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A Harvest For The Holidays

With the holidays just around to corner, The Saturday Early Show's gardening expert, Georgia Raimondi, has some tips for bringing nature's touch to the Thanksgiving table.


What better way to get into the spirit of the season than to fill your home with treasures from the garden! Nature offers an abundance of inspiration and materials to liven up a Thanksgiving. The following decorations are easy to make and will continue to beautify your home for weeks after the holidays.

Pumpkin Centerpiece color>
Scoop out the flesh from inside a pumpkin and fill it halfway with potting soil. Plant fresh pansies and grape ivy as you would inside a flowerpot. After Thanksgiving dinner, place the pumpkin pot on the front stoop. The pot will last for a few weeks, and the flowers will continue to bloom; pansies do well in cooler weather. You can also plant ornamental cabbage and kale in hollowed-out pumpkins.

Gourd Arrangementcolor>
Remove the flesh from inside a white gourd. Place a plastic or glass vase inside and create an arrangement of fall flowers. Don't be afraid to experiment with fruits and ornamental grasses from the garden. Fruits like persimmons can be placed on bamboo skewers inside the floral arrangement.

Cornucopiacolor>
Purchase a horn-of-plenty basket from a craft store and stuff the back with florist foam. Cover the foam with moss. With a hot-glue gun, attach gourds, fruits and herbs planted in small terra cotta pots to the moss and the cornucopia. Hot glue individual flower vials discretely in the arrangement to let flowers protrude from among the gourds and fruit.

Make sure the cornucopia is overflowing; the insides should spill out onto the table. Build your cornucopia in the same place you plan to display it because you might not be able to move it easily.

Wreathscolor>
At local craft stores, you'll find wreaths made of grapevines, straw and eucalyptus. Gather from the yard some pine cones, seed pods and colorful small branches. Dried flowers and silk or preserved leaves also make beautiful decorations. Create clusters of leaves and flowers with florist wire and attach them to the wreaths with a hot-glue gun. Place candles of various heights in the center of the wreath for a dinner centerpiece. After dinner, hang the wreath on your front door.

Flower Pot Candle Holderscolor>
Spray paint a small terracotta flowerpot in a festive holiday color, such as gold. Place florist foam in the bottom and push the base of a dripless candle into the foam. Place moss around the base of the candle inside the pot, and finish the arrangement off with lady apples or kumquats.

Fruit Votivecolor>
Cut out the center of an orange or an apple with a paring knife and stud the outside f the fruit with cloves. If you use apples, soak the exposed flesh with lemon juice to prevent browning. Place a votive candle in the center of the fruit. This will give off a lovely scent as the candle burns down.

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