Thanksgiving decor from the back yard (in hot pink and brown)

I got up early this morning. Really early. I made a grocery list. I made plans. I made cranberry-orange sauce, squeezing fresh orange juice until my whole kitchen smelled lovely.

Right now there are cranberries popping on the stove. Tyson said, “Tonight we need to bake, right?”

We. I love that. He makes the pumpkin cheesecake every year — and he’s so excited about it. It’s cute.

This week I’m posting my Thanksgiving table greatest hits — everything and anything you can use to decorate your table. We begin with the most recent: Saturday’s story about using recession-friendly decor from your backyard. This surprised me — it turned out really gorgeous.

Yes, those are bouganvillea — they’re so happy outside right now. They think Thanksgiving is all about them.

I used creeping fig as napkin rings – it twisted really easily.

An urn rimmed with citrus leaves and topped with a pumpkin makes for a pretty placecard holder. You can also use the citrus leaves as an old-fashioned candle bobeche — traditionally used to catch dripping wax.















Everyone has a little lantana — or at least the community planter near your house has some. (Confession: that’s where I got mine.) Cut it and put it in tiny vases or (like these) votive candle holders.

I use citrus leaves to decorate all the platters – put them around your turkey, garnish the dessert plates — everything. (This is Tammie Coe’s pumpkin pie. Ever had one? Amazing. It’s a wonder why any of us bother to bake.)

So, what do you think? A hot pink and chocolate brown Thanksgiving table? Why not?

Photos by Michael McNamara.