Dyer’s broom (Genista tinctoria) in full flower
Madder (Rubia tinctorum)
Woad (Isatis tinctoria) on the left at the back, lady’s bedstraw (Galium verum) in the centre with yellow flowers and the purple flower heads of saw-wort (Serratula tinctoria) just visible on the right at the back
A first-year woad plant (Isatis tinctoria)
Wild madder (Rubia peregrina) rambling through the garden and beginning to form seeds
Saw-wort (Serratula tinctoria) with its purple thistle-like flower heads
Yellow cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus) with its pretty yellow flowers
Yellow cosmos flowers give lovely yellow and rust dyes and I usually collect the flower heads as they begin to fade and then use them in a solar dye pot. For a rich burnt orange colour, add soda ash to the jar.
Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
I set up a solar dye pot with goldenrod and after 24 hours a pretty lemon yellow is developing. I used the dead flower heads only because I just can’t bear to cut the flowering heads.