Oklahoma is derived from the Choctaw Indian words "okla" meaning people and "humma" meaning red. Oklahoma is my home. Tinctoria is Latin, meaning to dye or color things; this is my work.

08 July 2010

Seed to Skein 2010 Dye Garden Project, Part VI

Hopi Dye Sunflower, 2010.

“The first purpose of a garden is to give happiness and repose of mind.”

Part VI: First Flowers

First flowers seem to always have wonder and surprise. They are full of promise and stunning in their complexity.

Tagetes patula bud, 2010.

Tagetes patula flower and bud, 2010.

The first Marigold, Tagetes patula, bloomed at the very end of May. It is now a daily habit to collect the flowers and place them on a drying rack in my  studio.

Calendula bud, 2010.

Calendula plant, 2010.

Calendula is a new plant for me to grow. I only have about a half dozen plants but I am drying the flowers as I pick them. This may be a slow accumulation for natural color but I really like the flowers.

Coreopsis flower and buds, 2010.

Coreopsis grandiflora was quite prolific throughout the Spring. I cut about half of the plant back around the end of May in hopes that it will be able to make another round of flowers. As I collected these Coreopsis flowers I placed them in a plastic bag in the freezer to use later.

Dahlia plant with flowers opening, 2010.

Open Dahlia flower, 2010.

There are only two Dahlia plants that germinated from my mixed Dahlia species (old seed) and they are both yellow. But they seem to be quite happy and they are producing a number of flowers.

Hopi Dye Sunflower, giant bud, 2010.

One Hopi Sunflower, Helianthus, is well over 12’ tall! I  had to stand on the roof to get a view of the top of this flower head. Other Hopi Sunflowers are not quite as far along as this giant. They are such cheery flowers.

Rubia tinctoria flowers and berries 2010.

To my surprise the Rubia tinctoria, Madder, is making flowers and berries during its first year. It is a perennial and appears to be becoming happily established. The flowers are yellow and they are very tiny and some of the berries are starting to form.

Zinnia flower, 2010.

The Zinnias are just starting to open. There should be a mix of colors coming on soon.

Verbascum thaspus flowers, 2010.

The great Mullein, Verbascum thaspus, that I  transplanted into our little porch garden last year, shot up its stock the beginning of May. The little five petaled yellow flowers are sweet. Although I did not plant Mullein as part of the Seed to Skein 2010 Dye Garden Project, it is a favorite garden and dye plant. They are quite abundant in Oklahoma.

Coreopsis tinctoria flowers, 2010.

We discovered a magnificent field of Coreopsis tinctoria just off the highway. I have included these June bloomers because they make a beautiful orangy color and they are an abundant wildflower in Oklahoma.

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