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A Simple Centerpiece

A Simple Centerpiece
November 2018

Dress the Thanksgiving table with an easy-peasy arrangement of potted plants

At Out of the Garden in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant, floral manager Naomi Wallace popped house plants into a brass container, adding Spanish moss, plus mini squash and gourds. Note that a centerpiece like this works best for a round table. “For a rectangle, use a burlap runner, then intersperse small potted plants and gourds down the center,” suggests Wallace.

“To me, Thanksgiving is a cozy, earthy holiday— the focus is on family, not formality,” says Naomi Wallace, floral manager at Ooh! Events’ floral division, Out of the Garden. That’s why, when we asked her to create a centerpiece folks could make for their own feasts, she dreamed up a super-simple option that invites you to showcase a favorite family vessel.

You won’t have to clip a single stem or tangle with any floral tape; instead, arrange plants—still in their plastic nursery pots—inside a low, wide-mouthed container. A metal planter like Wallace’s will beautifully reflect candlelight, but “Grandma’s soup tureen, a china serving dish, or even a sweetgrass basket could work well,” she says.

Wallace selected house plants that offer “a subtle nod to fall colors instead of the standard red, orange, and yellow,” she notes. Choose a tall one, like a vibrant croton, for the center, then pick three more varieties in smaller sizes—you’ll probably need two of each. “Aim for a nice combination of textures,” advises Wallace, noting that one “trailer,” like an ivy, is essential.

Arrange the plants in your container (packing peanuts can come in handy for adjusting heights). Finish the display by tucking Spanish moss beneath the leaves, perhaps adding a zing of color with a couple mini gourds.

After the feast, repurpose your plants around the house—a reminder that Thanksgiving blessings live on.

Supply List

■ One taller plant for center of arrangement; we used a ’Petra Croton‘ in a 9-inch pot
■ 6 smaller plants; we chose 2 each of ‘Aloma Ivy’, ‘Purple Waffle’, and ‘Mamey Croton’ in 5-inch pots
■ A low, wide-mouthed container that suits your decor
■ Dried Spanish moss
■ Accents such as mini squash and gourds or feathers (optional)


To see exactly how Wallace pieced together the simple arrangement—and check out Out of the Garden’s completed Thanksgiving-table display—click here.