The time has come for what we have been waiting for: it is time to harvest for certain dye plants. Despite this year’s strange, unusually fickle weather, the dyer’s coreopsis gifted us with a gorgeous, abundant stream of flowers.

An interesting feature of the plant is that even when picked in the bud stage, placed in a vase, it continuously opens  its petals even indoors, but we can also choose the technique of always pinching only the fully open flowers. I usually use scissors or snips during harvest, if you work with your fingers, the dyes of the plant will be visible on your nails and fingertips for days.

I dry the flowers in an airy place, I really like to use old flour sieves for this purpose, but you can also make a great drying rack using a densely woven mosquito net stretched between wooden slats or fitted into an unused picture frame. The flowers wither and dry in a few days – I’m always reminded why traditional dye recipes count half as many dried plants as fresh – a sea of ​​flowers dwindles to just a few handfuls of dry petals. I always collect from the already withering blooms as well, so a seed stock will be available next year. I use the dried flowers for dyeing, but always make sure to leave plenty for brewing summer-flavoured teas in the cold & gloomy winter months too.