OH DEAR GAWDZ. I swear no one in their right mind could possibly have gathered enough of this from the wild, to make any sort of dye pot. There is no way in hell there could conceivably be enough time, patience, gatherers, large areas with dense root that a. could be identified easily after the flowers have gone, because in my experience, the surrounding plants dwarf, hide and smother and b. that it could be dug up easily in the hard soil it usually grows in, or without breaking from the pressure and entwanglement of other plants roots, or c. that there was such a hard-on for red, that anyone, even in groups, would bother…………….Even if it were cultivated deliberately, it’d be a Ass Slapping Hair Pulling Bitch.
But i had to try it. I nurtured these plants for 3 years, keeping them in a separate pot with nothing else in it, (because i knew the roots would be impossible to detwangle from anything else) and decided today that (since the nurturing apparently ended mid July when i totally forgot about it, and haven’t watered it once after that…), that i might as well just dig up the darn things and separate out those roots.
WHAT A JOKE. It took me an hour to pry (GENTLY) the few “large” roots out, as most of it is a mass of finer than spider silk networks. And i say “large” with a very large grain of very salty sarcasm salt, because none of them are any bigger than a skinny pencil lead, and no longer than a generous 3 inches…….ha.
I rinsed them off in a bucket of tepid water, and this munificence, this haul, these absolute treasures, this splendid pile, these riches is the result:
Yes, more very large grains of very salty sarcasm salt here…………i can’t even get all the soil out, so these are gonna be either strange marks, or just plain dirty.
*&^% and *&(^%$# )(#$ ^%#*.
I didn’t plan on using it as a dye however (small mercies in planning *that* ahead), but as an ecoprint material. I’ve seen some stunning examples of madder root used, and one sample with these roots, and thought loftily, why not. Well, that was the plan, and as They say “The best laid plans of dyers and artists often go awry.” Loosely paraphrased, of course.
So…………..these are currently bundled in silk, awaiting a hot bath in the pot, and we will see what we will see. No doubt there will be absolutely stunningly FABulous results.
Very large grains, etc………….
I’ll still plant again next year though, because i do love their pretty little flowers.
(Galium verum sp)
EDIT MAY 3/18 started the dyepot! —>here