I don’t know if you have ever tried, but buying woad plants is quite difficult. Seeds are quite easy to come by, but I don’t have fantastic conditions for seeds and seedlings. One of the reasons I am starting a dye garden is that I can’t cope with vegetables.
I live in an old windmill, so you won’t be surprised to know that it is quite windy here. My theory is that I need to grow varieties that are marked weather resistant, particularly if they are also marked wind resistant. At a minimum, I go for dwarf. The less you stick up, the less you get hit by the wind.
So I grew veg from seed. When they got to the hardening off stage, the “sheltered” place I found for them just wasn’t quite sheltered enough. I replaced them with plants from the local garden centre, but something ate them.
So after a couple of years of trying, I’ve decided that a vegetable patch won’t work. Before I resorted to shrubs, I started my experiments with dyeing. My research into useful dye plants that are likely to grow here yielded quite a lot that could only be grown from seed.
So I prioritised those that I couldn’t find for sale in plant form.
But then when I tried to buy woad plants, all the websites said they were sold out.
So I was really pleased when I found these. They have obviously had an ordeal in the post. They were beautifully packed, but it has been quite warm recently. They looked so squashed and tired when they arrived that it just didn’t seem fair to take a picture of them.
But now, after a few days of regular watering on a warm floor, next to a nice big window, they have recovered. I’m going to plant them out!