Barberry: the bark gives butter yellow. Dyer's broom: the plant tops give lemon yellow. Dahlia: the flowers give egg yolk yellow. Are you sensing a trend? Yep, most plants when plonked in the dye pot give, you guessed it, yellow. If you're planning a dye garden, as I am*, it's worth bearing that in mind! The barberry we already have, and there'll be a rosemary hedge (the leaves give citrine yellow), but what else to plant? Hollyhocks? Hibiscus? Hypericum?
I've had Eucalyptus cinerea leaves simmering on the stove this afternoon and the house smells delish, if a wee bit medicinal. And now the leaves are soaking overnight in dye liquor that is already a promising rusty red. I'd love to grow eucalyptus, but I won't have room for a tree ... does anyone know if annually cutting back to the ground actually works to keep it shrubby?
What will I dye? Not yarn! I've dyed yarn before, of course, and no doubt will again, but just now I want to scale things down. Scraps of fabric, lengths of thread, a playful exploration with no particular project in mind. And then perhaps there'll be stitching, of the meditative kind. (A slow cloth ... does the idea appeal to you as much as it does to me?)
I'll be knitting too, I'm never not knitting**. And I'll be back in a couple of days with a yarny giveaway, so watch this space! Meanwhile, because that Barberry is home grown, I'm linking with Lou's wonderful Nature in the Home series. Check it out :)
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* We're bringing a narrow strip at either side of the block paved parking area at the front of the house back into cultivation.
** Okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but I certainly don't plan to stop any day soon.