How to Create Indoor Decor From Your Outdoor Garden

Let your garden be your muse! Crafting and gardening guru Debbie Wolfe explains how to use natural elements from your edible and ornamental gardens to dress up our indoor spaces.
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Rosemary and sage garland
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

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Your garden is the perfect source for botanical decor. Not only does it provide you with edible bounty, colorful foliage and flowers, and a plethora of lovely scents, it can be a go-to source for free decorating supplies. If you are looking for ways to maximize the beautiful blooms and bountiful herbs and veggies in the garden now, read on for some easy decorative elements that you can DIY straight from the garden.

Rosemary Wreath
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Natural Wreath

Fresh herbs, flowers, and leaves are perfect for making wreaths. With just a straw wreath form and floral U-pins, this project is super easy to put together. Use large leaves from evergreen trees or shrubs for the base of the wreath. Layer smaller foliage from herbs such as sage, rosemary, and oregano next.

Finally, finish the design with showy or dried flowers. Hydrangeas left to dry on the plant are perfect for wreaths because they won’t wilt. Other dried botanicals, seed heads and pods, or even dehydrated chilies from the garden make lovely toppers.

Spritz the wreath with water daily to help keep it looking fresh. As the foliage and flowers start to wilt, unpin them and toss them in the compost pile. The straw form and U-pins are reusable—swap the foliage and flowers all season long.

Foraged Garland
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Garden Garland

Garlands look great on mantles, as table runners, or just about anywhere you need a pop of green. Bundle greenery such as herbs and foliage from trees and shrubs first and secure each bundle with a green rubber band or floral wire. For color, use dried flower heads or fresh flowers and bundle them together as well.

Cut some jute or cotton twine and lay it on a table. Make it longer than you think you need—it’s easier to trim off excess length. Leave a 6-inch piece of twine at each end. Add a bundle of greenery, starting at one end. Secure it to the twine with floral wire.

Add the flower bundle next, followed by a greenery bundle. Alternate the bundles as you make your way to the end of the twine. Spritz the garland with water daily to help keep it looking fresh.

Centerpiece made with vegetables
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Edible Arrangements

Use your bumper crops to add a pop of color to a centerpiece. Tomatoes, squash, and peppers make lovely focal points in an arrangement. They add plenty of color, plus they offer fun textures that will make your centerpiece stand out.

Place the fruit or vegetable in a shallow bowl or platter in groups of three or five. Fill in the spaces with herbs and other edible foliage such as squash leaves, lettuce, or kale. Once your event is over, you can gift the arrangement to a guest or donate it to a food bank.

Okra made into Santa ornaments
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Holiday Ornaments

Dried gourds aren’t the only vegetable that you can turn into holiday ornaments. Any plant that forms a pod, like okra, is perfect for crafting indoor decor. Okra is a fast-growing plant that produces edible pods that dry quickly on the plant. Allow a few to get large and harvest them at the end of the season. You will need to wait until they are completely dry and no longer green.

Once dried, paint the bottom half and the stem end red. Glue some cotton at the base of the stem ends to form a hat. Paint a cheerful face on it and use cotton to make a beard. Drill a small hole through the stem end and string a piece of twine through for the hanger. These okra Santas are fun crafts for kids and adults alike.

Hanging Herb Swag
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Herb Swag

Door swags are a cinch to put together and add a lovely decorative element to any door in your home. Using herbs to make the swag gives it a double purpose. Once the herbs dry, you can pluck off what you need for your next recipe or store them in an airtight container for later use.

To make the swag, bundle up your favorite herbs. Make each bundle about twice the size you want it to be on the swag—the herbs will lose volume as they dry. Secure the stems with a rubber band, wrap with twine, and tie it off, leaving a few inches of twine on each end. Tie the ends together to form a loop and hang it on your door.

home decor ideas -- DIY napkin ring wreath
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Place Card Wreath

Place cards add a personal touch, letting your guests know they are welcomed at your table. Use a mini grapevine wreath as the base, and tuck an herb or flower clipping in the vines. Tie a name card onto the wreath, if desired. Swap out the clippings throughout the season. You can also tie the mini wreaths on top of gifts as a finishing touch.

You also can use this method on a larger grapevine wreath form. Place the large wreath in the middle of the table as a centerpiece.

Debbie Wolfe is the author of Do-It-Yourself Garden Projects and Crafts and Crafting with Herbs.