Fall Arrangement With Foliage Free-For-The-Picking

8 Materials
1 Hour

Celebrate the beauty of fall with an arrangement of foliage, pods and grasses, all gathered from the great outdoors. This easy arrangement adds some natural beauty and an organic touch of fall to your home. Best of all, it doesn't cost you anything, other than your time!

I was challenged create an arrangement using foliage or greenery that was free-for-the-clipping! As the leaves on the trees have yet to turn with our summer-like temperatures here in North Carolina, I went foraging to see what I could harvest to create a seasonal arrangement appropriate for early October.

Tip: Cut your greenery and branches and place it in a bucket of room temperature water to condition several hours in advance or preferably overnight before using it in your arrangement.

I started with a favorite urn that I've had for 20+ years that has a bird relief. For easy arranging, I used a piece of chicken wire tucked in the vase. Chicken wire is environmentally friendly unlike wet floral foam and economical too as it can be reused. You can find chicken wire in small rolls at the craft store and larger rolls at the garden center. I had some left over from this DIY Fresh Floral Table Runner. As some of the stems were top heavy, I added some waterproof floral tape to the top of the urn, so the chicken wire would stay tucked down inside the urn when adding the weighty stems.

Tip: Waterproof floral tape adheres to dry surfaces, so add it to your vase before adding your vase water.

I cut some green seed pods from the Crepe Myrtles to add some texture and interest. Before using them in an arrangement, I like to give them a dunk and a gentle “swish” in a bucket of water, taking care so as not lose too many seed pods, while removing any remaining dried petal remnants, cobwebs and hitchhikers that might be hiding among the clusters of seed pods.

I struck gold while foraging for greenery, finding these prickly pods growing on a tree in the field next to my Potting Shed.

I loved the texture and color and had never seen them before, so I cut a few branches and did an online search, identifying them as the pods from a Chinese Chestnut Tree. I would have never guessed these prickly pods held a chestnut inside!

Whenever I use woody stems like live tree branches in an arrangement, I peel the outer layer of the woody stems with a vegetable peeler rather than smashing the stems which can cause bacteria to grow. Removing 3 – 4 inches of the outer wood helps the stems ‘drink’ and stay fresh longer.

Maiden grass plumes, goldenrod and clippings from our Golden Euonymus shrubs were added to fill in the arrangement.

Tip: When using an arrangement with fall grasses and goldenrod indoors, give them a spritz of aerosol hair spray to keep the grasses and tiny flower clusters from shedding.

I placed the finished arrangement in the center of a grapevine wreath, surrounding it with a few harbingers of fall. . .pumpkins, Indian corn, leaves and dried hydrangeas. Adding a bird’s nest to the arrangement seemed fitting to pair with the urn as a fall nesting touch.

Goldenrod blooms along the roadside and in fields from August through October here in North Carolina. I had several bee visitors while I was photographing, attracted to the goldenrod in the arrangement. Goldenrod is an important late-season source of nectar for pollinators. It gets a bad rap and takes the blame as the source of hay fever in late summer and early fall, when ragweed pollen is actually the culprit, which blooms at the same time.

I hope you're inspired to create an arrangement using clippings from your yard's shrubs and trees. It doesn't require lots of money to create a bountiful arrangement to enjoy nature’s gifts and a bit of fall in your home!

More photos at the blog link below!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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2 of 5 comments
  • Beth
    on Oct 13, 2019

    Really beautiful! You don't always have to have florist flowers to have a beautiful arrangement, no matter the season. We just have to open our eyes and take a walk!

  • Cynthia Russell
    on Oct 13, 2019

    Beautiful.. we have goldenrods here also.. but would never use them.. because of the allergies so many have to them = me included!! .. Received so many great ideas from your project.. I predict 2 of these might show up at my front church doors soon.. Thank You!!

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