“Dyeing” Garden Creates New Life

by Pat Doran

This is my last posting of Dye garden news since there is no longer a dye garden. See you next spring.

On Saturday October 23 the 2021 PGHW dye garden ended its life span. Waning marigolds, carrots, and cornflowers joined the ranks of zinnia, cosmos, and goldenrod which preceded them into dye material. We gardeners planted a cover crop of clover as a nitrogen thank you to the garden and spoke of next year’s crops.

The garden has produced well for us this year.  We have an abundant crop of goldenrod, cosmos and marigolds, and enough of zinnias, cornflowers, and carrots to use for demonstrations and experiments. The bounty is waiting to be reincarnated as peaceful natural dye shades. The gardeners have become dyers.

. The dyer coaxes and manipulates the color out of plants. Precise conditions make the best dyes. I hope to understand the dyeing process after attending dye meetings, as well as experimenting with fiber samples. I have a lot of questions.

But no matter, I know someone who can help. Carlie Muessig, a recent addition to our guild, has agreed to lead the natural dye group. Carlie has experience with natural dyes and dyeing various fibers. I will be her co-leader, learning while doing.

One more thing before I go. Thanks to those who worked faithfully in the garden: Pat C, Charlotte C, Carlyn, Carlie, Linda, without whom there would be no dyeing. All of you who worked in the garden, many thanks.

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