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 and


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

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

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

  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!

  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...

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


Thanks for your comment!