Garden ready plants: Woad (Isatis tinctoria), Madder (Rubia tinctorum), Weld (Reseda luteola) and Dyer’s Chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria) plants sown and raised by us in South Oxfordshire.
The Madder plants (sown last year ) are in fine fettle ready to be planted out in your garden or tubs.
We also have some Woad plants (sown this Spring) ready now.
Dyer’s Chamomile plants also sown this Spring are ready now. This beautiful perennial can be harvested by cutting near the base and will shoot again. It doesn’t seem to mind relatively poor land and does well at the backs of borders! We have been filling up all our odd corners with it and thoroughly recommend it as an easy to grow and pretty dye plant.
We may also be able to help anyone wanting unusual dye plants (particularly those that are of specialist interest but don’t actually produce substantial quantities of dye). Please get in touch if you are looking for a specific plant or seeds.
Madder roots can be harvested for dyeing (oranges, reds, pinks) after 3 to 4 years and if you leave or replant sections of the root you can maintain your plants for the future. Madder stolons are an option for anyone wanting a cheaper / easier to post way of getting a larger quantity of plants.
Woad is a biennial, which can sometimes be persuaded to become perennial! Harvest the leaves in the first year (you can usually get several crops) to make a blue dye and for over dyeing yellows to make greens. If you leave a small number of plants for a second year they will produce seeds for your future crops.
Weld is a tall annual, harvest the whole plant for a clear bright yellow (this was one of the main commercial yellows before synthetic dyes). If you allow the plant to go to seed, you can save and broadcast the seed on any disturbed ground for a good crop the following year.
Dyer’s Chamomile is a beautiful feathery leaved perennial, harvest either just the flowers or the whole plant for lovely warm yellows.
We are striving to reduce our use of plastic and other unsustainable packaging, however we have inherited a large quantity of plastic pots, we therefore plan to use these up, as well as transitioning to a peat free biodegradable alternative. We will pack your plants using a selection of washed wool from our own sheep, moss, reused bubble wrap, reused plastic packaging and reused cardboard boxes. If you would prefer your plants packaged without any animal products please let us know when you order.
We send out all plants by 1st Class post so that they spend the minimum amount of time wrapped up. Please add a note to your order if you would like the box to be left with a neighbour / in the porch etc. if you are not at home to receive it.
We are hoping to offer a wider selection of dye plants in the future, please let us know if you have any suggestions. We are also very happy to have interested people visit the dye garden by arrangement on most Mondays and some Sundays when that is once again safe and appropriate.