Free Natural Decor – Barred Horsetail

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On a recent hike in the woods, I got some decorating inspiration from a plant growing alongside the trail. Barred Horsetail is a plant I can now easily identify only because I made fun of a video Matt was watching a few years ago. The girl in the video, who was foraging for wild edibles, pointed out the long cylindrical green stems and noted that the plant’s rough exterior could be useful for filing nails. At first I thought it was ridiculous – until I tried it – now each time we spot the plant I comment, “Oh look, a nail file!”

Nail file and natural decor

Barred Horsetail

I love having live plants, fresh flowers, and even some artificial plants/flowers in my home whenever possible. That said, I seem to lack a green thumb for houseplants, flowers can be pricey, and artificial arrangements usually don’t fool anyone. What’s better than all of these options? How about a free arrangement you can throw together consisting of plants, stems, or flowers you can find near your house?

As we passed thick patches of Horsetail in the woods the other day, I noticed what a unique and beautiful plant is was, almost like miniature bamboo. I immediately thought about filling a clear vase with these green stems for a very organic-looking, free arrangement. I quickly solicited Matt’s help in picking about 30 of these stems to take home with us (and smoothed out my ragged nails while he worked). I finished our hike with an armload of the plant I had so often poked fun at in the past.

Free Natural Decor - Barred Horsetail

The Horsetail looks so cool in my living room that now I’m always on the lookout for natural objects I can use to decorate our home. (I think one of my next projects will be some spray painted branches in a vase for the holidays! And maybe some glitter…who doesn’t like glitter?)

I would love to hear about anything in nature that makes its way into your home decor. What beautiful things have you used to decorate your home?


About Betsy Jabs

Betsy holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Counseling, and for nearly a decade worked as an elementary counselor. In 2011 she left her counseling career to pursue healthy living. She loves using DIY Natural as a way to educate people to depend on themselves to nourish their bodies and live happier healthier lives. Connect with Betsy on Facebookand Twitter.

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    • Betsy Jabs says

      It starts to fall apart at the “joints” after it dries out. Of course, the ones I have used in arrangements have all been very tall, so the shorter ones may hold together when dried.

  1. JLil says

    This can also be a fun activity for kids. My neices love going on a “nature walk” with me (in nearby woods where they have permission to forage) where they collect acorns, pretty leaves, pine cones, evergreen branches and the like. We’ve put them into floral arrangements or you can just put them into a clear glass hurricane vase and enjoy! I’ve not seen barred horsetail but I’ll keep an eye out, it looks great!

  2. Linda says

    oh yeah, that looks so good! bob loves plants too. he told me if he had it his way we would’t be able to see the ceiling. 🙂 ha ha! but it does create such a nice environment, not to mention how they clean the air!

  3. Chris says

    Great idea Betsy! I am going to have to tell the Mrs. We need some more decorations in your house, and its hard to beat natural and FREE!

  4. Jenny says

    Pine cones! We pick up the nice ones while on a hike, they look pretty in a bowl or scattered around the table with interesting twigs and moss (from my garden, big trouble taking wild moss around here). I love a table set for a family holiday meal with all rustic natural decorations. Bittersweet vines are gorgeous too and very pesky weeds so usually people are glad to be rid of them!

    • Betsy Jabs says

      Oooooh, yes…I can’t wait for winter when I can snip evergreen branches and put together awesome centerpieces using them with pinecones!