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It’s been a long time coming but I think Spring may very well be here.

Not that we can plant anything out of doors until the full moon in June {local wisdom}.

A farmer recently told me “it isn’t spring until the frogs freeze over 3 times”. I’d never heard that way of telling spring, but we’ve had a foot and a half of snow and a good frost last night so sooner than later spring will be here for good.

Side Yard last fall

Lovely trees … lawn – no gardens!

I love our new place but unfortunately the previous owners were not gardeners. Not a speck of garden anywhere! I find that horrifying but I suppose some people like lawns. However I’ve read some interesting articles lately about turfless-ness and the effects of lawns on our fauna.

Populations of all of our migratory song birds are dropping and there is no end in sight. American Goldfinch populations have dropped 6.2% per year during the last 30 years. Swainson’s Thrush populations have dropped 8.4% per year over that same period. These declines are not exceptional, but unfortunately, representative. Similar declines are being experienced by all of our migratory song birds.”

Plant Native

Restoring the Landscape with Native Plants

Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens

{Most of the pages are for the States and don’t really apply for here though. If you know of any local pages please leave a link in the comments}

So seeing as I don’t particularly care much for lawns and noisy mowers {the town won’t let me have a goat mower} I’ve decided to try my hand at Native plants for the garden. This also will contribute to the dye pot in new and interesting ways.

Up here I’m a Canada Zone 2, basically sub arctic, which is not very promising. I’ve been researching plants that will survive up here and hopefully I’ll be able to add some native plants through out the year.

I found Andy’s Northern Ontario Wildflowers, an extensive list of native plants that grow around here. I don’t know how they’ll dye up but I enjoy a good experiment.

Do you have any suggestions for my new dye garden? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you.


4 responses »

  1. Well I don’t know if they’re native to there or not but according to here:
    You can plant quite a few yummy things and I think they’d be good for dying too! Have fun.

  2. As I read your post I am simmering up last years marigolds into a dye. I have also had luck with tansy, goldenrod, mountain ash and arbutus bark. I also have a dandelion dye sitting in the sun brewing and a lichen (total experiment) one.

    • Thank you for the suggestions. I have more then enough dandelions, I’ll definitely try those :)
      You’ll have to let me know how the lichen turns out. I haven’t tried any lichen dyes yet but there’s some bright orange lichen on the trees around the house that may yield something.


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