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Article: Bitter Dock: color phases

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gloria125
Greensboro, AL

October 12, 2010
7:01 AM

Post #8151894

I am in a yellow phase now. And do you know its almost impossible to find a set of sheets in a soft yellow color this year? I guess people think yellow is not a restful color. Now, if I could just find a patch of yellow dock I could dye some of my white cotton sheets! (And they are becoming a thing of the past--sheets without polyester that would not dye well are had to find.

Yellow, cream, splashes of orange and brick red---those must be the colors for aging eyes.

Thanks for another excursion into colors and plants, Miss Sharran!
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

October 12, 2010
7:28 AM

Post #8151955

Throw in a bit of sage and forest green to your mix, Gloria, and you just described the colors in my home. I keep wondering whatever happened to blue and pink. I must have left them behind when my eyes began to age.

But yellow sheets? You're right, I haven't seen them in years.

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

October 12, 2010
9:16 AM

Post #8152139

interesting article. I have been stuck in one color phase all my life--blue? Does it mean that I never grew up?
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

October 12, 2010
10:44 AM

Post #8152255

Tee hee irisMA. Thanks for another great article Shar. Maybe yellow bedsheets are only in Canada. Sears Canada has luvly yellow sheets ^_^
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 12, 2010
12:42 PM

Post #8152468

Hmmm, maybe she could order those sheets online!
I think the plants are pretty, with their red stems. I never imagined the roots would be anything but red! Since I can't get to the roots of the one we have growing between the stones on our back steps. I decided that, since I can't remove it, I'll just let it stay. I just make sure it doesn't set seed so it ends up everywhere, lol.
What is the one that makes all those giant, horrible burs, do you know, Sharon? It's got really big, broad leaves. I think it's a pretty plant, too, and I like the flowers, but the burs are nightmarish!
Thanks again for another colorful story. :)

P.S. My bedroom is painted a bright yellow. The curtains and bedspread are earthtones in a southwestern design. They look nice with yellow.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

October 12, 2010
3:35 PM

Post #8152759

It just means you never changed your mind, Iris!!

Thanks, Dahlia. Good to know about the yellow bedsheets.

Not sure which burrs you are talking about, KY..got a photo??

I haven't gone through a yellow phase in a long time, but your bedroom sounds pretty, KY.

Thanks, all!
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 12, 2010
4:29 PM

Post #8152868

Oh, here I found it--turns out this one is edible, too:
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/53500/
It's a totally different plant, it seems.
I saw some in a horse pasture and the poor horses had the burs stuck all over their manes and tails.

This message was edited Oct 12, 2010 7:30 PM
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

October 12, 2010
5:06 PM

Post #8152938

Well, now, KY, I do know what you are talking about...I hope this is the right one.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1387/
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 12, 2010
6:21 PM

Post #8153070

That's it, thanks! I musta missed that article--you're amazing, Sharon!
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

October 12, 2010
8:08 PM

Post #8153289

Just a pretty good memory, Renee'! Plus I had fun with my little old ladies, so when i remember them, I remember the things we did. I can see a plant that I knew from those days in the mountains, and from seeing them, I might not remember their names, but I remember digging it or gathering leaves from it, or maybe eating it...things like that. And I particularly remember making dyes. Then one memory leads to another and on it goes...

Sometimes memories take over and it's hard to bring myself back to reality.
LarryR
South Amana, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 12, 2010
10:50 PM

Post #8153439

The ripe seedheads of bitter dock add a great vertical element to dried arrangements, Sharon. For a couple of years I collected (from the surrounding countryside) and sold all sorts of dried seedheads. I even dyed foxtail seedheads red, orange, and yes--yellow. The farmers in the area just shook their heads in amazement when they discovered that I was actually selling the weeds that they'd tried so hard to get rid of!

If you ever need purple dye, I've got a root for you. It's called "Schwartzwurzel" ("black root") and was brought from Germany by the Amana settlers. We grow it in our vegetable garden as part of our seed bank. It's actually a salsify with an extremely long root. I took a photo of Wilma standing in a trench up to her knees, trying to harvest the roots, and she still hadn't made it down to the root tips. Schwartzwurzel makes a tasty vegetable dish. We scrape the black roots to expose the white flesh underneath, wearing gloves when we do so, because the black scrapings turn our hands purple! The stain stays on one's hands through several days of washing and showering.

After scraping, the root is chopped into bite-size pieces, boiled in water flavored with herbs from the herb garden, and then creamed. Yum!
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

October 12, 2010
11:06 PM

Post #8153447

Larry, would this be what you are talking about? This was not one of my shining moments.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1702/

I remember the long taproots, I remember not liking the flavor, I remember getting into trouble, but I don't remember the purple on my hands.

Maybe I just never tasted it the way you cooked it. And maybe I just never realized it made a purple dye.

In any case, so good to hear of your memories too!

gloria125
Greensboro, AL

October 13, 2010
6:40 AM

Post #8153723

I wanted to put the yellow sheets with my faux leopardskin blanket for winter. Someone did send me an email that Overstock.com has yellow sheets and also Linensource.com. (In case anyone else is looking for them).
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

October 13, 2010
11:40 AM

Post #8154206

Congrats on finding the yellow sheets gloria125!
LarryR
South Amana, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 13, 2010
11:57 AM

Post #8154228

Sharon, that would be goatsbeard which, indeed, has a root that's practically inedible. Schwartzwurzel is a type of salsify. There is an American salsify called Oyster Plant, whose roots are supposed to taste like oyster. Not being an oyster afficianado, I've never tried them. The black salsify that we grow has a very mild-tasting root, somewhat akin to asparagus, but much milder. It was popular during Amana's communal era, because the roots stored well over winter and provided a "fresh" vegetable dish in the communal kitchens.

Salsify, in general, is little-known in the US, but very common in European countries. It's a biennial. After flowering in the second year, we harvest the seed and the roots. Since the blossoms are quite pretty, I've occasionally planted Schwartzwurzel in some of our flower beds. The seedhead looks very much like that of goatsbeard, perhaps just a bit smaller. Here are some photos:

Thumbnail by LarryR
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

October 13, 2010
4:18 PM

Post #8154624

Thanks Larry.

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