Wednesday, 13 July 2016


Woad plant; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of touring textile artist and natural dye expert Thea Haines' natural dye garden. She grows all manner of colour-yielding plants. Of particular interest to me was this large clump of woad. The leaves yield an indigo blue dye.
Woad seeds; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
Thea has already collected the seeds for future woad crops. I look forward to seeing what depth of blue her plants yield.

In addition to natural dye plants, she is also growing a test plot of flax for an Upper Canada Fibreshed initiative. The goal is that the flax will be processed into fibre, and the UC Fibreshed is still working out the details of how to do this as there are no processing plants here in Canada. A few years ago, one of Sandra Brownlee's NSCAD textiles students grew a plot of flax in Sandra's Dartmouth garden. Naturally, Sandra crafted a beautiful low wattle fence to encircle it. I believe that the test plot was for the same initiative that Thea is involved in.

1 comment:

Judy Martin said...

Lovely woad!

One of the things I did this spring was to plant indigo and madder in large pots and I have those plants now on my deck - and they give me great pleasure. They have done so well.