Alfresco Thanksgiving Table and Blooming Pumpkin Centerpiece


In anticipation of Thanksgiving, I’m at the table as part of a Thanksgiving Tablescape Blog Hop this week! You can find more table inspiration from this talented group of bloggers for Thanksgiving at the end of this post.

I’m enjoying our weather in North Carolina, which is typically mild enough for dining alfresco or on the porch in November. It feels like fall has finally arrived here this week, bringing us some crisp, cool temperatures and for that I am truly thankful. Fall is my favorite season and I’ve been ready to leave the 80 and 90 degree days behind since July, and finally enjoy some sweater weather!

Pockets of color have slowing begun to pop up along the shoreline over the last few weeks. Our Autumn Blaze Maple is always first to turn and blaze with its signature brilliant crimson foliage. Most years, our leaves change from green to gold seemingly overnight, peaking around mid-November, right before Thanksgiving.

Flowers and pumpkins are two of my favorite things and I love to combine the two for a seasonal centerpiece for a fall or Thanksgiving table!


I found a shortcut last year for making a blooming pumpkin centerpiece! The time-consuming step of hollowing out your pumpkin is eliminated to make a vase for your flowers. Since you don’t cut your pumpkin, it will last throughout the fall season.

Here’s the easy short cut: You add a piece of wet floral foam on top of your pumpkin, rather than it hollowing out to make a vase for your flowers. Cutting through the hard skin and flesh can be hazardous, so skipping this step saves time, prevents accidents, and extends the life of your pumpkin.

You can find wet foam and wet floral tape on the floral aisle at the craft store. I found a 2-pack of small round floral blocks at Dollar Tree or you can cut your floral brick with a knife to the size you need. Soak the floral foam until it’s fully saturated and use wet floral tape to secure the foam to your pumpkin.

I picked up some $4 mums at the grocery store to add to some garden blooms and foliage cut from the shrubs. . .hydrangeas, loropetalum with its burgundy-tinted foliage, and Kaleidoscope Abelia with blush pink-tinted tips.


For this Thanksgiving table, I pulled out a tablecloth that I used for a Summer into Fall Transitional Table with Limelight Hydrangeas. I loved the soft blue floral accents paired with acorns and pumpkins for a light and less traditional take on fall and Thanksgiving.

I have an assortment of turkey plates collected over the years and I set the table using four different patterns. . . have a seat next to your favorite turkey!

A Victorian English Pottery Thanksgiving Turkey plate in blue, can be seen at the table from 2015, here, dressed with warm plaid layers.

Royal Stafford Turkey plates have a touch of blue with fruit, flowers and wheat along the border of the plates. You can see them at a Thanksgiving Table With a Touch of Blue, from 2012, here.

Queen’s Myott by Churchill Thanksgiving Turkey has a peach floral and soft green leaf border. You can see them at a Thanksgiving back in 2011, with a pumpkin vase centerpiece and mini pumpkin vases at each place setting, here.

And last but not least, The Victorian English Pottery Turkey by Edward Challinor, my newest addition, with an acorn and oak leaf border, seen at the table in 2016, here.

A mini ear of Indian corn, adds a harvest season note, flanking bone handled flatware at each place setting. Tree slice chargers add some rustic charm in addition to adding some texture and warmth to the table.

Hourglass shaped amber goblets add a soft golden glow to the table.


Thanks so much to Chloe of Celebrate & Decorate for organizing this blog hop. Click on the links below for more Thanksgiving table inspiration this week.

Alfresco Thanksgiving Table and Blooming Pumpkin Centerpiece Details:

Assorted Turkey Plates / HomeGoods, over the years

Farmhouse Plaid Napkins / Pier 1

Tree Slice Chargers / Bed, Bath & Beyond, several years ago

Tablecloth / HomeGoods

Flatware / Towle Seville

Amber Goblets / Mikasa French Countryside


Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

Tablescape Thursday

  65 comments for “Alfresco Thanksgiving Table and Blooming Pumpkin Centerpiece

  1. October 30, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Mary, what a stunning alfresco table! Your blooming pumpkin is a perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece! I loved that you used different turkey plates, adding whimsy to the table! You have perfectly mixed color and texture for a Thanksgiving table and what a gorgeous view! It turned very cold here over the last few days with rain, I think fall has finally arrived!

  2. Ricki Treleaven
    October 30, 2017 at 7:10 am

    I love your pretty table! The floral arrangement and the turkey plates are my favorites. I can’t wait to fluff our home for Thanksgiving this week once I take down all the orange and black! Your blog continues to inspire!

  3. October 30, 2017 at 7:59 am

    How lovely that you are enjoying alfresco dining weather. As always, such a pretty table in such a pretty setting! I love the combination of your print tablecloth with the plaid napkins, I always struggle when mixing patterns, but you seem to do it so flawlessly. I love the pumpkin you chose for your centerpiece, it is so pretty with it’s speckled skin. Your tutorial for the centerpiece is a great tip! Thank you for being a part of another blog hop! I am thankful to count you among my tablescaping blog tribe!

  4. October 30, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Oh Mary, you have created a rainbow of autumn colors with your bountiful floral centerpiece and cloth! The turkey plates are wonderful strutting around the pumpkins and plaid and sitting on the wood slice chargers. Fabulous Fall! So glad you are finally feeling the cool crisp fall air,

  5. October 30, 2017 at 8:34 am

    What a wonderful variety of turkey plates, each one unique and special. We got a cold blast this weekend, this morning it is 33 degrees! Finally the trees are turning. Lovely pumpkin centerpiece!

  6. October 30, 2017 at 8:45 am

    I love your waterside NC backdrop for your tablescape, Mary. And you know I’m crazy about your collected turkey plates – to die for! I so admire your knack for mixing elements – whether it’s textiles, flowers, dishware – you do each all so well. I love your choice of pumpkin for your centerpiece and the floral spray you arranged. Don’t you wish you could faux-freeze it? It’d be worth hundreds in a catalog! Beautiful.

  7. October 30, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Your alfresco dining by the lake is always my favorite. A breathtaking view! I really loved your alternative to hollowing out the pumpkin for a “vase” perfect and gorgeous! Have a great day Mary!

  8. October 30, 2017 at 8:55 am

    This is truly lovely! And you paid attention to all the details. Not to mention, the water view is perfect! Enjoyed your post.

  9. October 30, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Mary, how neat to mix the turkey plates and invite us to sit at our favorite turkey plate! Your centerpiece is so striking and I needed the reminder to take your clever shortcut with the pumpkin. Your hydrangeas are still holding up well and have the prettiest colors.I love the tablescloth and napkins you put together with the wooden chargers and golden goblets. Adding the miniature indian corn at each place setting was ingenious.
    You never run out of great ideas!

  10. October 30, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Your turkey plates are beautiful..took a seat at the first one..the blue Victorian English pottery. The lake view is calming and awesome. Have a blessed day.

  11. October 30, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I love it all, Mary! Your technique for the pumpkin floral arrangement sure works, as I tried that last year. Collecting different turkey plates makes for a fun display. I love your plaid napkins with your pretty tablecloth, and your wooden chargers. Of course your lovely view, makes it all even more spectacular!

  12. October 30, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Gorgeous! I love those plates and the cutlery, but especially love the tablecloth. Oh, and that view. I am not sure I would ever want to leave the table! What a great idea to put the floral foam on top of the pumpkin. It really is a beautiful arrangement!

  13. RS
    October 30, 2017 at 9:42 am

    I love the fresh pumpkin centerpiece and of course all the details on the surrounding table and patio.

  14. Belle Bleu Interiors
    October 30, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Mary, what a beautiful Thanksgiving table! The centerpiece is just gorgeous, and thanks for the great instructions. I may try my hand at making a pumpkin arrangement. I love how you mixed the turkey plates. Each one adds a pretty element to the table. It is always so much fun blog hopping with you. I hope that you have a happy and blessed day!

  15. Iona
    October 30, 2017 at 9:53 am

    So delightful bunch of flowers in a centerpiece, I love it. Thank you :)

  16. Kari
    October 30, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Mary, you never disappoint with your beautiful tablescapes by your beautiful lake. I envy you the autumnal colors as Florida does not give us this drastic change in seasons, altho this morning we woke up to 49 degree temps…. Ours is much more subtle and I have to rely on blogs such as yours to actually see the trees in all their magnificent splendor. The use of different turkey plates gives us a choice as to our favorite and adds to the warm and cozy tablescape. I ESPECIALLY love your bone handled flatware. I also want to thank you for your tips on flowers “in” a pumpkin centerpiece…I tried it last year and your technique worked perfectly. Thank you for your inspiration ….love blog hopping with you.

  17. October 30, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Love the shortcut! Your centerpiece is fabulous! Your table is beautiful and your photography with the lake in the background always reminds me of our summer home that is near a beautiful lake as well.

  18. October 30, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Wow, Mary, this is gorgeous! I love the turkey designs on the plates and those plaid napkins. Thank you for sharing the tip on creating a floral arrangement in a pumpkin and for providing so much inspiration. I’m looking forward to blog hopping with you again next month.

  19. Marion
    October 30, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    What a lovely table setting. Everything is so colorful and just right for Fall and Thanksgiving.

  20. Joan
    October 30, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    I love those turkey plates. I have a turkey platter that is similar to one of those plates. It was my maternal grandmother’s.

  21. Marilyn
    October 30, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Thank You for sharing this gorgeous table setting. It is so beautiful and elegant. It is just perfect fro Thanksgiving and Autumn.

  22. October 30, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Know what caught my eye Mary? The ~orange~ baby boo pumpkins! After a couple months of looking at every color pumpkin imaginable, I thought ‘wow, they really look nice’, must be that time of year:@) Lovin’ the orange, brown and blue, and yep, it’s time to start thinking thankful thoughts!

  23. Melodie Strickland
    October 30, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    As usual you have created a beautiful tablescape–this time for Thanksgiving. Love the outdoor table with the different turkey plates and the pumpkin and flower arrangement.

  24. October 30, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    A beautiful setting for a beautiful table!! I like the variegated pumpkin you used for the vase of your arrangement, it adds some extra interest to the gorgeous arrangement. We went from 70 degrees outside to now 37 here in the middle of the day – so I admire your ability to be outdoors yet!

  25. Rattlebridge Farm
    October 30, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    How lovely it would be to sit at this table, with its heart-of-autumn colors, unique turkey plates, bone handled flatware, and scrumptious blooming pumpkin. Your fall landscape is inspiring and dreamy, as well. We’ve had Orkney Islands weather, though today the temp screaked up to 62. The pups are bundled in sweaters and hoodies. It’s always a joy to blog hop with you!

  26. October 30, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Mary, what a lovely setting. You are so lucky to have such a gorgeous setting. Your turkey plates are so cute. I was waiting to see where you bought your napkins. I bought the same ones at Pier 1 last week, so you are going to see them again in my tablescape. Great minds . . . .

  27. October 30, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    I really enjoyed seeing your Thanksgiving tablescape… as I do ALL of your table settings! Such beautiful colours and patterns you’ve combined effortlessly- or so it seems – everything just flows wonderfully. What a terrific collection of turkey plates you have – I’m going back to check out how you’ve used them all over the years. Even though our Thanksgiving is in October, it would be rare to be able to dine alfresco for it around here and I appreciate seeing your lovely outdoor setting.

  28. Cyndi Raines
    October 30, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Another lovely tablescape by the water, be still my heart. So very well done Mary, you know I love every bit of it. My favorite turkey plate is the Royal Stafford. However I really studied it against the Victorian one and was amazed to discover that the borders were the only real difference. The cottage and fence in the background with the clouds and hills are the same! Even the lumpy foreground and where the turkey is standing is the same. The one turkey seems a bit brighter to me than the other, but they are the same as well. I wonder if the artist for the Victorian plate had to get permission from the Royal Strafford designers as his is so similar. Have you ever noticed how close they are in design? Our TJ Maxx store has some turkey plates and I purchased one to have on display on my dinning room hutch. He really is quite handsome there. Thanks for the idea. Hugs!

  29. Cyndi Raines
    October 30, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    P.S. OH MY GOSH!! I just checked my plate and the back states it is the Victorian one with the acorn boarder by Edward Challinor Lol! I only paid $4.99 for it and so now I will have to be on the look out for the Strafford one as well. Hehe.

  30. October 31, 2017 at 1:58 am

    Love the centerpiece!! The plates are super cute too!

  31. October 31, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Beautiful table and especially with that view!

  32. sherrygcole
    October 31, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Your view is amazing and your table looks perfect with the different turkey plates! I had no idea that you could make a pumpkin centerpiece without hollowing out a pumpkin. Thank you for sharing that info with us.

  33. heyfitzy
    October 31, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Seriously! The view is even more spectacular than your fabulous table. Thank you for sharing your easy centerpiece tutorial! Love it!

  34. Gail
    October 31, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Your flower arrangements are always gorgeous

  35. Norma Rolader
    October 31, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Beautiful Table and the pumpkin with the flowers is just awesome

  36. October 31, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    What an absolutely stunning alfresco tablescape! The view is breathtaking & I love the dinner plates!

  37. November 1, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Mary, first at all I’m really enchanted by this amazing lake view. Your tablescape is perfect, as usual: love the centerpiece and turkeys plates mix & match. Enchanting!

  38. November 1, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Loving the backdrop for your Lovely Thanksgiving table. Such a pretty vision. The pumpkin centerpiece is so pretty with the colorful florals. Cute little pumpkins lined around your centerpiece is perfect. The turkey plates are so pretty. Always a pleasure to see your gorgeous tables. You are one talented lady.

  39. November 2, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Your Table Setting is beautiful. I would love it if you could share this post on Full Plate Thursday, we now have special features for Table Settings. Thanks for sharing and hope to see you soon!
    Miz Helen

  40. November 2, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Mary, Your table setting by the water is beyond beautiful! There’s no way we can do that in November here in Michigan…lol. I really love the pumpkin, and it’s truly stunning with the flowers you’ve added to it. I’ll take one of each plate, because all of them are so gorgeous. You have a real knack for making the best tablescapes. I always enjoy seeing them!

  41. November 2, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Thanksgiving by the water…I want to come to your house Mary! I always love your colorful tables, and this one does not disappoint. I must see if I can make a pumpkin arrangement as gorgeous as yours. Do you think it would work with a faux pumpkin? Fun to follow you on the blog too. Sheila

  42. cynthiafinger
    November 2, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Such a beautiful table you created. I love everything about it. Thanks so much for the centerpiece tip. I’ll definitely be trying it. Take care, Cynthia

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