Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Plant-dye thriftscore



With spring finally asserting itself up here I've been cracking open my natural dye books and keeping my eyes open for ones I can't live without. I found an obscure spiral-bound beauty at the coffee shop & used bookstore down the street for a few dollars. It's one of those government extension office publications on the topic of what to replant in disturbed or stressed BLM and park areas. Which means its basically a guide book for a surprising number of plants that are useful as dyestuffs, on public land no less. Black walnut, rabbitbrush, sage, aspen, etc. Besides all of the diagrams it also has a section on each plant for its ideal habitat and associated species. I love the idea of having more than just photos as a visual reference and its uber-sciency, to boot. Plus it's pages are just begging for notes to be scribbled on them.

I have a sage dye pot going from clippings I brought home from grandpa and grandma's. I think the smell of sage is one of my happy places, now. Grandpa kindly agreed to try and grow some Japanese indigo for me. If I had more space of my own I'd like to think I'd create a polycultural dye garden, but as it is I barely have space for my tiny cold frame and pallet herb garden thing. So thank goodness for indulgent relatives.


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