In A Vase On Monday – Dried Flowers


As I start to cut back my gardens in preparation for winter, I’m finding great dried material for arrangements that are simply too good to just throw on the compost heap.

IMG_9367I was inspired to make this arrangement for the front porch in a old wooden bucket that I’ve had for years and use for outdoor plants in summer or fill with evergreens around the holidays.

With our Thanksgiving holiday coming up this week, the two pumpkins complete the garden harvest theme. You might notice the little mermaid to the left side. A bit of a coquette, she sits beside our little pond all summer and is courted by handsome green frogs, whom she ignores, despite all the love songs they sing to her. She’s such a heart-breaker.

IMG_9371Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ has dried to a lovely parchment and dark tan color, making a good base.

IMG_9368Cinnamon spikes of astilbe (A. chinensis var. taquetii) add vertical accent and plumes of maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis) fill in nicely. IMG_9369I tucked in a couple stems of an interesting weed (genus unknown) with dehiscent seed capsules, which curl when they split open.  I think they look like a wild hairdo.

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, who hosts a weekly meme to showcase what is blooming in our gardens by creating arrangements to enjoy inside our homes. Wander over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week. Feel free to join in, sharing your own weekly vase with a link to Cathy’s blog.

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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75 Responses to In A Vase On Monday – Dried Flowers

  1. A beautiful post focussed on an excellent arrangement

  2. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Yet another stunning master-piece Eliza. The orange pumpkins just perfect addition. Have a lovely Thanksgiving:)

  3. Joanne says:

    You never cease to amaze and delight me with your floral artistic flare, Eliza! These will be a beautiful display for your home during Thanksgiving, and I will see my browning hydrangeas in a whole new light from now on. 🙂

    • Eliza Waters says:

      🙂 Aw, thanks, Joanne. Hydrangeas give beauty twice – when fresh, and then dried. If I dried these in summer, they’d be lime green, but I never got to it this year.

  4. Christina says:

    Happy Thanks Giving. Now that’s what I call a dried arrangement, fabulous, so rich and opulent. Annabelle is a perfect centrepiece. .

  5. Trini Lind says:

    I loooooove the mermaid!!! 😊💖💖💖

  6. spanishwoods says:

    So beautiful Eliza.

  7. Hannah says:

    The rounded heads of the dried hydrangeas and the plumes of grass give such a sumptuous look to the very large arrangement, it is quite striking, Eliza. The little mermaid is a cute accompaniment, and the pumpkins add some nice fall color. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thanks so much, Hannah. With so much material to hand, I really love making these huge arrangements, they’re a lot of fun. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

  8. Treah says:

    The natural colors of Fall are my favorites….not the bright oranges, reds & yellows, but these rusts, soft browns & tans. So soothing…. Great arrangement.

  9. Maria F. says:

    What pretty grass, Miscanthus sinensis, and the Cinnamon!

  10. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says:

    Nice, Eliza. I had to go back to see the mermaid after Trini pointed it out. Love the arrangement.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  11. oh, I think this might be my favorite arrangement you’ve ever shown! I love the monochromatic color scheme and how you were able to create interest by pairing so many textures. I love the dried flowers and seedpods left in autumn just as much as the beautiful blooms of summer. That’s a perfect harvest arrangement! Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving, Sarah

  12. This is a wonderful bouquet; you are very talented. (Suzanne)

  13. Laurie Graves says:

    Lovely! Does the little heart breaker have a name?

  14. Eliza this is a fabulous arrangement for fall and I adore the old wooden bucket you chose to put it in!

  15. dorannrule says:

    I love this arrangement Eliza! You are so clever. 🙂

  16. Debra says:

    Ditto all the positive comments above. This is such a perfect composition. =)

  17. ladygrace33 says:

    Nothing quite like the colors of autumn. Beautifully done Eliza 🙂

  18. Julie says:

    I really struggle with dried arrangements Eliza and yours is quite lovely, the textures and shades look almost gold. I really like the use of the wooden bucks too.

  19. Julie says:

    Bucket not bucks!!

  20. Cathy says:

    Such lovely shapes and textures, Eliza. I too have been collecting seedheads and other dried material over recent months so I expect to have be producing a similar vase at some stage. Is your mermaid resin or metal? I had various resin fairies but sadly most of them have lost their wings… 😦

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Cathy. The mermaid is cast iron that I sprayed with clear acrylic paint to help preserve her, but she is rusting a bit…time for a new coat. So sad about your wingless fairies. Can you glue them back on? I have one of those resin fairies with clear plastic wings, but I keep her inside.

  21. Kris P says:

    Your dried arrangement fits the season perfectly, Eliza. Although our winds have dried up plants virtually overnight here, regrettably they haven’t left behind anything attractive enough to make an arrangement. I tend to cut down plants too promptly after blooming, denying myself the opportunity to try my hand with one, although, off-hand, I suspect only the Agapanthus stems (now long gone) would good in a container. Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Kris. I used to deadhead religiously, but I’ve been relaxing my rules the past couple years, following permaculture methods. The style is not tidy, so it is tougher to use in a suburban setting, I suppose. However, nature isn’t tidy, and she’s been doing a fine job! 😉
      Hope your Thanksgiving is a good one!

  22. homeslip says:

    Beautiful. I think it’s harder than it looks to make a dried arrangement, this one is gorgeous, and you’ll be enjoying it for such a long time.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you! It was pretty simple to make (it took longer to gather the materials). My comment to Julie outlines my formula, if you are interested.
      It is windy today and it is staying put, so it is pretty well entwined. I was thinking for Xmas I would add pine and balsam boughs, possibly a bow, to give it a more holiday feeling. As the porch is covered, it may well last.

  23. pbmgarden says:

    A stellar arrangement Eliza! Beautiful and seasonal.

  24. Brian Skeys says:

    I think that is a fantastic dried flower arrangement.

  25. Anca Tîrcă says:

    Great arrangement, Eliza! Happy Thanksgiving!

  26. arlingwoman says:

    Ah, you don’t need a blooming garden; you can create beauty from the seed heads! This is really lovely, Eliza. I like the addition of the pumpkins.

  27. Val Boyko says:

    Love the decadence in textured neutral colors … With a splash of orange that says Wake Up! xo

  28. rluram says:

    This is beautiful and perfect for the season. You have such a talent for floral arrangements and photography. Happy Thanksgiving!

  29. srickman2014 says:

    Gorgeous! Suddenly I look forward to Mondays just to see your beautiful creations:) Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thank you again for sharing your talents.

  30. Cathy says:

    This is lovely Eliza; the shape of the arrangement, the golden colours, and the fact that it will last for a while too! Those Hydrangeas are magnificent. Oh, and I do like your Mermaid… maybe she doesn’t know that if she kisses one of the frogs he will turn into a handsome prince who will free her of her tail! 😉

  31. Ann @ Ann Edwards Photography says:

    what a stunning welcome to your home! I love the textures and colours of all these dried flowers. (A belated Happy Thanksgiving – forgive me I forgot all about it).

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Ann. My blogger friends are the most visitors I get! 🙂 I wouldn’t expect you to remember our Thanksgiving, which is always the 4th Thurs. of Nov. so your wishes are not belated at all. Thank you!

  32. You are so creative and full of artistry! It is always a pleasant experience to read your writing!

  33. Heather says:

    I love this one! The pumpkins below add the perfect amount of color.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Hi Heather! So nice to hear from you. How are you doing? How’s Petey?
      Hope you have a great holiday – enjoy the long weekend!

      • Heather says:

        Like most dogs I’ve met, Petey doesn’t seem to realize he had surgery. We are doing our best to safely drain his energy, but with our first real snow, it’s been tough. He wants to roll in it, which isn’t great for a 3-inch line of stitches on his back. But they’re looking good 🙂
        Me – I’m doing well. I’m grateful for so many opportunities that have been afforded to me this year, and recently I’m aware of how fortunate I am to have stable employment.
        Nice catching up with you 🙂

  34. Kathy Sturr says:

    Beauty in death isn’t that what drives Piet Oudolf? Here we can see why! Such great texture, tone, mood …

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