Celosia. Be another one coming underneath, helping to draw your eye into the arrangement. 

Then, of course, bringing one around to the opposite side and up through the center. Look at all the foliage on that one. I like that, so I'm going to go ahead and leave it. Give it a cut, placing it in, and then letting it just drape so it comes off to the side. 

Once the base is down and you've got this movement front to back, then you just want to fill in, keeping in mind the rounded form. Maybe bringing some roses, keeping it low so that you can easily converse across the table. I'm tucking it in and around, helping to break the line of the container coming forward and back, grouping together. Then, the berries... The decorative blackberries are so fun. Just breaking them down a bit, letting them add texture and interest. Definitely will create conversation just about the bouquet. 

Can't forget the orchids. This is where it adds movement and character. Although it's a round arrangement, you can let it come out, let it drape, let it have movement. It doesn't have to be stiff round. It can be soft and casual, almost wild, carefree. Bring it out to the opposite side. Maybe get a small piece coming up through the center. You can see, although it's round, it's not a perfect circle. It has a little bit of character as it works. 

The design is starting to be beautiful. Now it needs just that little extra texture and some lightness. Some of the cottage yarrow will create that beauty. It's got the burgundy and the yellow in there. Kind of fun, getting the two colors. The Asclepias, it's a unique bloom. It actually has a milky sap, and that milky sap, when it leaks out, will shorten the life of the flower. If when you cut it, you take a moment, and you burn the end just with a candle flame, singe that so it's actually burned, that locks the milky sap in, and your flower will last so much better. 

I don't know how it works. It still drinks water, but it doesn't bleed out. Isn't that amazing? Mother Nature is just the most miraculous thing. Again, it's just give it a cut, burn the end, I use a candle flame, then go back and place it into the foam. Let it be a little taller because it's so bright and sassy. 

Some bunny tail... Nice texture here, tucking it in. You can group it. Need a few more grouped over on the back side. Cutting off the grass. Don't really need that part, just want the tail. The chocolate phlox, just such grand texture. Tucking it in. Going back, a little more yarrow. Just go back and forth with the different materials till it gets total coverage and beautiful texture. 

The finished centerpiece is ready for the table, and it is very traditional, updated with a lot of fabulous materials and textures. But to give it a more contemporary vibe, breaking all the static line and adding dynamic movement, that will be the absolute final best touch. This is jasmine vine. You can see all the little curlicues, the little florets off of it. 

I've removed all the foliage. I didn't want that green, and it doesn't hold as well. I just wanted the vine and that character and the movement. Just giving it a cut and placing it into the foam, and then winding it around, letting it just nestle into the design and between materials, and going back and adding more, and letting it just wind, adding that dynamic movement to finish the design. 

As you prepare to make your autumn and Thanksgiving centerpieces, check out florabundance.com. They're online. You can search by season. You can search by color. You can search by variety, and yes, they have all these fabulous items. So much product to choose from, you're going to have a hard time picking your favorite. 

Now, it's your turn. If you need more inspiration, check out the website, Flower School.com. The website contains hundreds of floral design how-to videos, floral design classes, online floral classes and DIY Flowers. 

If you've got questions, you can reach me through there. Or, pick up the telephone and give me a call at (503) 223-8089. I do love to hear from you, and I'd love to see what you create. You can send a photo to my personal email, or better yet, post it on social media and tag #FloralDesignInstitute so we all can see. Have fun, and do something you love.

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