Historical Florals: Arrangement Ideas for Your Thanksgiving Table

Posted by: Author admin November 10th, 2015

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Thanksgiving season is upon us, which means that it’s time to think about how all of the moving parts of your family’s holiday dinner can mesh seamlessly. There are a lot of ways to bring your loved ones together, and a gorgeous fall-inspired floral centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table is one of them. Whether you’re a host or a guest this year, bringing Thanksgiving florals to the table can provide inspiration and enjoyment for guests old and young, from near and far.

What’s In Season?

Fall flowers are infamous for their rich textures and gorgeous, earthy tones. In Texas, we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to continue cultivating a wider variety of flowers than our friends in the Midwest and Northeast United States, due to our temperate climate and milder fall season. Perennials are especially appropriate for fall because they have all season to grow. Here are some of our favorites: 

  • Chrysanthemum. chrysanthemum.jpgMums are the quintessential fall flower – which is why they’re first on our list. With countless varieties, some with large heads and some with small, and with virtually endless color combinations, these hardy blooms are a perfect choice for your centerpiece. 
  • Cockscomb.
    cockscomb.jpgAlso known as the wool flower, cockscombs begin appearing in the late summer and continue to bloom through late fall. These flowers are as beautiful dried as they are fresh, so you can incorporate them however you wish. Choose from a variety of vibrant yellows, golds, reds, and pinks.
  • Aster.
    asters.jpgThese composite flowers come in beautiful jewel tones of pinks, blues, and purples. Asters are delicate and beautiful and will bloom throughout the fall harvesting season until the first frost hits.
  • Perennial Sunflower. While classic sunflowers last for only a single growing season, the perennial sunflower will continue to thrive. Smaller than its namesake, the perennial sunflower is a gorgeous composite that produces soft, fluffy flowers, reminiscent of daisies.


The Fall Cornucopia

With a veritable abundance of flowers to complement the abundance of food at your holiday table, it’s fitting that the cornucopia can encompass both. “Cornucopia” is Latin for “horn of plenty,” where cornu means “horn” and copiae means “abundance.” Historically, the cornucopia has its roots in Greek folklore, but it’s also become one of today’s most recognizable fall symbols. Let’s take a closer look. 

There are a few different Greek legends associated with the original cornucopia, which began as a horn belonging to the goat, Amalthea. In one version of her story, she raised the Zeus from infancy, nursing him with her milk and protecting him from his wrathful father, Cronus. One day, Zeus accidentally broke off her horn, and with great apology, he promised to repay her by ensuring that the horn would forever be filled with whatever Amalthea wanted – hence the name, “horn of plenty.”

In another version of the story, Amalthea removed the horn herself to give to the young god, and in yet another, the horn actually came from the head of a river god. The cornucopia is also commonly associated with Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, as well as with Hades, whose abundant offerings trapped the young goddess Persephone in the underworld for six months of each year.

Mythologists still argue about which story is the “original” source of the imagery of the cornucopia, but there’s no doubt about its importance. The cornucopia is depicted on Greek urns dating back thousands of years prior to the American thanksgiving. The symbolism remains the same, however; we all recognize the curved horn overflowing with fruits, grain, and honey.


How It All Comes Together: Your Thanksgiving Table

Today, a cornucopia can be made from a number of different materials, including wood, ceramic, stone, and (most popularly) wicker. It continues to symbolize prosperity, fertility, and abundance, and it’s made appearances in art and music, as well as in religion and folklore.

With such positive historical connotations, it makes sense that, in a Thanksgiving context, it also carries the meaning of America’s thankfulness for all of the good things in life. By displaying a beautiful floral cornucopia, your table will become part of the tradition of gratitude for all of life’s blessings. What better way to celebrate a day of thankfulness?


Other Ways to Decorate

Of course, a floral cornucopia at the center of your holiday table is only one of a multitude of options. Consider these other ideas for a Thanksgiving centerpiece, inspired by our favorite fall colors and textures.

  • Use an heirloom pumpkin as a “vase.” Give your Thanksgiving table some rustic living charm by placing your floral arrangement inside of a hollowed-out pumpkin. Your friendly neighborhood florist will be happy to help you create a gorgeous arrangement. Alternatively, a pretty ceramic pumpkin can serve the same purpose, with the added bonus of being reusable.
  • Incorporate fruits and vegetables. Interesting gourds of all shapes and sizes are available just about everywhere these days, from fall farmers’ markets to your neighborhood supermarket. What better way to celebrate abundance than to incorporate these into your arrangements? Other seasonal fruit and veggie options include pomegranates, kumquats, and dried Indian corn, among others.
  • Make branches your focus. A wide-mouthed vase or other glass vessel is the perfect size for an arrangement of fall-colored branches. If they have pretty berries or pods, place the branches in water to keep the “accessories” from falling off too quickly – or dry them in advance for a rustic seasonal display.


Floral Arrangements from Scent and Violet 

Whatever your preference for Thanksgiving flowers, you don’t have to put the decorations together on your own. At Scent and Violet, we have an online selection of fall floral arrangements, including the aforementioned cornucopia and pumpkin displays. In addition to what you see there, our retail store offers many more options, and we’re always happy to work with you to make your centerpiece truly one-of-a-kind.

If you have something special in mind, don’t hesitate to contact us. Give us a call during our business hours, or start an email conversation about Thanksgiving flowers in the Houston metro area.