Friday, 9 May 2008

Fame for the Dye Garden!

My dye garden is going to feature in a televison production-part of a series on working garden by S4C the Welsh language Televison channel sometime in the summer. Enys who grows the dye plants and I who uses them will feature too! Enys of course is the Welsh speaker in the relationship with me doing the dyeing. We tried to persuade them that it might be better to wait till the dye plants were mature, but they are adamant they want it in May (they are filming on May 22nd) which will challenge the pair of us. They predictably want me to demonstrate woad dyeing with fresh leaves. However I hope to have a few others such as birch, and eucalyptus leaves which gave a good colour about this time last year. S4C are also going to film Enys's garden too as she grows plants for medicinal and traditonal usage.

At the moment I am wondering how they are going to do me dyeing and Enys explaining as she grows and I dye! We are also both feeling totally freaked at getting everything ready in two weeks However at least I put some cotton into my compost heap to compost dye last week which helps in explaining that every part of the garden is used and we have practiced good lines for the nettles-dye, attracts butterflies, can use for spinning , as well as for the bonfire site, (my DH loves having a good burn) which we point out provides me with woodash for wood ash lye. as things stand we cannot find a good excuse for the weeds in the paving cracks on the patio so DH will have to weed., ( I originally said that we would have to weed but DH pointed out that the we was a royal we and it really meant him)


  1. Good luck with program!
    You made my day with the things you wrote about weeds.. I am laughing here:)
    I wish my DH would do the weeding, but he mowes the lawns and does all the digging so the weeding is left for me and as I don't have 30 hours in a day, you know how it is, there are weeds.

  2. I am a little curious about your wood ash lye. What kind of resulting pH do you get? I've done it too (using Liles' book for the recipe) and never got anything above 10. I've tried to concentrate it by boiling but it didn't work for me.

    I am interested to hear your thoughts!

    Mona in Canada

  3. I am a very lucky lady as either DH does weeding along with lawn mowing or Enys comes and does it. However as you can see I am very relaxed about weeds! I have to be or get down and do it myself but actually I love having my semi wild garden. It is surprising how many weeds are dyeplants too! Docks, ground ivy, cow parsley, dandelions spring instantly to mind as I have all of them in abundance :)
    Hi Mona thanks for popping into my blog
    Woodash Lye I get pH 10/11 after leaving it with a lot of wood ash covered with water and maybe even stronger but my current batch of PH papers are not very good and I want to get a pH metre to measure it really acurately. The trick seems to be to leave it for a long time at least three weeks. I find Ph fine for everything except possibly making an indigo concentrate when I have to confess I use caustic soda.