A Focal Point for Thanksgiving


I love the idea of heading into the woods, snipping a few branches and whipping up a riveting Thanksgiving centerpiece. Sometimes I actually give it a go, but I’m just not good at arrangements. That’s when I call in the experts. I met with Alison at Ashleigh’s Garden for the lowdown on Thanksgiving centerpieces and she rolled out three of her best-sellers.  Her Turkey Gourd design is striking for its originality and is downright famous: people order it in droves. Alison carefully selects the gourds early in the season to get just the right crook of the neck. $25-35, depending on size. gourd500


Prefer a high-end, opulent look? Alison has that covered, too, with either her gorgeous Della Robia, arranged with seckel pears, macoun apples, clementines, roses and hydrangeas  (and yes, you can eat the fruit). Arrangements start at $50. Call (soon) to order 860.767.2889.     www.ashleighsgarden.com

Madison Flower Shop (pictured at the top) is a must stop whether you’re seeking one of their stunning long and low arrangements or considering DIY.  You’ll find an enormous selection of fresh flowers, berries, seasonal greens and dried foliage. Even better, owner Donna will walk you through the DIY process. She made it sound so easy, I gave it a go, layering eucalyptus greens, dried leaves, white mini pumpkins and tucking in some pinecones and colorful berries. Not bad, but theirs are so much better.  Order soon, 203.245.4851. $60 and up.  www.madisonflowershop.com   And with a few instructions from Donna, here’s my attempt (I know — it needs some work!).pumpkins600