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Nandina Bamboo, Peony Leaves, and Other Foliage for Autumn Arrangements


One of the many things I love about having a garden (for years I had decks) is that I can go outside virtually any time of year and find beautiful, seasonal foliage for using in indoor arrangements.

If you have a good selection of vases, vessels, urns, a good pair of clippers, and some “frogs” you can create some really lovely arrangements.

Obviously foliage mostly requires tall vessels. And when you use foliage you need to make sure you pulvarize the stems. Foliage usually has woody stems and they don’t absorb water well unless you pound them a few times with a hammer.

The floral arrangement above is peony leaves with miniature pumpkins on stems. Peony leaves in the autumn are stunning.

One of my favorite autumn foliage is the rather homely Nandina Bamboo. For years I wondered why people bothered to plant it. But living through a few harsh winters I understand now. It’s because Nandina is about the only thing that looks good before the spring flowers and greenery arrives.


Nandina mixes well with flowers too. I like to use sunflowers with mine.

Autumn Foliage

Olive branches
Peony leaves
miniature pumpkins on stems
Japanese maple (the small leaf varieties)
strawberry tree (beautiful but hard to work with because the berries fall off easily)
mock orange
myrtle (year round)