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Thanksgiving flowers

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We have out-of-town family here for Thanksgiving, so last week as we were planning the day's meal, my husband asked what I had in mind for flowers. The short answer: nothing so far. I figured I'd work out the logistics of doing the grocery shopping and getting the guest bedrooms and bathrooms in apple-pie order before I worried about a table arrangement. But now we're 48 hours from the big day, so the time has arrived.

The problem is: I feel kinda uninspired about what to do. My mums and the asters are way past their prime, but I have some dried plumes from ornamental grasses, several dried-on-the-shrub hydrangea blooms, and a few roses in fall colors that are still in good shape. And, even better, we have a nice florist a block and a half away.

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Still, what to do? Something with fresh fruits and veggies (I always have plenty of those on hand) or stick with flowers? And then what? The pouring rain outside this morning dampens my creativity. So I decided to see if I could pick up ideas from others.

I liked a fall wreath on Flickr, but it isn't suitable for the dining room table or sideboard.

I was also interested in a video that demonstrates, step by step, how to make a pumpkin centerpiece, but decided that since I would have to do it indoors because of the rain, it would make too much of a mess in my tiny kitchen.

A BHG.com video was excellent and a possibility if I want to stick with something simple. (BHG also features a number of  oh-so-easy Thanksgiving centerpieces.)

There were some nice tips on creating an arrangement at Flower Shop Deals, although none of the actual arrangements spoke to me. And then, on a football blog, of all places, I found some excellent suggestions for choosing the best colors and types of flowers for autumn centerpieces.

At 1-800-flowers.com, I got sidetracked with Thanksgiving fun facts and customs around the world before finding a wonderful arrangement by Jane Carroll. Unfortunately, I couldn't justify the hefty cost.

As I perused Mary's ideas at the European Flower Co., I realized I was gathering an idea or two at each site: I liked the fat, sunny sunflowers I saw. And their imposing presence can be enhanced and softened a bit with yellow miniature roses. Then I can add height and a jolt of red with the bittersweet berries suggested at one site.

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Now I'm starting to feel more creative. The ideas are beginning to flow. I'm not quite sure whether I'm going to attempt a wicker basket for the sideboard or use a small bowl to create a centerpiece, but I'm pretty sure I'll have my flowers chosen by the end of the day.

From there it should be a cinch -- I hope. I'm always the worst crtic of my own arrangments. But I know that in the end, it doesn't matter much -- the turkey's the star of the meal; the flowers are just a nice touch. If they're colorful, everyone will like them. And that's all that counts.