Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Growing for Colour Project at Leeds Industrial Museum


Growing for Colour is a new project I'm really excited to be involved with. The project is a collaboration between Leeds City Council, Hyde Park Source and DT Craft & Design (that'll be me, then!) to convert part of the outdoor space at the Leeds Industrial Museum site at Armley Mills into a colour garden, filled with interesting traditional dyeplants. Working with volunteers we'll be clearing the garden area, planting lots of exciting dyeplants, and dyeing fabrics and yarn with our homegrown and locally foraged dyestuffs.

Yesterday we had our first session. The sun shone bright and warm and the rain the previous night had nicely softened the ground, perfect for weeding and digging!

We had a bit of work to do refreshing the beds and borders after winter, and some of the plants have made themselves very much at home!



 A quick survey of the beds did reveal some tentative shoots of goldenrod,

tansy

and a couple of possible woad plants.

A nice healthy crop of madder was also spotted so I think we can look forward to some good reds!

I've been busy taking photos so I can do a bit of plant-spotting before next week as some of the plants aren't quite big enough to identify yet, although there may be some hollyhocks. We also have dyer's chamomile enjoying the spring warmth in planters along the front of the mill cottages.

A spot of seed planting after a picnic lunch courtesy of the Armley Town Street Hub's Pay as You Feel Cafe






After a hard day's work, our borders are almost ready for planting and our first crop of seeds is sown...





If you'd like to join us, simply come down to the Museum between 11am and 3pm on Tuesday. All materials are provided but bring a packed lunch and outdoor clothing (we've booked sunshine but you just never know!). Our next session will be preparing our yarns and fabrics for dyeing, doing a spot of foraging for local, wild-growing dyestuffs on the site and having a look at what you can re-purpose from your kitchen and cupboards to produce lovely colours - see you next week!
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