Natural pigments, watercolor paints, plant dyes & inks

What’s happening in my Dye garden?!-Part V

25th June 2022

Gardening is a contemplative, humble activity that allows you to communicate with nature. It is a practice where you can’t force anything but patiently wait. I was delighted to see the flowers blooming after months of hard labour in my dye garden. It is gratifying to see your efforts bear fruit.
In this blog post, I don’t have much to report but share the beauties of my dye garden. At the moment, the flowers are blooming both on my balcony garden and the garden patch.

Natural Dye plants on my balcony

Cosmos on my balcony dye garden

Tagetes patula nana (Primo Yellow)

Calendula

We received severe thunderstorms with hail a few days ago, which bruised my woad plant a little. I attempted to extract the woad blue pigment from the bruised leaves but was unsuccessful. I think it was too early to harvest them for pigment extraction. I must wait patiently.

Woad

Natural Dye plants on my garden patch

I cycled to Angelika’s organic garden two days ago and headed to my natural dye garden patch. Voila! My garden patch was blossoming with flowers. The hailstorms had damaged a couple of coreopsis plants, but I restored them, and there were hardly any weeds. I also harvested some of the blossoms before the predicted thunderstorms destroyed them.

My dye garden patch

First cosmos with bright orange colour

Tagetes tenuifolia (tangerine)

Safflower with branches

The growth of Japanese indigo has been relatively prolonged. I might have to give them a nitrogen boost or do some research to troubleshoot. Although, the plants on my balcony are growing much better. I love this part of gardening when you are challenged and learn a lot during the process.

Japanese indigo

Garden log book

I forgot to mention in my earlier blogs that I maintain a garden journal where I record my daily observations. Even with plenty of resources at your disposal, hands-on practice is still the most incredible teacher when it comes to gardening. A straightforward, enjoyable approach to observing your garden’s development through the seasons and gaining knowledge from it over time is to keep a diary. It’s not necessary to keep a detailed journal. The idea is to scribble down everything that interests or concerns you. By keeping a notebook and recording this information and your weather, you’ll begin to notice trends and links between problems and success.

A page from my garden log-book

Practice Gardening for the Mind, Body and Soul

I can’t emphasize enough how mediative gardening is. It is nourishment for the mind, body and soul. Even if I only spend a few minutes in the garden, it revitalizes me. If you believe you lack a green thumb, you are mistaken! The size of the garden or the number of plants you can grow does not define gardening success; if the garden provides you and others joy, you have accomplished your purpose.

 

More updates in my next blog post! 

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