Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dye Garden

Well, I'm back from the beach. South Carolina is beautiful. I stopped in Asheville on the way home and was delighted to run into Bele Chere, a huge street festival. We ate at The Laughing Seed, one of my all-time favorite restaurants, and I stopped into EarthGuild too. It was HOT.
When I got home, I was greeted by a pleasant surprise. My little indigo plants that I had started from seed have grown...they are huge! Only 2 plants survived my inexperienced gardening. But those plants have thrived.
A tour of my dye garden:
To your left is a bed of yellow and orange cosmos. Those plants are self-seeding and come back every year. They attract butterflies and other pollinators. When boiled, they produce a gorgeous, lightfast yellow dye.  In front are marigolds, and zinnias getting ready to bloom. The zinnias that I don't cut for bouquets will make a yellow dye. Marigolds, too , make yellow. You can see the little patch of yellow in the yard. A closer look reveals...

A harvest of marigolds and cosmos. Since I'm not dyeing today, these will join bags of their brothers in the freezer, ready to dye anytime I am. I had just harvested before I came up with the idea of taking pictures of my dye garden, and every time I harvest, the flowers come back double and even triple. So, next time I'll take a picture before I go about picking off poor unsuspecting flower heads.

My indigo bush. Beautiful and lush.

Look at those pink buds on the stem. I love observing this. I have no idea how to harvest indigo but I'm going to love learning!

And, another beauty, flax seed.
By the way, most of my seeds came from thewoolery.com and horizonherbs.com.

6 comments:

  1. Your dye garden is to die for. :-)

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  2. Wonderful garden! I'm sure you will dye and create beautiful things!

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  3. Cadi, ah ah ah haaa haaa. Renee, hi there :)

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  4. this is so cool. i've always wanted learn how to do this. i don't know if i've ever seen a true indigo plant..thanks for sharing photos!

    now...i so need a vacation to asheville!

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  5. I remember dancing to reggae in the street at Bele Chere years ago. And the Laughing Seed was the first place I tried Sunomono Salad and the standard since then. Thanks.

    I've got to remember to try the dyes next summer when my daughter will be curious but cautious...

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  6. Pleeeeeease host a "dye your bush" party.

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Thanks for your comment!