Thursday, 26 June 2014

The garden in the fourth week of June...

In our little attic studio, Brian put up this interesting article on 'The Origin of Corn Dollies' 
There is something about the look of old woodcuts that I love for its strange and otherworldly quality...
I think that big red amaranth plant has stalled a bit, but the rest of the grains continue to get taller --
that's the Utrecht Blue behind Oliver, and the flax in the foreground

Where did all these blossoms come from??
We clipped off almost all of the blossoms last week, to save for dyeing later in the season.
(That's the solar dye jar from last week in the foreground -- surprisingly rich orange colour now)
 250 marigolds will mean a lot more dyestuffs than I had realized!
And I'm beginning to think we'll need to fertilize with something --
prolific blossoms won't do us any good if the soil can't support them to be healthy and full.
Last week it was just the Chinook that had 'ears', and one of the stalks was about 8" taller than the others.
Now all the stalks have caught up and are about the same height.

Now the other varieties of wheat have their 'ears' as well --
these are the lovely long, textured tails on the Utrecht Blue...
...and these are the spritely, small ears on the Black Einkorn...

...and these are the loose, feathery ears of the Rodney oats.
I was sorry to see that some of the Chinook had 'lodged' (fallen over).
Not sure if anything can be done about that...
The flax is doing well so far.
And I discovered a 'volunteer' flax -- probably some of the Electra variety from last year --
it's three feet tall and flowering already!
Here's the solar dye jar I set up last week;
the liquid has turned golden orange throughout

Georgia discovers that the fresh marigold petals can be used
to draw beautiful pictures in a variety of yellow, orange, and dark purple tones.
Here is my collection of wool fleeces (alum mordant) so far this year, from left to right:
solar dye pansy; stovetop pansy; solar dye marigold; plain white (for comparison)

1 comment:

  1. love the update! I wonder if the crop is lodging because the soil is low in nutrients... I noticed in last years flax crop- the quality of the fibre was very poor compared to our other sites. The stock just might not be strong enough to support itself...? lets keep clipping back those marigolds! lots more room on my drying racks for more blossoms.