Creating a dyeing garden

Jan 10, 2021 | Pottering About

Yellow coreopsis in a dyeing garden

Creating a dyeing garden.

You know when you have a thought and then several related things happen within a very short space of time? Yes, I’ve had one recently. The end result is I’m creating a dyeing garden.

It all started during Lockdown 1 in late spring. Unable to carry out major house renovations, we decided to replace the old patio and get some new garden furniture. I like to quilt so thought it would be nice to quilt some cushion covers for the furniture, floral designs obviously.

Then came the EUREKA moment – use flowers to produce dyes for the cushion fabric. Little did I realise the journey of discovery fate had in store for me.

First, I came across the work of Rebecca Desnos. I was inspired by the images she posted on Instagram so bought her ebook, Botanical Colour at your Fingertips*, which is also available as a book. In turn, this led me to an online course, An Introduction to Natural Dyes, with Flora Arbuthnott from Plants + Colour. A few days after I’d first read about the course there was an interview on Gardeners World with Christine Lewis in her dyeing garden. By then I was hooked and decided to incorporate flowers and plants found in a dyeing garden into my own. And then came the final piece this part of the journey, a wonderful book called Wild Colour by Jenny Dean*. It’s a real gem, not only is there the history of plant dyeing and dyeing techniques but there are 70 pages dedicated to plants. How to grow, cultivate and harvest each plant, plus dyeing instructions.

So here I am, on a very chilly Sunday afternoon in January, planning a seed and plant list for my dyeing garden.


P.S. At the start of 2021 the cushions are still a work in progress!

* Book and course reviews coming soon.

Just a quick note to let you know there are one or two affiliate links in this post. All recommendations are because I love and recommend each thing I’ve shouted about . I do get a tiny reward if you choose to click the link and purchase the product – thank you 🙂 


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