The garden I collect my dye plants from has been over 25 years in the making. My husband has a penchant for creating quirkily beautiful sculptures to place among the plants. It's not a garden you can see all at once – it is long and narrow but twisty with odd little angles and corners to turn except for a long, long border beside the Rideau Canal inlet pond. So over time, I have developed many small areas with a sculpture or other ornament as a focal point. The experience is of passing through many gardens but not necessarily dye gardens.
Classical plant nomenclature would attach “tinctoria” to the name of any plant known to tradition as a dye plant. I do not have many of those “official” dye plants, only two in fact: Coreopsis t. and Anthemis t. Since starting to work with eco dyes, I have come to know that virtually every plant can produce some colour on a substrate, given appropriate preparation, dye processing and post- dye treatments. But It will take me quite some time to learn about the eco dyes and print properties of all the plants and their parts in my garden: fresh, dried, leaf, stalk, bloom, seed, root, bark: these all come into the colourplay, as do other aspects of the craft such as appropriate processing times and methods, dye assistants and mordants, fibre type and age…Still, with experience and the help of other dyers' knowledge generously shared, I can begin to feel confident that I might contribute something to the field.
So once a month throughout the season, I thought I could show you some of the plants that grow nicely here and some I use for my dyeing and printing experiments and projects.
Clicking on the link below takes you to a web album of my garden photos for June.