Thursday, September 11, 2014

Free Natural Materials for Fall Decorating

About this time of year, I start gathering natural materials for Fall decorating...or at least I start thinking about gathering them.

These are things I saved from last year...dried okra pods and magnolia cones. I mixed them in with a natural-looking pick for an arrangement on the entry chest. 

This morning, I walked outside to see what free goodies there might be this year. 

The Dusty Miller and Autumn Joy are almost ready to pick for drying. The Northern Sea Oats are beginning to turn an "oat color".
This is the first time I've grown Northern Sea Oats, so I'll have to watch them to see if they dry on the plant.

Thankfully, last year's dried hydrangeas still look pretty good. 
This year, our hydrangea blooms were few and far between. 

Acorns, rose hips, pine cones and hickory nuts are ready to be least the ones the squirrels haven't gnawed on.

Here's a nice piece of bark covered with moss and lichens. 

Nandina, Magnolia, Rose of Sharon pods and oak leaf hydrangea. 

Actually, the Oak Leaf Hydrangea is past it's prime, but I might find a place for it in an outdoor arrangement on the deck.

This is definitely NOT ready. 
Sorry for the blurred pic, but I didn't want to get any closer to the wasp's nest. It's under the deck, and I'm going to "gather" it when the wasps are finished with it.

All these materials were/are free, except the okra pods, which I bought. If you live in the South, you can grow okra  and dry it, but for some reason, I never have.

Hope y'all have a great weekend, and happy gathering.
xo Babs

Fun Parties to Visit:
           Dwellings ~ Amaze Me Monday
    Between Naps On The Porch ~ Metamorphosis Monday
The Dedicated House ~ Make It Pretty Monday
Creative Country Mom's Garden ~ Home Sweet Garden ~Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life ~ Inspire Me Tuesday
Coastal Charm ~ Show and Share
Our Home Away From Home ~ Tuesdays at Our Home
StoneGable~ The Scoop
Savvy Southern Style ~ Wow Us Wednesday
A Southern Daydreamer ~ Outdoor Wednesday
Ivy and Elephants ~ What's It Wednesday
The Style Sisters ~ Centerpiece Wednesday
A Delightsome Life ~ Home and Garden Thursday
Between Naps On The Porch ~ Tablescape Thursday
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson ~ Share Your Cup Thursday
Love of Family and Home~ Inspire Me, Please Weekend Blog Hop
My Turn for Us ~ Freedom Fridays Blog Hop
The Charm of Home ~ Home Sweet Home Friday
The Dedicated House ~ Anything Blue Friday
The Jenny Evolution ~ Friday Flash Blog
Rooted in ThymeSimple and Sweet Friday


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I hate wasps and yellow jackets! EEE! But I love natural elements for decorating. Love dried hydrangeas and pine cones. We saw some of the prettiest cat tails in the ditches on our trip last week. They look perfect for cutting! Hugs!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Babs, my hydrangeas did awful this year. It must have been too cold last winter for them. I love all the natural and free goods you will collect.

Blondie's Journal said...

I love when you wrote that you at least "THINK of it"! That is so me!!

I love what I can collect outdoors... I have tons of acorns at the lake that I hope to gather up this weekend. And cat tails. Just remember to leave them outside for awhile after you gather them, whatever it is that you want to bring indoors. Inspect everything carefully for bugs. They will love to lay eggs in your warm home. Been there!

Jane xx

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Babs, I love decorating with natural elements for Fall too. You've got some great items gathered! I always think it's neat when I see a wasp nest in decor, but I never have thought to leave mine. Always knock them down when their small. Maybe next year. A while ago I visited my sis and a house down the street had fabulous pods on their tree. Hoping to go gather a few. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

That looks great Babs. I'm seeing a lot of acorns here. I seem to remember something about baking acorns on a tray in the oven at a low temp which I suppose would kill anything that's alive inside. I had a wasp nest from last year that I tossed- never though to use it for an arrangement. Have a great weekend yourself!

Lady of the Manor said...

Great inspiration, Babs! I'll keep my eyes open for some of these natural elements to use in my home ... all except the wasps' nest!!! lol!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Babs, your natural elements make for some gorgeous arrangements! I lost all my dried Hydrangea's when I moved.

Debbie said...

Oh, you are such a woman after my own heart! I love to bring the organic stuff in for the fall and have been on the hunt myself. I never knew that you could dry dusty miller! I will try that. I also want to grow that other one just for the purpose of drying it. It looks like it would be beautiful.

Thankfully, my hydrangeas are still good too because ours were terrible this year. They barely bloomed, and they didn't dry well at all.

Pat said...

I love the okra pods!!!
Last year, I saw a small Dusty Miller Wreath in the Ballard Designs catalog. Of course, as soon as I placed my order, the summary sheet showed not available. This past Winter, my Dusty Miller suffered so badly that we removed it all and will begin again in the Spring. I would love to have a dried wreath to place over a mirror at the Holidays here on the Prairie!!! Perhaps, Christmas 2015!
I have used the dried Autumn Joy Sedum in many arrangements! The most intense use was for my friends daughters Wedding Reception that "Mr. Ed" & I designed!!!
Thank you for reminding us of the beauty in our Gardens long after the vivid blossoms have passed!!!

Light and Voices said...

My son and I used to go along the bike trails and pick arrangements for the fall. Only thing went wrong was he was allergic to those plants we picked. I hesitate to incorporate dried plants in our house because of that reaction. He still comes over to visit now that he is grown. I loved viewing all these dried plants you found and are free for the taking. Thanks for the wonderful post.
JM, Illinois

Kathy said...

Love finding natural decor! This looks amazing! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

Molly said...
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