I had a query from a lovely reader recently and it caused me to consider what was in my dye garden, which is also the flower and vegie garden, really. So here is a little taking stock. Woad is showing its capacity to self sow. I have gone from struggling to get a seedling out of a hard won pack of seed, to finding I could get it to grow, to this… self sowing in the veggie beds. Let’s see if these plants manage the summer.
The one-year-old-woad is pretty big. Pity I didn’t harvest it at the right time. I still might have another go… but meanwhile some of it is sending up flower heads and the seeds will dye too! This is the woad-and-potato bed beside the peach tree.
This is the woad-greens-rhubarb-you name it bed. Flower heads rising in the middle top of the picture.
The new raised madder bed, with added pansies, evacuated to this spot when their pot fell apart without warning. I think the madder already likes this spot. Californian poppies are doing well in the old one.
Speaking of pansies, I’ve been dead heading these regularly to use India Flint’s ice flower method on them. They are in a yoghurt pot in the freezer, accumulating. I love my pansy dyed thread and have faced the fact that I don’t need kilogrammes of silk thread at this stage and therefore can happily use quite small quantities of dye stuff. I have also been known to deadhead pansies in public plantings. But it goes so much better when I don’t have company, as this kind of weirdness may offend one’s friends. In the top of the picture, the weld. Some of it died months back for no obvious reason–the main stem seemed to rot or be nibbled away. Mysterious!
And there are these pansies too. Only some of them make sense for dye but they are all lovely. I am in favour of loveliness.
Our E Scoparia has made it through the skeletonising caterpillar season and is now my height!
Black hollyhocks old–
Marigold seedlings coming up in a metal tub I salvaged off hard rubbish during winter.
I do use rhubarb leaves to create acidic dye baths, but mostly rhubarb is for eating and not dyeing in our parts! And the rest of my dye garden is out in the suburb and other people’s gardens… I am a dye gleaner.