Chrysanthemums are fall's flowers, bringing the season into your home with inexhaustible blooms. Easily dismissed as rigid and out-of-date, they are, in fact, the best cut-flower bargain around. Mums offer shades that equal the flaming foliage of maples and oaks or mirror the colors of an autumn sunset. Enjoy them, and use them liberally.
While chrysanthemums are perfectly suited to easy arrangements reflecting Thanksgivings bountiful hospitality, some of their other endearing qualities are ready availability and economical price. Purchase plentiful bouquets while you're grocery shopping--you'll get an abundance of flowers for a very small investment. Or visit your local flower shop for more novel selections.Greetings
Try this colorful flower ring in other ways, perhaps as a focal point on the mantel along with branches of fall foliage. Or place it in a large, shallow saucer as a centerpiece. Fill the middle with small pumpkins, gourds, and squash, or add a cluster of pillar candles in deep shades of burgundy, rust, and gold.A Harvest Table Setting
Again, it's easy to purchase your materials while grocery shopping. Choose large pompon football mums and a bunch or two with smaller blooms in complementary tones.
From the produce section, bring home heads of colorful kale and selections of persimmons, pomegranates, lady apples, and artichokes. To make arranging simple and avoid a structured look, purchase odd numbers of these items.
Beginning with the kale, secure leaves in the florist foam down the length of the container, alternating sides. Fill in between with the large chrysanthemums, and attach the fruit and vegetables with wooden florist picks or skewers. Cluster the smaller flowers, filling in any gaps.
Trickle a few blossoms and other elements onto the table surrounding the centerpiece. Monitor the florist foam, keeping it moist to preserve the flowers' freshness.Rounding It Out
Fill an old sectioned wooden box with kumquats, cranberries, flowers, pears, and candles in complementary colors. This versatile arrangement could serve as a centerpiece on a small dining table, or it can be placed on a sideboard or tea caddy to complement other arrangements.
Chrysanthemums are the quintessential fall flower. Use them to add easy, fabulous color to your Thanksgiving celebration.
This article is from the November 2001 issue of Southern Living.