Fall greenery is the perfect natural element to use in festive autumn decorations and floral arrangements. It’s both bold in color and rustic in texture and gives a calming look to any decor project.
I love the feel and look of fall. There is nothing like cool days when the garden starts to die down for winter. It may appear to the average person that there is nothing of interest out there in the garden right now, but to someone looking for items to use for decorating, it’s like a gold mine!
In the fall, the garden starts to look pretty shabby. There are still a few fall blooming flowers but most of the color is gone. That makes it a perfect time for indoor plant projects.
When many people start their fall decorating projects, they head straight to a craft store such as Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. Me? I head straight to my garden.
I love incorporating natural fall greenery in any decor project. The look is soothing and it brings the outdoor into your home in a lovely way.
This type of decorating used to be limited to shell collections and flower arrangements, but now the natural and rustic look is very popular in all sorts of trendy decorating.
Dried flowers and arrangements that use moss and grasses are a cost-effective alternative to cut flowers and living plants. These items are naturally pretty and require no water or maintenance.
What types of fall greenery can be used for decorating?
The sky is the limit when it comes to decorating with natural elements. If you take a wander around your garden with an open mind, you’ll find all sorts of possibilities for using fall greenery.
Here are some of my favorite fall decorating ideas:
Nature is magnificent in the fall. The range of colors that the autumn leaves take on is stunning. This makes them perfect for fall decorations.
Make your morning walk a time to gather some of the prettiest shaped leaves in an array of colors and let them naturally dry. You’ll have a huge supply of them for craft projects before you know it!
Ornamental Cabbage and Kale
These edible vegetables have a bitter flavor and are normally used as a garnish in recipes. The color of kale is so bright and vibrant and ornamental cabbage has a lovely rosette deign. Both can be used in many decorative ways.
Add pots of the bright vegetable in planters for your porch or along the sides of the steps going up into your home. A single plant makes a wonderful centerpiece focal point.
Mums and Asters
Most flowering plants in the garden are done flowering when the fall temperatures hit, but mums and asters are both vibrant right now and their colors are perfect for fall arrangements.
They are inexpensive, readily available even at your local grocery store and add fall color to any of your decorating projects.
One might not thick of succulents as something that can be used for fall decorating, but combine them with pumpkins and you have a trendy and unique idea that will wow your guests.
I recently did a tutorial showing how to make these fun arrangements. See my succulent pumpkin planter tutorial here.
Japanese Silver Grass Fronds
One of my favorite natural elements that I have growing in my yard is Japanese Silver Grass. It does a great job of hiding the fence line and has year long interest.
In the summer months the striped zebra like grass hides the fence, but it fall it really comes into its glory. The top of the entire plant pushes out 8 foot long fronds that are feathery and just beautiful.
When I want an instant look for a tablescape, I just cut a dozen fronds of various lengths and place them in a galvanized pitcher. Add in a few pumpkins and you have an instant table decoration that will wow your guests.
These soft and fuzzy buds remind me of a pond near my childhood home in the fall. Use branches of pussy willows in a tall sleek vase or in floral foam in an arrangement.
For a fun look, tuck a sprig of pussy willow behind the edge of a picture frame for a natural look. Another idea is to place loose branches of pussy willows along a mantle, alternating with tapered candles or a favorite wall print behind them on the wall.
The light gray shape and round leaves of silver dollar eucalyptus is a great choice to use for fall decorating. The leaves are understated and a very subtle shade of green and look great in Halloween vignettes.
Intertwine the leaves and branches around a grape vine wreath or even an elongated clothes hanger to make a wreath that you can embellish with Halloween motifs.
This pale colored annual has the lightest of green leaves, making it look almost a white color. Combine it in an arrangement with ghostly elements for a slightly spooky look.
You could line a wreath form with dusty miller leaves. This plant takes the cold in stride making it perfect for a living wreath.
Dried Indian corn does not go bad so you can use it for projects from one year to the next. Use it in centerpieces, as accents to wreaths and door hangers, or as the focal point of a Thanksgiving table decoration.
Most varieties of Indian corn are grown for ornamental uses and it’s common to see it in the grocery store at Halloween and Thanksgiving. See lots of projects using Indian corn here.
The ears are very colorful and there is even a variety known as glass gem corn which is vibrantly colored.
Dried beans and popcorn
Fall is the time for soups, stews and crock pot recipes and often these are made with beans. It stands to reason that dried beans (as well as popcorn) would be a prominent feature of fall decorating projects.
One of the easiest way to use either of these (both both) is to place a pillar candle in a clear vase and add dried beans and popcorn up along the side of it.
This makes a great centerpiece focal point and has a very rustic look. See how to make this Hurricane lamp fall project here.
Dried Flower Pods
Many types of flowers have really interesting heads and pods if they are allowed to dry on the plant and are not deadheaded regularly.
The birds love these lotus pods and poppy seeds in the winter and they also make great additions to fall floral arrangements and centerpieces. Since the stems are quite stiff, they work well in floral foam and hold up will in your floral design projects.
The soft white look of naturally dried cotton stems have a ghostly effect that is perfect for Halloween, and the colors take them into fall and Thanksgiving as well.
Use the stems in dried flower arrangements, or place them in pretty glass vases for a natural rustic look.
What would fall be without a pumpkin or two? Heirloom pumpkins come in many colors which makes them easy to adapt to your decorating theme and they are also readily available.
Your local Farmer’s Market will have a good supply of them and I am now finding them at local grocery stores. Pick up a few different colors and shapes and add them to vignettes or carve them for your front porch.
Whichever way you end up displaying them, they will say Fall like nothing else!
Pine Cones and Acorns
We have a huge pine tree in our yard that drops dozens of pine cones every month. Instead of picking them up as yard waste, put these natural elements to a decorating use!
Pine cones are often use as part of Christmas Wreaths, but they also look fabulous as a part of fall decorating. Add some dried fall leaves and a few orange pumpkins and you have a wonderful way to greet guests for autumn.
Dried Magnolia Blossoms
Drying flowers is easy if you use Borax. It preserves the shape of the flowers nicely. Once the flowers have been dried, use them in any type of fall decorations.
They can be added to wreaths, or displayed in clear vases, or wooden boxes and stenciled for fall.
Gourds and Small Pumpkins
It seems as though the variety of gourds available each year gets bigger and better. A trip to one of my local garden shops had baskets and baskets of them in all shapes and colors.
Their small size makes them perfect to use on wreaths, in baskets with other fall elements or as accent pieces to round out a fall scene. Grab some today!
Once the last of the fall corn is done, there are all those long corn husks to get rid of. Luckily for us, my local farmers have gotten clever and bundled it up for sale (very inexpensively, too!)
Corn husks have a great texture and color of fall and hold up well in decorating projects. Use them on back yard fences, or wrap posts and pillars on your front porch and mix in a colorful scarecrow figure for a fun look.
It is not just cabbage and kale that come in ornamental versions. Baby peppers do as well, and they are the perfect color choice.
Many stores carry them, or you can grow them yourself in pots or in the garden. Add a pot or two to any decorating project for an instant pop of color.
As you can see, there is no need to spend a lot of money on fall decorating. Just wander around your garden, get our your crafting gloves and you’ll have all the natural elements that you will need for your autumn decor projects.
Would you like a reminder of this post of fall greenery for some inspiration? Just pin this image to one of your Pinterest decorating boards so that you can easily find it later.