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Foraging Wildflowers and Grasses for Natural Decorating

Fall always has the sweetest smell to me. I think it’s all of the dried grasses and wildflowers. We live near the Morton Arboretum, and I love taking hike through the prairie field there in later September, early October. It feels almost magical and the scent is amazing across the grassy fields. Like hay and honey.

goldenrod and grasses

I love being able to walk outside and forage wildflowers and grasses for natural decorating in my own yard. They pop up in the most interesting places like sidewalk cracks and squeezed in garden paths. What is that saying? A Weed is a flower that grow in the wrong place. I’ve had a few spots where goldenrod has popped up in my yard, and I let it grow. I tame it a bit by pulling up anything outside of the circle I want it to grow in. If you love wildflowers, so do bugs and the bees. My goldenrod is normally covered in them, so use caution when collecting. It’s important when picking wildflowers to know what you’re picking. Some of the prettiest flowers are also toxic and that goes for wildflowers too. Some “baddie” weeds also hide in with the good ones. If you’ve ever accidentally grabbed a horse chestnut plant by accident, you’ll know what I an talking about. They are in the nightshade family and are pure evil.

Horse nettle a bad weed in the nightshade family

Some of the wildflowers and grasses in my yard are common, and easy to find. Below are some of my favorites.

Fox tail Squirrel l tail grass

I’ve heard this grass called fox tail grass or squirrel tail grass. In researching it for this post, there are a few different types of fox tail grass and from what I’ve read they aren’t good for horses or dogs, and can even be fatal for pets because of their barbs. This is the first time I had heard this information. It’s so common and everywhere here, and as a child, we picked and played with it constantly, and I’ve always had dogs and never gave it a second thought. I found an article that explains that here on a site called The Bark.

Goldenrod wildflower

I love Goldenrod for it’s lovely, airy habit and fill my vases with it. as well as a wildflower, you can also plant cultivated varieties. Find out more about that here from the Chicago Botanic Garden Website.


We have crabgrass. Like everywhere. If you want some, we got some, I’ll give it to you for freeeeeee. But most people don’t want it and try hard to get rid of it. I did find some interesting info about it in Wikipedia. If we can’t get rid of it, at least it makes interesting vase filler.

Asiatic Dayflower

The Asiatic Dayflower is pretty and pretty invasive. I have to pull this from my flower beds constantly. Again, if I can’t get rid of it, I might as well put it in a few vases and enjoy it’s bright blue flower.

crab grass as an interesting vase filler

Wildflowers are also pretty when mixed with traditionally “cultivated” flowers too. Mixing and matching can make for interesting bouquets!

Once you gather your wildflowers, you can also press them to dry and use later and enjoy them long after they are gone!