Welcome to my first post.
Thanks for checking it out, and if you have any questions about stuff, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Gathering is one of my favourite parts in this practise. It challenges you to be in the moment and take notice of our immediate surroundings. I always prefer to enjoy my blooms for as long as possible and then dry and store them in glass jars or boxes for future use, so everyday there is time set aside to go out and gather.
We are still in the depths of winter here in Canada, but now is a good time for reflection and pondering on what floral additions will be made to the garden. I’ve been diligent with planting perennials so they become hardier by the year and give me the best amount of blooms to get me through the fall and long winters. Below I have listed some of my favourites that have come from my garden. I hope it helps you to decide on what you will choose to use for your natural dye journey this year. These of course are excellent plants that grow very well where I live which is considered a zone 3/4. If you have any questions, please send me a note.
They remind me of my mom and dad. Our home out front was covered in marigolds, and back when I was younger I was far from fond of them and dreamed of ripping them out. Safe to say I’ve learned the error in my ways and diligently spread these lovelies around the yard. They are great companion planters, I plant them with my tomatoes as they are great at keeping pests away. They bloom for a very long time, dry perfectly, and offer an abundance of colour.
One of my all time favourites that offers an English Country garden feel. Not only do I grow these beauties in my own yard, but you can often find me taking urban walks in the city and collecting the spent blooms off sidewalks and other peoples yards. (I always ask first, and so should you. :) They offer the most beautiful colours.
For those blues and purples that are a little more challenging to attain in the natural dye world. These beauties are your friend. They are tall, stunning, and become stronger and more substantial with every passing year in the garden. Perfect for steaming in a bundle of your favourite natural cloth.
Full of tannin, these leaves never disappoint. My neighbour has a giant oak tree in his yard and I always walk over and gather the fallen leaves after a squirrel has been rifling through the tree breaking off small branches. So many leaves end up on the ground so you can easily collect them and let them dry at home. If you are unsure about the right ways to forage, remember to invite in mindfulness. Look for trees and shrubs that are abundant and healthy. Use scissors to clip off a few leaves, and only take a small amount. Please avoid snapping off branches. Do not gather from National Parks or newly growing leaves and stems, and of course, remember to gather fallen leaves and spent blooms whenever possible. There’s plenty out there if you look hard enough.
Other ways to collect?
Keep your food waste. Avocado pits, onion skins and pomegranate rinds are essential to the natural dyer.
Do you know your local florist? They may be very happy to provide you with their floral detritus!
Happy planning, growing and foraging. 🤍