It has become our Thanksgiving tradition; as my mother finishes basting the turkey and turning out the lentil loaf, my husband and sister set out the flatware, and my father readies the carving knives, I will be found in the garden collecting flowers for a centrepiece. Floral arrangements are a lovely way to add energy to the table, and to keep it looking lively even after the feast has been devoured!
Every year’s creation ends up delightfully unplanned. Even when I think I have a design in mind, the final result usually surprises me. Last year I had premeditated twin goblets filled with gold gourds (how extravagant!) I was quite set on it, and dear Dad even made a trip to the hardware store to fetch me a can of gold spray paint. As Grandma and I took a walk through the fields in search of straw coloured reeds (according to the warm, muted pallet I had in mind), I quickly realized that this year was going to be different – Grandma had her own ideas.
She began to pick out colourful blooms! “Oh…” I thought. “This won’t go with my gold lathered carnival squash!” But after a few minutes of reluctantly cutting every sprig she pointed to, I made the decision to let go. My plans were changing; it was about to become a shared experience.
Little did I know it would become one of my most cherished moments.
The more I began to shift away from an attachment to my design, and my plans for what would look best on our family table, the more space I created to enjoy the moment at hand. We collected reeds and blooms of every colour and texture. We allowed ourselves to wonder at the beauty of mother nature. Suddenly, I had all this space inside for curiosity, and gratitude. “What a gift this woman is! So filled with creative spirit!”
Grandma and I took turns adding botanical layers to the wide mouthed silver bowl. We celebrated each others contributions, and eventually agreed that nothing more should be added. A few adjustments and final trims were made before we carried our creation indoors and lovingly set it on the dinning room table.
In the end, the centrepiece looked nothing like I had planned, yet it was more beautiful than I could have imagined.
DIY Tips Inspired by Grandma
Combine Everyday Household Items
A stack of vintage books, tea cups, and mason jars all make great centrepiece additions when combined with a few blooms. Set pillar candles and pinecones atop a cake stand for a flower-free alternative!
Don’t Shy Away From Colour
I never would have imagined purples, greens and yellows could be paired with crimsons and rusty reds. But they can! All it took was Grandma’s open-minded foraging to show me that country fields are filled with a colourful bounty that can be mixed & matched to your hearts content.
Do it Together
Wether you’re cooking the feast, raking the leaves, or refining the evenings’s playlist, invite someone to join you! Let go of what you believe to be the “right” way to finish the job, and simply enjoy the journey. Your combined efforts are likely to be more rewarding, and certainly more memorable.