A Last Minute Centerpiece

Recently we entertained a houseful of college bound girls as well as some special mentors in my daughter’s life.   With sixteen coming for supper, I had two tables to set and a lot of food to prepare.  Fortunately I had an easy menu planned (who doesn’t like pasta with homemade sauce?), so that left me time to set tables and seating arrangements for what was to be an entertaining evening.

As I wrapped up tabletops, I realized that the dining room table looked bare and desperately needed a centerpiece.  Heading off to Publix for grocery store roses and then out into the yard, I arranged a very quick centerpiece to add a little color to our table without breaking the bank or hindering the other things I needed to do.


Publix roses, stems from a Camilla bush and a gravy boat to create a fast centerpiece.

Deciding what to use for my arrangement was the most difficult decision.  Because conversations are so important at the dinner table, I didn’t want to hinder those at all, but I am so tired of the same old vases as centerpieces.  I also didn’t want something full and big that might interfere with food being passed around. We were only having bread baskets, cheese, and salad on the table, but a large centerpiece could potentially be in the way.

As I scanned the kitchen the gravy boat that matches my china was sitting on the cabinet and caught my eye…..


Adding fresh water to the boat, I took scotch tape and taped a grid across the top of the dish to help hold my flowers in place.


I snipped the roses short, since gravy boats aren’t  deep, and began adding roses in the gridded areas.

I used a full dozen roses, and then added the fresh greenery that was clipped from a Camilla shrub next to our patio.


The result?

small, last minute centerpiece

small, last-minute centerpiece

Nothing over the top, but perfect for a last-minute addition to the table and very economical as the grocery store roses were $8 for the dozen.

And we all love economical.


The girls thought it was so neat that I pulled out the china and roses for their supper.   Why have it if you don’t ever use it?


Two different occupied Japan Noritake china patterns; they compliment each other nicely.

As teenagers, I’m sure they wouldn’t have noticed the lack of a centerpiece, but it sure added to the festive evening and made me feel much better.

Girlfriends Night

Girlfriends Night

What are some last-minute centerpieces you have put together?  I would love to hear things you have tried that worked well.


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