, , ,

Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing.

Today’s Guest is Janis Lane, who will be talking about the best plants for fall’s dried bouquets.

Welcome back, Janis!

Have you been diligent to save dried material for Halloween and Thanksgiving bouquets? Decorations? Herbs for the winter?

Dock is a wild plant with unique seeds. It’s very difficult to dislodge them from the stem. I delight in using them for just about everything from giving extra height to a fresh bouquet to adding substance to a dried bouquet. At the nursery, we have dock gathering parties roaming the countryside to gather nature’s bounty. The old chicken coop is stuffed already by Labor Day with great bundles of drying dock. Occasionally a bonus or two may be awarded for over achievement.

Cattails: The minute you see the slightest tinge of brown, they must be picked to avoid a burst of bird nesting fluff that will explode later. Pick early.

Spirea: This wonderful, deer-resistant shrub leaves long stemmed seed heads that are great for dried bouquets.

Two invasive foreign species: Purple Loosestrife and a road side, reed grass called Phragmite. Might get wet feet, but worth it for the interesting tassels. I really enjoy the lovely loosestrife, but both species are invading our native cattails and grasses. The powers that be have declared war, but you can still find ample stems for your collection. Just think-every pink/purple bloom you pick saves a new plant from growing. Loosestrife in bloom dries soft lavender. A hunting and gathering day is really fun, but ‘ware traffic, deep ditches that are hidden by grass, and, of course, poison ivy/oak. Always wear jeans, long sleeved shirt and preferably gardening gloves.
Common cultivated plants for drying: statice, strawflower, gomphrena, others.

Last but not least are the little pumpkins. Really a type of seed pod, real name physallis. Common name Oriental lanterns. They are the making of fall dried bouquets. A perennial that is, I kid you not, the ugliest plant you’ve ever seen, produces these delightful seed pods in the fall. They like shade; do plant them behind the garage or someplace you don’t want to see every day. They are also invasive and will take over a cultivated bed with great gusto.

About the Writer/Gardener

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter.

Janis Lane is the pen-name for gifted author Emma Lane who writes cozy mysteries as Janis, Regency as Emma, and spice as Sunny Lane.

She lives in Western New York where winter is snowy, spring arrives with rave reviews, summer days are long and velvet, and fall leaves are riotous in color. At long last she enjoys the perfect bow window for her desk where she is treated to a year-round panoramic view of nature. Her computer opens up a fourth fascinating window to the world. Her patient husband is always available to help with a plot twist and encourage Emma to never quit. Her day job is working with flowers at Herbtique and Plant Nursery, the nursery she and her son own.

Look for information about writing and plants on Emma’s new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma’s face.


THE GLASS CAT is a sweet story about an elderly lady, her friend and neighbor, and a wicked nephew. There’s a romance brewing as well. It’s a shorty, but I think you’ll finish it with a smile on your face.

Read more about the cozy mysteries by Janis Lane on Amazon.