Summer in the dye garden

Summer is a brutal time here in South Australia, and as I was writing, we had just had a record breaking heat wave where we were up over 40C for four days. In my case, however–not facing bushfire, and I feel for those who have and who will.  People have already died and summer is young.

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I took some photos before the heat wave… Hollyhocks, whose flowers have been going into the freezer as they fall.

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This year’s woad looking splendidly leafy.

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Last year’s woad flowering and seeding for all it’s worth.

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Our very own E Scoparia.  Last year, skeletonising caterpillars left just the veins of every single leaf in a lightning fast attack, but it has come back.  2015-12-13 12.11.31

Weld in flower (with rhubarb beyond).

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Japanese indigo seedlings, now blessedly in the ground.

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Cotinus looking like it will make it.

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The madder looking the worse for wear.  In Spring it was more like this…

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And the pansies, may they rest in peace (they didn’t make it through the heat wave), which have given a splendid collection of tired old flowers to the freezer.

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There is more… and I have been roaming the neighbourhood collecting bark and fallen hibiscus flowers and considering the other options too…




Filed under Dye Plants

6 responses to “Summer in the dye garden

  1. Fascinating to see your garden (from the UK) and read of the sad damage caused by the heat. I admire your ingenuity – saving flowers for dyeing and making the best of the situation. May your garden flourish!


    • Thanks so much! These flowers are mostly summer flowering. I am just gathering them for dyeing once they wilt. To me this offers the double happiness of the flowers and then the dye 🙂


  2. Susan

    I had heard of your horrific heat 😦 I have 60 cm of snow and going to get quite cold. I haven’t been able to keep up with my fiber and food blogs but am going back now to read all of your. Happy and Healthy new year to you and your beloved!


  3. Saw the news of your horrible heat and thought of you and also all your guerilla plantings. Even here it is ridiculously warm (22-24C for Christmas on the US east coast!), with lavender and violets and winter jasmine blooming, summer flowers blooming still in the window box, alpine strawberries blooming, and even the honeysuckle with some new shoots and flower buds….! When the temps crash it will be bad.


    • One of my friends calls this climate chaos. I think she may be right! The guerilla plantings are doing remarkably well, and in some places they are benefiting from council water truck assistance! 🙂


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