I recently attended a dinner in Seattle where the centerpieces used vegetables instead of flowers.
In tall glass containers the florist created a “Modern Cornucopia” (a quirky tribute to the Hunger Games cornucopia, which is filled with weaponry and, in the 74th Hunger Games, is used for a feast).
In it, the leaves of carrots spiraled around the containers which were layered with colorful heirloom carrots, beets, squash and pears and topped with tall maple-leafed branches. The effect was stunning.
It got me thinking about what I could do this year for my holiday table beyond the usual mums, pumpkins, or poinsettias.
So I called up Melissa Feveyear, the owner of Terra Bella Flowers and Mercantile, one of the first sustainable flower shops in the United States.
Here are some of her lovely, unusual ideas:
• Try a vegetable/fruit display on a smaller scale. Color block in a round, tall container so you get a rainbow of colors: all the yellow together, the orange together and so on. Heirloom carrots, small gourds, apples, beets and pears are good choices. Cut some flat moss and use it to line the bottom or tuck it in between the fruits and veggies. Peruse your farmer’s market or grocery for the most beautiful pieces. Bonus: You can eat this arrangement later!
• If you have driftwood (or access to it), lay pieces of it down the length of your table to give the effect of a runner. Then place little glass vases filled with blooms or berries along it.
• Create a “living centerpiece” in low glass vases with African Violets and succulents (take them out of their pots and replace them later).
• Slice pomegranates in half and air dry them for a day. Then impale them on a stick and add them into arrangements for a striking burst of deep ruby red.
• Go simple but colorful and fill a glass bowl with tiny clementines.
• Get lichen- and moss-covered branches from a florist; wire or glue air plants and berries to them.
• Carve out a pumpkin and fill it with some long, cut rosemary branches and artichoke foliage (spiky, lovely grey-green and architecturally-interesting).
• Hollow out little pumpkins and gourds and carve patterns into them (like stars) and use them as tea light holders
Have any out-of-the-box holiday tabletop ideas? Tell us about them in the comments.