Colour is life

dockleaves3 dockleaves1

A simple statement perhaps but within , many truths.

Living colour- colour that comes from growing plants around us- alive on the fabric it bites into. The more I use the plants around me the more connected I feel with this beautiful landscape. There have been many recent workshops here on natural dying and each one a learning curve.

There is nothing predictable about natural dying and that is what captivates me. My challenge is to dye from the land around me one plant material every day. Link with one plant and get to know its form.

Where it grows best , what its young leaves look like , later in the season what its seeds look like. It rains a lot here but what does grow is lush and abundant.

Yesterdays collection was docking leaves , so many know them as a healing leaf for nettle stings or their invasive nature as a ‘weed’ but they are cooking in the pot just now and the excitement of their gift of colour is my acceptance to cohabitate.

Dock (Rumex spp)

Dock is of the same family as rhubarb. It is generally regarded as a wayside weed and grows to about a metre tall. The broad leaves of one species were used in the past to wrap butter for the market . I am dying with the leaves here but later I will dye with the long tap root.
To dye with the roots, first dig up a few mature plants. Wash the roots well and cut them up in small pieces using secateurs. Boil the roots for an hour or two in a well ventilated space, as the roots produce a very strong smell.

I will keep a daily account of what I will have ‘in the pot’ today. I may slip a day or two but May is such an abundant month and natures gifts are many.