Chris Olsen: Winter flowers, Thanksgiving decorations

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- THV's lifestyle guru Chris Olsen with Botanica Gardens has some ideas to get your flower bed ready for winter, and some great Thanksgiving decorations.

Winter Flowers

It's that time of year to freshen up your flowerbeds and get them ready for the fall and winter seasons. This means you have to pull up your old summer annuals and go ahead and plant your winter and spring seasonal color. There are so many different varieties of winter annuals to pick from so be selective.

One of my favorites is the Cool Wave Series of pansies. These guys trail and make for the perfect groundcover in the landscape or even better in containers. They come in an assortment of colors but I like the mix assortment look.

Don't forget about all the other varieties of pansies, violas, and panolas. There are other plants to add such as dusty miller, ornamental kale ( I love the Peacock Kale) and cabbage, red mustard and Swiss chard. Combined together and you have one great fresh new look that will last until April of next year.

Don't forget to fertilize with any all-purpose fertilizer when you plant to help your little beauties on their way to adulthood.

Thanksgiving Decorations

Instead of using real corn husks, I used the craft dyed raffia and unrolled it. It looks just like corn husks and way less expensive. I also used a combination of colors instead of the usual natural color all over.

"Corn husk" Fall Wreath:

There's nothing like a corn husk fall wreath to welcome friends and family into your home during the fall season! Although corn husks may be found in your local grocery store, they can be quite expensive when needing an ample amount. So why not use the craft raffia that can be unfolded; it looks just like corn husks! And this product is great because it comes in a variety of colors. We chose natural, brown, and dark green raffia to reflect this special time of year. A straw wreath found at your local craft store is the base for this wreath. No need to remove the plastic covering as it keeps the straw in place and will not be seen. Once the raffia has been unfolded, cut the strip of raffia in half. Cut in 8 inch lengths. Fold the 8 inch piece of raffia over creating a loop. Place the loop flat onto the wreath and pin down (where the two ends meet) using a double pronged pin also found at a craft store. Fluff the loop to where it stands up. Repeat this step for all loops and completely cover the wreath. We created three rows. The brown raffia was used to create the inner circle, the natural for the middle circle, and the green for the outer circle of the wreath. Add Indian corn and satin ribbon to the wreath for those extra special fall touches!


- Straw wreath
- Craft raffia in natural, brown, and green
- Double pronged pins
- Indian Corn
- Satin ribbon

Wooden Trivet:

A nice touch to your Thanksgiving table is adding a wooden trivet, and it's super easy to create! Round pieces of real wood may be found at your local craft store. Spray a coat of clear protective sealer all over the piece of wood. Next, cut out a piece of felt to fit the bottom of the piece of wood. Spray glue the bottom of the piece of wood and attach felt piece. Create handles for your trivet by taking a soaked tree branch and bending it. Drill two small holes in the sides of the wood piece and glue twig handle in place. Repeat this step on either side or ends of wooden piece.


- Piece of wood
- Clear protective spray
- Felt
- Spray glue
- Twigs
- Wood glue


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