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Jane’s Journal

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Harvesting dyer's chamomile from the dye garden

butterfly on dyer's chamomile flowers

As I walk down to the Studio in the morning the grass is wet, the sweet scent of damp earth hovers between the hedges, small orange brackets fungi sprout from the sides of the raised beds.

The apples on the feral apple trees that surround The Studio are red and ripening. 

These trees, carefully chosen heritage varieties, were  planted the month we moved in and immediately eaten to the ground by the deer who live by the river. Then, a decade later, they rose out of the sprawling brambles, mature trees nursemaided back to health by prickly stems that kept the deer away. 

Yet another example of how the natural world works so much better without my interference.

The flowers in the dye garden catch the tune of harvest time and all open at once - dyer's chamomile, french marigolds, sulphur cosmos, dahlias, tansy - every day there are new flowers to pick and preserve.  


Originally the dye garden was planted just for me - I saw it as a way of getting plants for my own dye pot.  But, even in its first year, even in a year which has been unpredictable, there is so much abundance that it is clear the potential is bigger than that.

So I have been exploring the idea of some (very) limited edition kits - with dye material from the garden here, hand drawn packaging, zine like instruction books.  

I'm right at the beginning of the planning and in this week's Studio Vlog I explain all the things that I need to think about before I finalise the details. 

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