Sunday, 20 February 2011

carbon credits

in view of the fact i fly about a lot
i thought i had better do something to compensate again
in truth, i don't even need an excuse to invest in trees
while i'm perfectly capable of propagating them from seed
sometimes it's nice to have something a little bigger
so today i did my favourite kind of shopping
at the native nursery in Belair National Park

doesn't look like much, being tubestock, but they'll do.

the collection includes Eucalyptus - pulverulenta, gillii, wandoo, crenulata, cordata and nichollii
also some anigozanthos [kangaroo paw], two species of santalum [sandalwood and quandong]
and a purple-leaved form of Agonis flexuosa
somewhere in there are also two small myoporum plants to host the santalums [the latter are parasitical]
a very fine lot indeed

while rummaging about on my desk for something else entirely
i found a few bundles that i had cooked before leaving for NZ
so as to have a present to unwrap on my return
[my students will all recognise this habit - so important, i think, to have a present to unwrap on each morning of class]. just like a squirrel hiding nuts i'd forgotten this lot.
funny thing is, green is supposed to be the hardest colour to dye naturally....not if you dye in bundles.
the other good thing [besides the general happiness] is how little plant material is needed compared to the traditional 1:1 Weight of Goods to Weight of Plant Material ratio


  1. Drool... such lovely green cloths. Did get green when I steamed crabapple leaves in silk but hard for me to get green with cotton so when it does come via magick!, it is such a gift.

  2. these took my breath away. quite wonderful. and i so love the morning surprise/present idea for teaching, will remember this.

  3. I'm worse than a kid at Christmas for the waiting part.
    The green prints are stunning.

  4. the green was achieved on old kimono silk using Robinia leaves
    as you say Marti, cotton is a trocksy beast. my best results have come from a good soak in seawater first [at the beach]. bear in mind that seawater is a very different cocktail to plain salt and water. then alternative dips in some kind of protein [milk, soy,egg whatever] with dips in ash water, drying between each layer. give it at least a week to cure
    say a prayer to the Dogs Above and you're ready to roll up and dye...

  5. what a wonderful lot of trees India. I have the purple agonis, I used it in a bridal bouquet once with white and red spider chrysanthumums, I love its marks more though. nicholii has such fantasic colour and is a beautiful exciting babies and plenty of moisture in the ground for a change.

  6. Plant shopping is my favourite kind of shopping too, in fact I loathe any other sort of shopping or browsing that does not involve markets, art supplies, book shops or 2nd-hand stores :) Beautiful dye results.

  7. Am intrigued (puzzled) by this particular green issue, India...
    While walking with dawg on our neighbor's land yesterday we discovered that he'd recently widened the footpaths with what looked like some kind of mower. Everywhere was leaf litter from the salal plant (Gaultheria shallon), one of our natives that grows abundantly as an understory plant. It's evergreen & looks especially good at this time of year before the drought of summer drains some of its vitality. I think I'd better go back for a sackful! I've got the sea and some silk from the thrift + ash from the fireplace (would that work?). I wonder if I can get green...

  8. Appreciate the info India, thank you. Living in Tennessee, I am far from the sea but in a few months, I'm traveling to California where I shall dunk some cotton cloth in the sea and happily collect eucalyptus windfall to bring back. No fireplace in this rental but neighbors have so by the end of the year, green shall present itself if the dye pixies are blessing...

  9. sigh. what is it about those little bundles that we all love. its truly magical.