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Before I got turned on to botanical dyes, I had no idea of the wild and colorful world that is hidden in so many plants. When I started growing plants for natural dyes it wasn’t enough for me to just grow them. I had to play with them! It’s farming-science-nature-art and I was hooked. Plants that are grown for their dye properties have comparatively high levels of pigment, and when extracted, pigment provides the color for your fibers. What makes them extra special as dye plants is their light- and wash-fastness, and their ability to adhere to fibers and mordants.


Bluebird Dye Gardens is a part of my family’s farm in southwest Colorado, overlooking Mesa Verde National Park, across hundreds of small family farms and ranches, and down the valley to the Ute Mountain Ute tribe and the Sleeping Ute Mountain. This region is the unceded traditional and ancestral territory of the Nuchu (Ute), Apache, Puebloan, Hopi, Zuni and the Dine nations. The colors in the landscape reflect colors extracted from plants and minerals by Indigenous people, used for centuries – and still used today - in their weavings, basketry, and more.


My plants are grown organically, benefitting from mineral-rich soil and farm-made compost, and about 300 days of sunshine at 7,000’ elevation called the high desert. They’re harvested at their peak and thoughtfully dried, out of direct sunlight. They’re so pretty and they smell really nice, I love having the studio full of drying flowers!




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