The Center of Attention: Fall Centerpieces for the Thanksgiving Table

By Lynn Jawitz

Fall colored roses are beautiful this year; there have been leaps and bounds of improvements in breeding of new and unique varieties of orange. The range of orange roses can vary from a very dark orange to a bright Caribbean orange similar to one you would find on exotic islands.

Arranging Beautiful Fall Centerpieces

  • Complement orange fall roses with rust-colored specimen Chrysanthemums, bright berries, and greens, to give texture and character to a rose bouquet.
  • Hunt and gather! Walk outside to the nearby park to collect seasonal berries, acorns, colorful fallen leaves, seedpods, and dried grasses.
  • Stick with seasonal flowers! Pass over imported tulips and peonies that are out of season; bring out the sunflowers and cornstalks, cattails and reeds, and sheaves of wheat and wild oats.
  • Accessorize your fall floral arrangements with seasonal miniature gourds and pumpkins.
  • Vegetables such as hollowed out squashes, pumpkins, and gourds go great with autumn Dahlias in rich fall colors. Chrysanthemums also complement the gourd vegetables, which are naturally watertight and make great containers.

Keeping Centerpieces Looking Fresh

  • If you have flowers ready well in advance of a holiday event and longevity is a problem, cut the stems and keep the flowers in fresh water; this is better than floral foam. Keep an eye on the water level; if the water goes cloudy, this is a sign to change the water, add floral preservative.
  • As an alternative, you can add a drop of bleach in water to keep bacteria away from floral stems and keep them clean.
  • Keep your flowers out of direct sunlight, away from heat (or anything too cold), and not sitting on top of a television or refrigerator. There are spray sealants available for flowers, and if you ask your florist they will spray your leaves.
  • Dried autumn arrangements can crumble, so after arranging, give a final spray with a commercial flower fixative such as Crowning Glory, Finishing Touch, or Clear Set to help hold those arrangements together.
  • As always, take great care of your flowers!

More than your everyday florist, Lynn Jawitz, owner of Florisan, is a floral architect. Combining her English, Dutch, and Japanese design training, Lynn creates works of art with her bouquets, tabletop settings and room décor. Her ability to understand her clients’ desires and translate them into lush colors and intoxicating fragrances have secured her position as leading designer of choice. I encourage you to visit her website at