Cattails are so cool. Long, tall stalks with narrow, swordlike leaves and that one big brown catkin at the top of each cluster. They represent a slight design dilemma in finding the right container, though. They call for a high vase or basket. I looked around my house until I happened on one that was just right.
Now’s the time to harvest cattails. Look along roadsides near water. (You can grow cattails at home, by the way, though they won’t grow as tall as they do in the wild. They can be invasive, so grow them in containers.)
To dry cattails, hang them upside down for a few weeks then spray with a floral fixative (or hairspray works, too!).
I love the texture of cattails, and the combination of pattern, color, and texture in this arrangement with some small branches I cut from the hill behind our farmhouse. The leaves aren’t particularly vibrant–no bright golds or oranges or reds. Just a simple green and crisp brown with feathering branches.
On a side note, isn’t the paint on this old chair fantastic? I got several of these old yellow chairs at an auction last year. Somebody suggested to me that I could repaint them. Travesty! They are so perfect how they are.
All shabby, showing underlayers of paint, chipped, and beautiful.
I’ve seen bunches of dried cattails (and the amount I have here would constitute two bunches) for sale for $20 per bunch!
So go grab them while you can! There’s gold in them thar hills!