Setting Your Thanksgiving Table

Photo be Rosemary B. Intingaro

Thursday, November 22 is Thanksgiving Day.  So, the Countdown Begins.  

Part of the preparations for Turkey Day is planning your table:  polishing silver, preparing table linens, getting out the good china, choosing pretty candles, etc.  But don’t forget to include a beautiful centerpiece as the finishing touch on your holiday table.  

Your centerpiece can be as simple as a bowl of apples or other fruit garnished with some pretty greens or nuts or pine cones or as elaborate as a flower arrangement from a florist.

If you’re like me, you like to arrange some seasonal flowers yourself in a pretty container.  Then use some of the leftover flowers around the house on a coffee table, in a guestroom, or in a bathroom. 

If you choose to do your own thing, here are some tips for making cut flowers last longer:

  • Before you arrange cut flowers, remove all leaves that will end up below the waterline. This helps minimize the growth of bacteria in the water and prevents the water from getting cloudy. Nothing worse than trying to enjoy a lovely turkey dinner while staring at swamp water. Unless you live in the Everglades and the swamp is picturesque.
  • Cut all stems on the diagonal and crush the the tips of woody stems. This enables the flower to absorb water better. Hydrated flowers are happier flowers.
  • Be sure your container is absolutely clean and you've removed any debris and bacteria from the previous flowers. It's OK to wash the container with dish detergent and bleach. Once you've rinsed the vessel free of any soapy residue, fill it 3/4 full of room temperature water.
  • Add a commercial preservative to the water. Or, since you're in cooking mode anyway, you can make your own preservative by combining 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of household bleach, and two teaspoons of lemon juice in 1 quart of water.
  • Arrange your bouquet. Remember to use a fairly low vase and to keep the height of your flowers low, too. You don't want your guest peering around the centerpiece in order to have a conversation.

Remember, the cooler the room in which the flowers are kept, the longer they will last.  Of course, your great-aunt Helen might not like it, but it will be wonderful for your flowers.  (My great-aunt Helen always got very irate, particularly when chilly!)

Remember, too, to enjoy the day and the people you’ve invited to share it with you.

All of us here at the Power of Flowers Project wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.  You, friends,  supporters, and sponsors of the POFP, are right at the top of the list of our many blessings.

Photo by Rosemary B. Intingaro
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