Friday, 3 April 2009
Posted by Helen
Last week I went round to Enys's house to have a look at the emerging dye plants mostly for the Woolfest in Cumbria in June but some will be big enough for Wonderwool Wales which is April 25th & 26th at the Royal Welsh ground at Builth Wells. The Japanese polygonum (Persicaria Tinctoria) has germinated well-over 60plants Enys said-plants like dyers chamomile (Anthemis Tinctoria ),coreopsis (Coreopis Tinctoria) and cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus) are as usual romping away, and the woads are better this year than last. One of the plants that is doing much better than ever before is safflower, carthemis tinctorius. Enys was furious at the madder -the seed tray on the top left of the picture of seed trays as none of the madder had germinated after two weeks. Over the years she has tried various ways to get it to grow, she tells me, but it is always difficult. I lent forward to inspect the reluctant seeds and saw one just starting to push it's way through. Time for champagne? I suggested hopefully. We went back to celebrate with coffee.
Incidentally the nearly flowering woad is Chinese woad (Isatis Indigotica) and as mine is flowering too we should have plenty of seeds for next year. The Chinese woad we have planted this year is still from the original seed sent to me by Annee Silk in Canada who sent them twice when the first lot did not germinate. Chinese woad (Isatis Indigotica) produces more indigotin (about twice as much)as does the European woad (Isatis Tinctoria). The comparison data is here
While I was there Enys proudly showed me lots of robust Baptisia Australis-"what dye colour do we get from it"? She asked. My mind went blank. However researching through my archives I found I wrote a post about the Baptisia and you can find what I did here!
Welcome to my all new followers.