“To be native to a place we must learn to speak its language.”
― Robin Wall Kimmerer,
one of the most beautiful flowers to look at and the most photogenic
wild carrot, bird’s nest, bishop’s lace, Queen Anne’s lace
On my walk yesterday I found: Queen Anne’s lace, still blooming, wild plum twigs with lichen, St. John’s wort flowering for a second time, Blackthorn berries. All are great dye materials
These common roll-rim mushrooms grow in my garden (Paxilus involutus). I want to try and see if it’s a good dye mushroom, probably it will give some yellow.
End of summer is a good time to harvest barks, there are plenty of alder trees here and one or two branches will give me enough material to dye with.
The magic colour of the Alder inner bark:
When you cut an alder branch and remove the inner bark the wood is white first, but very quickly it turns to a bright reddish orange.
To the ancients, the Alder was particularly revered, for it appeared to bleed like humans.
I usually let the bark soak for many months before I use it as a dye (without modifiers: dark yellow on wool and rusty brown on cotton)
alder, aulne, els, erle, aliso
“Of course, it’s always been known (especially amongst the old-ones) that alder trees in the most primeval, remote and wild sites, have fairy or elf doors in their trunks just above the water line, and these are entrances into faere kingdoms, gateways into the Underworld.”
The last of the dye plants in the garden are being harvested too, like these Amaranthus Hopi red dye
But I still have a lot of fermented plant juices waiting for some yarn to be dyed with, I will show the results of my last dyes of summer soon