You may have noticed that we’ve been spending most of our summer at the cottage this year. Along the road leading into our little neighbourhood grow a row of cattails, also known as bulrushes, punks or corndog grass (they do look like corndogs actually!). I’ve always loved the look of these long green grasses with their chunky brown knobs. Apparently several parts of the bulrush are edible and we found a yummy recipe using young shoots with wildrice that we’ll have to try in the spring. Cattails, or Typha, can also be used as building materials, furniture seating, paper-making, as biofuel and other purposes.
So, on a little evening walk with the kids I ventured over to the side of the road to see if I could collect some of the long stalks. With the four of them looking on I crept as close to the edge as I dared. I couldn’t exactly see how deep the trench from which they grew was, but I was sure I didn’t want to end up in it. Without a knife or scissors on hand I managed to wrestle out a stalk. Then, of course, each of the kids wanted one. I’m not quite sure how, but we walked away with about five of the 3-4 foot tall stalks (which quickly turned into light sabres).
They did get me thinking about possible ways to use them in a project and the idea of a small privacy wall came to mind. But what would we stick them in to keep them standing up? The best we could come up with was the idea of some bricks with floral foam blocks in the middle. That was until we found this beautiful piece of white-washed driftwood on the beach. The piece had a natural groove along the center that just screamed bulrushes! So this is how the “Drifting Cattails Porch Decor” came to be.
A little note: although we were able to wedge the stalks into the groove of the driftwood, drilling ¾” diameter holes gave nicer pockets for the cattails to stand in. We were also able to add water inside to keep them fresh a little longer.
Do you have cattails growing near you?