I love to collect dried plants for fall decorations. I've been keeping my eye on several plants that are growing along the edge of the road, or the bean fields. I need to wait a bit to go harvest them.
There's a stand of milk weed at the edge of the field to the east of us. Once the pods split open, the plant can be cut and dried. They provide wonderful interest for a dried arrangement. My mother and I have spray painted milk weed pods gold to use in Christmas arrangements and package decorations, but they are beautiful in their natural colors.
Teasle is an invasive weed that gows in great clumps in our area. It has a wonderful, prickly head at the top of a tall stalk. You can make very dramatic arrangements with them. If you can harvest enough, you could bundle them together, rather the way you would make a bundle of corn stalks. (Check out the teasle in the basket at this site.) But, you have to be sure to use heavy leather gloves when you work with them, because sharp spines cover their stems.
There's a plant that we used to call "Indian Tobacco," when I was a child. It's real name is "Curly Dock." When it dries, it has a deep brown, seedy look, that contrasts the form of the other weeds, and adds more color to the arrangement.
I tend to suppliment what I find along the road with dried botannicals from places like Michael's and Hobby Lobby. One of my favorites is the dried lily pod.
You can see a wreath that uses the dark brown pods at this site.
It's almost time to harvest. I have several five gallon buckets in the garage, and as I harvest, I'll stand the plants in the buckets to finish drying. Before Thanksgiving, I'll create bouquets, tie them with twine, and then add raffia or a wide ribbon. Mother Nature sure gives us some lovely decorations.