Time to catch up a bit... it's been a busy week apparently. Thank you for the good wishes on my blogiversary.
Let's see now... Richter's Herbs, the visit. I should listen to my husband more often. He suggested that I call ahead, and ask to have some woad and weld plants ready for me. I didn't. They didn't have any available. I had to settle for seeds and I'm not all that good with seeds.
Climbing strawberries. Leopard Lily. Comfrey. Calendula. Rosemary. Madder. Purple Bush Basil. Pennyroyal. Lobelia. Chinese Rhubarb. Yellow Bedstraw. Valerian.
Dye Plants - Yellow Bedstraw, Madder, Calendula.
Medicinal - Comfrey, Calendua, Pennyroyal, Lobelia, Valerian.
Foodish - Climbing Strawberries, Rosemary, Purple Bush Basil, Chinese Rhubarb.
Pretty - Leopard Lily, Calendula, Purple Bush Basil, there may be more but I don't know yet. :)
In the Fiber world: Saxon Green (sort of*).
A passing glance at research says that Saxon Green is Weld overdye of Woad. Jo gave me the remains of her weld dyebath from FITP. I put a skein of alum mordanted lopi in, and left it overnight on the heating vent. There was a definite colour change but I wasn't entirely satisfied with the results - it was fairly mottled. I probably didn't sufficiently wet the wool before adding it.
Next step was to take a handful of fleece, previously dyed with chemical Indigo and throw it in the rubber tub on the heating vent. This stayed in for several days. I'd check it once in awhile and didn't notice any change happening in the wool. So I decided that perhaps it needed greater heat then the heating vent was providing.
I failed to notice that the dyebath itself was changing colour, until I dumped it in the dyepot to heat on the stove. "Oh" I say to myself "This could be interesting."
I also added the skein that had previously been dyed with weld, better saturated with water this time. Heated all of the above on a low simmer for about an hour, and then turned the heat off and left it overnight. Rinsed both throughly in the morning and got all excited.
What a pretty colour!
The skein on the left is the first exciting colour, and the skein on the right is the exhaust colour. I'm delighted with both.
I didn't get a picture of the handful of fleece.
I say "sort of" because while Indigo is the dye chemical in Woad, chemically formed Indigo is apparently a slightly different creature, and hence I 'sort of' have Saxon Green. Re-enactors get fussy about the details sometimes.
And on to the Gardens:
Not fully open daffodils, but still pretty.
Fully devoted to the sun..
Not quite open yet apricot blossoms.
Fritillaria Imperialis, "Aurora", also not quite open yet. But wow...tall. And Anti-V is right, the flowers are stinky.
Now, these things, on the other hand are very very tiny. Grape Muscari.
And finally, Lungwort. Surprisingly pretty. After it's done flowering, it's pretty unremarkable and looks a lot like Creeping Lanium.
There was a single lone squirrel-planted-on-the-far-side-of-the-yard tulip that has bloomed as well, but I didn't get a good picture of it. It's been raining all day and the one trip out I made to try was enough for me. I'll get more pics of tulips soon enough.
It's still really really early for some of these flowers. Very unseasonable warmth. As a human being, I'm loving it. As a gardener, it's worrying. How much of my garden is going to die in next week's predicted frost when the weather finally starts heading back to normal?