September 23, 2021

Summer Garden Musings: We can’t do it all!

It was my first year in the garden and I dreamed of growing everything – vegetables, herbs, flowers, dye plants! It’s easy to get bored, isn’t it?

I soon realized that we could not do everything.

Somehow I saw that I was growing vegetables. We ate radishes, potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, and now the pumpkin really flies.

I planned a fairly large paint garden, but there were many things that prevented me from caring for the seedlings, and many did not survive. But that’s okay. I think there is still plenty of time for my dye kernels, marigolds and Japanese indigo to grow this summer.

A few days ago, I happily chose the first hand-painted chamomile flowers that I would dry for later use.

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Although I don’t have time to realize my big paint garden dreams, I immediately realized that the garden is full of paint potential.

So far I have painted it with sage leaves, nettle and buddleja. To be honest, there are enough plants to make a natural dye happy every season.

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If we go on a local walk – whether we live in a city or a village – we will come across countless dye plants. My favorite is the tree leaves, the peach-coral shades of hawthorn and linden, and the last time I tried it, it was a deep pink willow! Let’s not forget the oak leaves, forest acorns and oak grains (and other tannin-rich plants) that react magnificently to rust and give shades of gray.

Maybe you can see that my first book was inspired, Botanical color at your fingertips, came ?!

We have the potential to paint around us, just waiting to be discovered.

My favorite must be a modest nettle. I painted this sample by diluting soy milk on a cotton cloth. Here’s a simple DIY to show you how!

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It made us think about how we put our time and place in the forefront. Food is a valuable resource, so it’s worth trying to raise some of ourselves. Even a few pots on a patio or balcony will give us enough space to grow regular culinary herbs (these are very expensive to buy!). We can also grow a lot in a sunny closed window. Before I had a garden, I grew herbs in my kitchen, as well as microgreens pots and pans! None of us have unlimited time and energy, so I think it makes a lot of sense for some of us to focus on growing edible plants. I wonder if I have such feelings because I have small children to feed, and it is my instinct to cook for them.

What do you think? When there are so many weeds (and weeds) full of color potential, is it a luxury to grow dye plants?

How to eat? To be honest, I feel more confident looking for plants for my paint pot, not for food! When collecting for dyeing, it is very important to correctly identify such plants and check that they are not poisonous.

When the weather is a little dry, I will draw some leaves on the clothes using plants from the garden. Did you see the beautiful textbook inside me? Plant Dye Adultery?

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There is still a lot of summer ahead, so I will try to share with you some of my painting and gardening projects!

Thanks for reading!

Dye Experiments, Dyeing and Fabrics
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