Honeysuckle (hybridized) and Holy Basil

It’s spring and the garden is blooming with old and new favorites.  Even the weeds are welcomed after the long winter that we had this year!



The honeysuckle bush/vine in my garden is different than the one that grows all over. The wild one has a white flower and it’s so prolific that it seems like one GIANT plant.

The one in my garden has a pretty orange bloom and is better behaved.




The color that it gives is similar to the wild honeysuckle.  In the same backyard yellow vein.




Holy Basil

Holy Basil


A new visitor to my garden came from a local farmer.  They call it Holy Basil with a bloom like the tall phlox.  And in the peak of it’s bloom it was covered in bright yellow/gold blooms.  A standout at this time of year.  After enjoying it, I harvested some of the blooms and dyed with it.


Holy Basil

Holy Basil

A nice bright yellow…a bit more golden.

And, the plant has many seed pods. Maybe filled with many, many seeds.  Left to it’s own devices, I could have a garden full of this gold visitor!  HOLY BASIL!!


8 thoughts on “Honeysuckle (hybridized) and Holy Basil

    • I’ve used the leaves from honeysuckle and flowers from the “Holy Basil.” How long? I’ve had the best success cooking/simmering until limp and the color diminishes–maybe 15 minutes. When I’ve cooked the ^%$#^$%# out of the material–either boiling or cooking a long time, I haven’t had good results. I generally experiment with a small amount of plant material, in a small pot, with a small piece of fabric.

    • That’s an “it depends” question. I don’t know specifically about these two plants. My samples were fat quarters or less. These plants do give the yellow that you can get from many, many plants in my backyard. The fun and challenge of dyeing with natural material is enhanced with some trials. If I wanted to reproduce it, I’d gather wild honeysuckle leaves–we have lots of those and simmer up a pot! Are you dyeing cotton (cellulose) or wool (protein?)

      • I am dyeing cotton. Right now I am working on planning out a dye garden and I am just trying to determine how much space/ how many plants of each type I will need.

    • Where do you live (not your address, but the state?) Mostly I harvest, altho I have done some planting. Yellow is available everywhere (virtually)–I’m in Ohio and we have lotslotslots of sources…the best are wild honeysuckle and white ash. Dandelion gives a lemony yellow. (My neighbors would question my sanity if I planted it…there’s enuf to forage.) Clover flowers give a nice yellow. Other than yellow–The reds are not as available. I’ve had some success with willow branches–they give a light mauve. I have madder planted, but it takes 4 years to develop. Indigo is wonderful, but it takes lots of space and processing and it’s readily available for purchase. I planted alkanet but the color wasn’t great for me and I think it’s pretty invasive. I’ve heard of cochineal being harvested in Iowa, but I’ve only purchased it.

      Cotton is not as easy to dye, naturally, but it can be done. (Some recipes call for heavy metals–I stay way away from those.) Wool/silk dye more easily, with natural dyes.

      It’s a whole different world and quite magical when it works!

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