Posted by: Mare F | April 25, 2016

Dye gardening

April is always a frustrating month for me. I don’t mind the winter and  being inside of our lovely and comfortable home with all of my toys is never a hardship, but this is the time of year when I start to “see” my gardens. It might not be quite so bad if I didn’t have a black thumb when it comes to starting seeds. Other than an avocado pit that I grew into a tree in the 1970s, along with everyone else, my track record with seeds is downright dismal.

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This year I hope to have at least 2 beds with dye plants in them and the problem becomes one of acquisition. If I can’t start the plants I want by seed I have to find a place to get them. Most of the local shops and stores carry the most popular garden plants and I can’t blame them for that at all, I just wish that there was an alternative to mail order. Even when ordering by mail I can’t always get the plant. I will try planting seeds directly into the ground and hope for the best. Maybe that’s what I should have been doing right along.

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I know that I will have the orange/yellow marigolds again for their lovely buttery yellow dye, but trying to decide on others gets a bit trickier. Madder, woad, yarrow, tansy, and dyer’s chamomile are on the list, but I’m sure that there are many more that are just waiting for me to discover them. I guess it’s off to the catalogues and books for now, but just knowing that spring will be here soon helps a bit.


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