Thursday, 8 November 2007

purple loostrife and madder

It has been a frantically busy day but as far as the blog is concerned the so important event is that I still have not managed to cut my purple loostrife. By the time I cut it down the whole energy of the plant may have gone into producing seeds and the dye will have been lost. In the meantime of course both the woad and the japanese polygonum need to be cut too before any frost. However although it is cold and windy here it is not frosty so they may last a little bit longer.

I have had an email about madder. Quite unrelated to the blog she say she cannot get more than terracotta with a madder extract and has been advised to add calcium tablets - I think chewable calcium tablets and bring the pH down to 4 or 5. This seesm very low to me but I think it is worth a try just to see what happens. I wish I had 48 hours for every day to do all the experimenting I want to do because now I want to try this.

1 comment:

  1. frustrating, I know! I grew several plants of dyer's knotweed last year - but I just couldn't find the time to try it out, apart from a very tiny batch (I used the chop up and dye directly approach from Yoshioka/Dorothea Fischer). by the time I was ready to dye more - the leaves had turned blueish and dried and were good only for the compost heap:(( and I didn't manage to grow anything from the few seeds I harvested myself - luckily I received quite a lot of fresh ones from a friend and am hopeful to get a better result next year! my polytunnel is done up again - no excuses!! I did pick 1 kg of rhamnus berries bit by bit and plan to repeat the grassy strong green with them I managed to dye last autumn. fingers crossed - I loved the colour (green without iron!)