Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The new colour season has started...

Different herbal dye vats are fermenting right now.
I've put them in my living room next to the wood burner because it's still chilly outside.

dandelion flowers, birch leaves, dock roots, eucalyptus leaves, woad flowers
all from my garden

I won't show pictures of the fermenting vats, instead some pictures of my place:

I can assure you that there are enough dandelions to share with the bees
picture is taken from my neighbor's meadow

Chinese rhubarb, which I sometimes use in the dyeing process

Woad flowers and forget-me-not's, such a lovely sight !
While the woad leaves are harvested the first year for the most divine blues, 
the flowers of the following year are great for a yellow dye 

I haven't tried to dye with Valerian yet, 
I will give it a try this summer
my cat, on the other hand, gets high from the roots

A view of the back yard with two oaks, 
every year a few dead branches give me some lichen 
In the back, the vegetable garden

a small herbal dye garden in the front yard, where motherplants grow:
a few woads, madder, dyer's chamomile, dyer's broom, pomegranate 
and seedlings of orange cosmos, marigold, pokeweed, St Johns wort, 
coreopsis, weld and others

a small pond with one of my favorites, the yellow iris which roots gives a blue-grey dye
I will do some fabric printing tests with the iron rich soil on the bottom of this pond

a little well hidden in the back yard
which I have named
the well of Urd


I'm going to be more of a dyer than a designer this year
I hope you still will follow me and my dye-experiments on this blog
Comments are always welcome
Thank you for visiting



  1. Hello Marylene,
    you inspired me to continue my colour examinations with fermentation.
    I also tried to ferment dandelion, but I used the roots yet. I just have done it and I am done with it. It got just a boring fawn. Now I have to rinse it and when its dried, I will show it in my blog.

    Bye! Katja

    1. Hello Katja, thank you. I will try dandelion roots soon myself. probably in fall because roots are stronger at the end of the summer season but I don't expect much of it !
      Unfortunately not every plant yields a great colour and I can assure you, I have had my fair share of boring fawns too.
      I will have a look at your blog.

  2. Le jardin est magnifique, c'est une chance de disposer d'autant d'espace et de ne pas souffrir de la sècheresse. Bien sûr que je suivrai tes expériences de fermentation, and I don't know if we call "valeriane" the same plant.
    (Clothogancho, but blogspot firms with my other blog... I don't know why)

    1. merci Emma, j'ai beaucoup de chance en effet d'avoir trouvé cet endroit magique mais comme il fait plutôt humide en Bretagne la fermentation est plus lente à démarrer. On ne peut pas tout avoir :)
      La valériane c'est l'officinale - Valeriana officinalis -
      J'ai le même problème avec Blogger, quand on a plusieurs blogs en même temps, le Google friend connect ne marche pas bien !