Logo consisting of silhouettes of dyeplants and the words natures rainbow

News About Courses and Seeds

Updated 5th January 2024

Seeds

Each year we save seed from the dye garden for sale.  Fresh seed from the 2023 crop is now available.  Read more here

Madder

We are regularly digging madder and sell a limited number of root cuttings online in Spring. If you would like to pre-order some please get in touch.

Garden visits and plant sales

We host garden visits for small groups. Each visit is typically two hours long although we can tailor a visit to suit you. If you subscribe to our newsletter you will get advance notice of dates. Please contact us if your group would like a bespoke visit. A selection of plants are usually available to purchase on the day.

Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know when new seed or plants are available to buy.

Bespoke Garden Design Package
A package of 1-1 support including zooms, phone/email and posted seeds and plants for anyone wanting advice and guidance on setting up or extending a dye garden.  Further details here

Workshops and Courses

We teach ‘in person’ workshops to small groups using the outdoor classroom at the Hitchin Triangle Community Garden.  See our shop for details.

Here are details of the  workshops we provide in Hitchin:

How to plan and plant a dye garden. An introductory day where you can explore an established working dye garden on a compact allotment site. Each person gets some 1-1 design support and goes home with seeds, seedlings and young plants to put the ideas into practice as soon as possible.

Dye garden in June

Natures Rainbow Dye Garden in June

 

One day dye workshops where you start by picking the dye plants, then extract the dyes and use them to colour a useful quantity of material appropriate to your chosen craft. We aim to be flexible and accommodate people who are confident to mordant their own materials in advance, as well as cater for those new to plant dyeing.

Madder dye variation by mordant and modifier

Madder dyed yarns with various mordants and modifiers

Botanical Print workshops

Following a successful collaboration with Louise Drosdzol in 2021 and 2022 (examples of student work shown below) Susan continues to offer botanical print workshops around the year using plants from the dye garden and foraged locally. For more about finding a respectful relationship with nature through foraging we recommend the books and talks by Robin Wall Kimmerer about the ‘honourable harvest’.

Three colourful silk scarves in yellow and deep purple with leaf prints hanging on a washing line.

Botanically printed silk scarves on a washing line

 

Two day workshops where you can go deeper into a subject. Some things need more than a single day for best results. We have developed a Two Day Mordanting workshop and a Japanese Indigo workshop where you can gain confidence and understanding of the technical aspects of the processes involved.

Pouring Japanese indigo liquid

Aerating japanese indigo extraction

 

To be kept up to date as soon as new courses are launched, sign up for newsletters here.

Our dye garden in Hitchin is only 5 minutes walk from a mainline station well served by trains between London, Peterborough and Cambridge. We are next door to a fabulous community garden project, The Triangle Community Garden, which has a well-equipped indoor space for small workshops and a brand new outdoor classroom for Covid-safe tuition.

We are thoroughly enjoying sharing our skills and knowledge with people who, like us, are enchanted by deriving colour from their home grown dyeplants.  Please do get in touch if you would like to work with us.

All courses can be booked here

With all good wishes

Susan