Seeds, Pods and Pheasant Feathers – a Table of Texture

On a stroll through the yard to gather horse apples last month, our Magnolia seed pods caught my eye and prompted this Fall tablescape that would be completely appropriate for Thanksgiving.

During Fall, we enjoy many things in our landscape – luscious things that transform before our very eyes.

Full Tablescape

As beautiful as Magnolia blossoms are in the summer, their seed pods will stop you in your tracks during Fall.  Before bursting open, they are firm with a fuzzy exterior.

I love the little curls at the tips of those diamond-shaped sections.  What a wonder they are!  Do you have Magnolia trees?

Fuzzy Magnolia Seed Pod

Who needs to buy decorations?  Just go outside and look around…you’ll find something exquisite!

The hint of red gets more pronounced on the pod as the seeds burst through the surface.

Magnolia Seed Pod

Each stage is so interesting and beautiful.

Seed Pods

I’ll admit, after the seeds drop, the pods look pretty narly and rough.  The seeds turn brown within hours of dropping, so using them for red decorations long-term isn’t an option.


We enjoy the Southern Magnolia pods all the same, along with striped pheasant feathers – HH’s reward for me from his pheasant hunting trips.

Center Arrangement

Magnolia leaves are thick and green, with brown backs to add more woodsy (or, is it woody) texture to a Fall arrangement.

Brown-backed Magnolia Leaves

It’s been very dry here.  What once were rich green leaves are now yellowing.  Even the damaged leaves, like the yellow one above, give a story of some sort, so I leave them.  Bugs chew, leaves suffer…a reminder that things change in life.

Pheasants have gorgeous feathers, and the clump of tail feathers is especially beautiful when left intact.  The whispies at the base are soft and flowy.

Pheasant Tail Feathers

HH is wonderful to bring me more than just a carcass – or several – after hunting.  I can’t cook wild pheasant to taste worth a darn!  Thank the Lord for these rewarding feathers.

Center Collection

Beaded napkin rings (actually Christmas wreath ornaments) have teeny leaves and pine cones in the mix.

Beaded Napkin Ring

The place setting consists of our wedding stem ware and Royal Doulton china grounded with a gold charger.

Place Setting

Since the plates have both silver and gold, it gives options for paring with either or both.  The plaid napkins covered by lace-trimmed napkins  work nicely for Christmas but aren’t severely tied to it.  My friend, Ginger, gave me the plaid napkins to help me prepare for more tablescapes.  Thank you, G!

PAM’s silverware detail seems to mimic the leafy edge and flowers on the plates.  More texture in the table-cloth, too – dainty texture.

PAM's Silverware

You’ll see this table again – with a Christmas transformation.  A few tweaks here and there – that’s all it takes!

I always (always!) want to encourage you to use the special things you already have in your surroundings – things inside and out – to use them and enjoy them for fun or fine dining.

It’s not the stuff  that matters.  It’s the matters behind the stuff!

Happy Fall dining with nature and texture, y’all!







I’m sharing my table of texture at Tablescape Thursday.  Follow me there for more inspiration.


  1. Ginger Giles says

    I love it, too, and knew you would use the napkins in some beautiful way. Now, I need my hunting husband to bring me some pheasant feathers so I can copy your creativity!

    • says

      Thanks, G! I’ll publish another post with your napkins soon, where they show up better. Thank you again! 🙂

  2. says

    Great job, Kim. I like everything about this table, especially the centerpiece and how you’ve used natural elements to create a very dramatic piece. The feathers are a great touch, too.
    Linda recently posted…Gourmet DelightMy Profile

  3. Bev says

    Lovely! I have always loved magnolia pods and love to see them used in creative ways. This is beautiful.

  4. says

    First I want to applaud you for creating a tablescape that would stop a speeding bullet. Goodness gracious, this is beautiful!!! Much of the beauty comes from the natural elements you’ve used that remind us all that Mother Nature trumps Hobby Lobby any and every day of the week! I wish I had a “true” magnolia tree. That hybrid thing we have in our yard doesn’t produce the big, beautiful seed pods and flowers and glossy/flat leaves like the “true” magnolias do.

    Perfection to bring the pheasant feathers from the centerpiece down onto the napkins!

    I look forward to seeing the transformation of this table to a Christmastime motif. I was a presenter at a workshop over the weekend and showed the ladies how to do that very thing. Busy people don’t always have time to make major overhauls, so having a tablescape that can transition from general fall to Thanksgiving to Christmas and then into general winter (January/February) is a blessing!!!

    Gorgeous, Kim!!! Thanks for sharing your talent, and have a great week!

    • says

      Awe, you are so sweet. What a compliment from the Tablescape Queen! That’s a huge coincidence that you just did the workshop, Alycia. How neat! Those were my thoughts exactly for creating a table with simple changes for the busy households. Stay tuned this Thursday for the Christmas table. Hey, if stores can have their Christmas stuff out before Halloween, I can do a Christmas tablescape before Thanksgiving. LOL!

      • says

        The whole workshop was about Christmas decorating, so I was thinking Christmas way back in July when I was first asked to do this!!! There’s no way we’re putting all of those boxes back without actually going ahead and doing the Christmas decorating. Besides…with my back & shoulder in such pain (especially after my shenanigans at the workshop!), it will take me twice or three times as long to get it all done!!! And hey…people look to our blogs for ideas and advice on holiday decorating. We have to get it out there early enough for them to buy stuff and act on it. It’s our obligation! 🙂

        Have a great night! I’m going back to bed!
        Alycia Nichols recently posted…Most Egg-cellent Fall BreakfastMy Profile

        • says

          Ooh! Take things easy now that you’re done with the workshop. I’m so sorry you’re having pain. No need in making things worse, so take you time getting things decorated. I know boxes may be in the way, but please take care of yourself! Smart idea to not put all of it away only to drag it out again.