Tuesday, 13 September 2011

My first dyeplant bed - part two - the plants!

Blog posts here are like buses - nothing for ages then three all at once! Well, this week is no exception. I've got so many part-completed posts and stacks of photos waiting to be uploaded that if I don't do it now, it will never happen.

Remember the dyeplant beds? This was early summer.....

And here they are at the height of the summer. I was amazed by how well they came along!

The feathery yellow flowers are lady's bedstraw - I highly recommend this one just for the smell - it is so fragrant especially in the early evening. A lovely plant to grow near a window where the smell will drift in on the evening breeze. I'll be using the roots from this plant for reds - it is similar to madder but not as strong in colour. I'll be letting it grow for at least another year or so before I attempt any harvesting.

The purple flowers are alkanet. This has exceeded all expectations so far! The bees love the flowers and it just keeps on flowering - it is still producing new flowers now in September. I'm growing this one for its roots also - pinky/purple/greys (hopefully). I'll let this one grow for another season too, just so I'm sure it is strong enough to survive the winter.

The thistle-y looking buds are safflower. These were a bit delicate so I need to plan how best to grow them next time as they need a bit of support.

There is also some meadowsweet in there although you can barely see it. I think I'll try this again and plant it somewhere where it has less competition!

Since these photo were taken there is also a newcomer - a large borage (I think). It came as root cuttings and I thought I'd killed it, but obviously not as it is looking very healthy. Might move that one too, as it is getting rather large!

Ooh, and an update on the woad plants - I have several new plants! Not very big yet but a good sign that they will re-seed. I shall be making space to sow some more seeds soon as I still have some from last year.

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