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  • Michael Inman

Monday 14th march - Getting Plans into Place

Today I finalised drawing up plans for the Dye garden that focuses on what my first year of growing would look like and which plant does best where, for quite often certain plants would make the most terrible neighbour if you were a much smaller kind of plant. whilst others would prefer the shade to the sun - so what goes where is somewhat important when it comes to establishing a garden.

For instance I discovered through my research this week that Woad, a plant used to create blue dyes through its leaves and I plan to have within the dye garden, is in fact a very aggressive grower. Native to the uk it can grow well over a meter in hight with its towering flowers and would often in the wild take over growing spaces quickly outcompeting other plants, so not the best plant pal with other plants.

Dye garden plans

Ive also this week began researching into how to extract the beautiful colours found within these plants which has proved to be a lot of info and lots of different opinions on how, what and why to do it certain ways involving all sorts from rusty nails to TarTar sauce to help stabilise the dye colours. The more I research the more I’m discovering that dye making and processing looks like one big crazy science experiment, with endless options and things to try out. The one rule though i will stick to is sustainability so no harsh chemicals, or processes involving harmful/ toxic salts that ive read can be used in some cases.

The thing that seems to be the case in future is to not try and overcomplicate or over research the dye process and to simply do, treat this all as one big floral science experiment and most of all have fun! So once things get growing ill be getting to it, learning along the way about the processes that at times look and feel like total magic!.

The seeds for the dye garden that have arrived all good and well and ready for planting in the next few weeks.

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