Taking Your Table from Thanksgiving to Christmas

I had such a fun afternoon yesterday.  I spent a couple hours at one of my all time favorite garden shops here in Birmingham - Leaf and Petal at their Summit location.

They have the most wonderful staff.  I often send clients in to get something fresh for their spaces once I've finished the styling.  Last time I was there, Cathy Echols invited me to come in and have some fun creating different arrangements with all their fabulous greenery and accessories.

It was a beautiful afternoon.  Perfect for getting your hands dirty.

This shop has so many fabulous things to get you inspired for the season.  Just look at this tower of mini pumpkins.  I always say, if you're having trouble feeling inspired, go to a local garden shop!

Here were a couple of arrangements that were waiting to be picked up.  So wonderful with the pansies, winter cabbage, and the lettuces.  I also loved the moss wreathes just in for Christmas.

Look at this sweet arrangement with the tiny pumpkin and that bird to the right made out of leaves.  So cute!

So, while Cathy was waiting on customers (I had no idea how busy they were on a Sunday), I went right to work.  I decided to come up with were some fresh ideas for taking a dining room table from a Thanksgiving Feast all the way to your Christmas dinner with just a few small changes.  By starting with some very hardy, long living plants that are super popular at the moment - succulents.  If you've read my blog for any length of time you know these have been on my radar for awhile as an emerging trend.  Succulents have been showing up in wedding bouquets and summer cocktail parties for the past couple of years.  But now, we are taking them into the cooler months by bringing them inside and playing off the season.  Since there are some many varieties you have a bounty of color and texture options at your finger tips.

So, I started by "shopping" for the perfect container - keeping in mind, this would need to work for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Remember, if you have a dark dining table, think lighter colors.  But if you dining table is a light wood, consider something richer in color.  For both arrangements, I used a large ceramic container and placed it on top of one of the moss wreaths for some added height.

Thanksgiving/Autumn Arrangement
Here's what I came up with for the Thanksgiving Table . . .

I used an assortment of fresh gourds in all different sizes along with some small apples and bittersweet.  Then I filled in with succulents of all different types, dried mushroom, air plants, and fresh creeping thyme.  FYI: For those looking for bittersweet here in Birmingham, the Summit location just got a huge shipment in, and it's super fresh.

Here's a closer look . . .

Christmas/Winter Arrangement

Then, using the exact same plants and greenery, I turned the arrangement into something totally different for Christmas.

I simply removed the gourds and bittersweet and added a cement lamb with a glycerine dipped small wreath around its neck (the wreaths are available in lots of different sizes) along with two mercury glass crown votives for some sparkle. 

Here's a shot of the back side of the planter which is filled with the second votive holder and more greenery. 

This would be stunning on an entry table or even your dining room table with candlesticks on either side of the arrangement.  So, if you're hosting Thanksgiving this year, consider succulents in your arrangement.  You'll get more bang for your buck with them.  Also, if you live in Birmingham, the Thanksgiving arrangement I created is for sale at the Summit location, if you want to get something ready made for your table!  Happy Monday. M.


  1. Beautiful, Mandi! I love that you've incorporated herbs into your centerpieces... and I think I may have to road trip to B'ham for that bittersweet. :)
    xo heidi

  2. What an awesome place!! I could literally spend all day in a place like that, I get so inspired!

  3. Cant believe its almost Christmas. Great place to shop.

  4. Love it all! The shop looks like a fun place to play and your arrangements are both fabulous - love that you can use the same one for both occasions! Great post.

  5. Hi! Just wanted to let you know that you won the ShopTen25 giveaway on my blog. We've been trying to email you. Can you email info@emilyaclark.com with your mailing address when you get a chance? Thanks!


Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.