One of this year's major trends in landscaping is using practical plants that were once commonly found in average household gardens. For instance, certain plants were used in the past to create dyes that could be used on fabrics, ceramics, wooden carvings, yarn, and other commonly produced items. Following are four garden plants that are easy to grow and can be used for fun crafts projects. The dye produced from these plants is chemical free and nontoxic.
Sumac is a large deciduous shrub known for its vivid red stone fruits, twisted, almost gnarled branches, and vibrant autumn foliage. Different parts of the plant have traditionally been used to create different colors of dye. The roots, for instance, can be used to make black dye, except in the spring, when they create a yellow or orange color. The pulps made from crushed stems make a light yellow dye, the leaves make brown dye, and the fruit creates red dye. Sumac shrubs make good specimen plants because of their unique shape and colorful leaves and fruit.
Marigolds are another plant commonly used in crafting dyes for household use. The petals of the marigold flower create hues that range from classic, sunny yellow to a rich crimson shade. Dye made from marigold flowers is primarily used on fabrics and is appropriate for all types, even fragile silks. Marigolds are annual flowers are are easy to grow from seed provided they are given a spot in the garden that receives several hours of direct sunlight per day. They make excellent additions to the container plantings and flower beds.
Carrots can also be used to dye fabric orange. The vibrancy of the shade will depend on the strength of the mixture that you prepare -- you can create anything from a pale, orange sherbet shade to a bright sunset hue. Carrots are easily grown in average garden soil as long as they receive a few hours of sun. They perform best when given a place in the vegetable garden that features fairly deep soil.
Ripe raspberries can be used to create a soft red dye that can be used on fabric or yarn. The solution can also be diluted to produce desired shades of pink. Raspberries grow profusely in sunny spots that have fairly rich soils. They're excellent choices for edging the outskirts of the yard and garden area.
Creating crafts projects using dyes from various garden plants is a relaxing and fulfilling pastime, and it also provides a fun way to teach children about the various uses of specific plants. For more information about plants to incorporate into your plans, contact Bill and Dave's Landscape or a similar company.