Author(s): Chris McLaughlin
Home-grown botanical dyes are in, and they're part of today's shift toward natural and organic living. "A new generation discovers grow-it-yourself dyes," says the New York Times. And you don't have to have a degree in chemistry to create your own natural dyes. It just takes a garden plot and a kitchen. A Garden to Dye For shows how super-simple it is to plant and grow a dyer's garden and create beautiful dyes. Many of these plants may already be in our cutting, cottage or food gardens, ready for double duty. These special plants can fit right in with traditional garden themes. A Garden to Dye For features 40-plus plants that the gardener-crafter can grow for an all-natural, customized color palette. A dyer's garden can be a mosaic of flowers, herbs, roots and fruits that lend us their pigments to beautify other areas of our lives. The richly photographed book is divided between the garden and the dye process, with garden layouts, plant profiles, dye extraction and uses, step-by-step recipes and original, engaging DIY projects. This is the book that bridges the topic of plant dyes to mainstream gardeners, the folks who enjoy growing the plants as much as using them in craft projects. www.agardentodyefor; and on Facebook: A Garden to Dye For.
Chris McLaughlin is a California garden writer and author who has been gardening for over 35 years and became a Master Gardener in 2000. She is the home agriculture editor for From Scratch magazine, a staff columnist at Vegetable Gardener.com, and the Homesteading Guide at About.com. Chris' work can also be found in Urban Farm, Hobby Farm Home, The Heirloom Gardener, The Herb Companion, and Fine Gardening magazines. She is the author of "Vertical Vegetable Gardening," "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Small-Space Gardening," "Hobby Farms: Small-Scale Rabbit Keeping," "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Heirloom Vegetables," and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting"; and her latest: "A Garden to Dye For." Chris and her family live in the foothills of Northern California's gold country, where they share their hobby farm with more critters than she'll admit to; including a handful of fiber animals and a rather large assortment of natural dye plants. When she's not writing, gardening, dyeing, hand-spinning, feeding critters, or chasing grandbabies, she's touching base at her community project, The Mother Lode Seed Library in Placerville, California. You can catch her blogging about modern homesteading and crafts at www.home-ag.com.