My Dye Garden

Summer is leaving us, and I feel like summing up my gardening for the year. I had 2. year woad plants, and just a few plants gave me a big pile of seeds. That’s despite the fact that I moved those plants last fall. This is just some of the seeds.

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Lots of woad seeds.

I also grew dyer’s coreopsis, which gave me these lovely orange shades a couple of years ago.

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Coreopsis orange on wool.

But dyer’s coreopsis is also a pretty bicolor summer flower, and much visited by pollinators:

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Coreopsis blooms in red and yellow.

Unfortunately, I was a bit late in harvesting my coreopsis, so I just took a few stalks of the freshest flowers. I left the rest for now, to see if I can get seeds out of them. It make take a while longer, judging from a comparison between my flowers and this excellent overview.

This year, I’m attempting to grow weld for the first time. I expected tall flowers to attract loads of butterflies, but the plants only produced these leaf rosettes. Looks like the stalks will come next year.

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First-year weld rosettes. Can you tell that I weeded around them just before taking the picture?

I’ve also started growing madder for the first time, and my plants are rather scrawny. I hope they’ll do better next year, if they survive winter, that is.

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Madder, not doing that well…

My Japanese indigo, on the other hand, is really having a good time. This year, I’m planning to dry the leaves and try this method.

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Japanese indigo, doing really well!

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