There is no better way to set a festive table than to bring the outdoors with seasonally inspired centerpieces. And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, we thought it would be a great time to sit down with the foraging queen, Bess Piergossi. If you haven’t stumbled upon Bess yet, now is the time to dive into her Instagram account to re-energize your creative mind. She is one of our talented Shoppe Ambassadors who resides on a quaint farmhouse in southern Maine. You’ll find picturesque images of her New England property, abundant in flowers and birds, as well as her incredibly charming farmhouse from the 1740s. Everything she touches turns to gold, and that includes creating a perfectly imperfect thicket table landscape. Read on for inspiration and all the tips and tricks you’ll need to create your own unforgettable vacation scene!
I think of myself as a ‘front yard florist’, picking flowers and making arrangements in the gardens of our little farm, Hitchfoot Farm. My husband and I live in southern Maine, on an old farm from the 1740s. We raise chickens, ducks and two loving geese that turn our backyard into a fairy tale. Our property borders a former dairy farm, and nothing feels closer to heaven than picking flowers in the garden while I watch the cows graze. I have a passion for design and agriculture, and floral farming / floral design is the perfect blend of these two passions.
Bring in the outdoors
I love to fully embrace the seasons by bringing nature into my home, whether it’s an arrangement on the dining room table, or greenery on the counter. I find the seasons rejuvenating and renewed. In spring, tulips and flowering branches signal new growth and a new beginning. In summer, wild flowers and roses represent freedom and dynamism. In the fall, maple branches and dahlias warm the house with their rich color, and in winter, evergreens and winter berries celebrate the solstice and the reflection. These floral reminders help me anchor myself throughout the year and bring beauty and happiness to the house.
Let the picking begin …
I am mostly inspired by things that are not flowers, when I go out and when I go for a walk. I like to observe my surroundings for the shapes, colors and textures that I find interesting. I made some of my favorite bouquets from forage material from grassy fields, the side of the highway, or deep woods. I like to start all arrangements with greenery – it’s like the skeleton of an arrangement – it helps support the flowers, both physically and artistically.
Favorite fall greenery
wild rose hips
* Tip / Warning: When using forage materials, make sure that what you are harvesting is not an invasive species, and if so, make sure you handle / dispose of it properly.
TIME OF HARVEST
After looking for some greenery, it’s time to harvest the flowers. The flowers can be picked (even a dandelion looks amazing in an arrangement), picked from a garden, or purchased at a farmer’s market or local grocer. There are no right or wrong answers when choosing flowers for an arrangement. I like to choose flowers in a similar color palette and different sizes (a few small flowers and small larger flowers).
Favorite Fall Forage Flowers
Wild Carrot (Queen Anne’s Lace)
Favorite fall garden flowers
This step is not necessary, but it is my favorite. Fill several pots with water and sort your greenery / flowers by variety – one type for each pot. This step reminds me to set up a painter’s palette – I can clearly see what my palette looks like for the arrangement and how many of each flower I have. It’s a beautiful display.
BRING THE LAYERS
For a sturdy arrangement, place a flowering frog or wire mesh ball at the bottom of your vase. Start with the greenery as the first layer. I use the thickest branches first, then layer the thinnest greens. Then, layer your biggest flowers, your focal points. Then add your little flowers all over as a supporting accent. With a solid base of greenery, it only takes a few flowers to make a statement arrangement.
shop Bess’s table
Cara edged table runner
Washed linen napkin S / 4
Small Jago Vase
Looking for more? Explore The Shoppe Thanksgiving Collection
to help prepare the perfect feast.