Natural Dye Garden Progress- What a Difference a Month Makes!

A couple of weeks of rain at the beginning of June followed by some lush summer sun has done wonders for the garden! It’s only when I compare the photos from when the plants went in a month ago that I realise how much everything has grown.

We had some cat issues with the bed at the back, which is why it’s completely covered in netting! I’m going to plant some more seeds in there soon - Cornflowers, Cosmos and Zinnias to use in bundle dyeing. The other beds have established enough now that the cats are mostly keeping off it, and so far the slugs have stayed away. I’m not sure if it’s the copper tape or the rough new wood, but I’m happy it’s working

It’s still very much a work in progress as I learn where the best position for the plants are - I’m pretty sure I’ve killed the hop by accidentally moving it to an area that doesn’t get a lot of sun. Hopefully we can get some gravel down soon to neaten the place up a bit, and maybe finish painting the fence…

The first Dahlia, Cosmos and Dyer’s Chamomile blooms have appeared and there are so many buds on the Coreopsis. Any day now the garden should be exploding with colour, and I will be busy harvesting, drying (or freezing) and storing until there is enough to use for the dye pot. The Woad plants are looking really healthy and should be ready for harvest next month. I’ve got 25 more baby Woad seedlings in pots that I need to find a home for!

Keeping on top of the planting and watering can be quite time consuming, but I’m enjoying the process a lot more than I thought I would - spending an hour or so in the garden a couple of times a week feels like a nice treat after a hard’s days work in the studio.

If you’re interested in learning more about growing and using natural dye plants, I am teaching natural dye workshops at Bath City Farm, Shetland Wool Week and in Bristol later this year and hope to be able share some of my harvest (and seeds) with my students.