The Biodiversity of Color

A summer plant-based palette. From Natural Color by Sasha Duerr. Photo: Aya Brackett

A summer plant-based palette. From Natural Color by Sasha Duerr. Photo: Aya Brackett

It’s a colorful world. I think gardeners are already keenly aware of  hues served up by nature every month of the year. But as we all know, garden discoveries are unending.

Artist and designer Sasha Duerr opens our eyes to the sometimes hidden colors in gardens around us in her upcoming book.  Natural Color follows the landscape throughout the year and offers up even more ways we can interact with our gardens.

Don’t miss the opportunity to watch Sasha make botanical magic at our upcoming Garden Life event.

From Natural Color by Sasha Duerr. Photo: Aya Brackett

From Natural Color by Sasha Duerr. Photo: Aya Brackett

Biodiversity of Color

Plant dyes have a rich history in every culture on the planet. The quest to revive the practice of natural plant dyeing relies heavily on rediscovery and sharing information, as a vast amount of practical knowledge has been lost. Dyeing with plants means more than simply replacing synthetic materials with natural ones—it means changing the way we care for and interact with our natural environment.

Natural color is an immersive and fully sensory experience. Experimenting with fallen redwood cones is awe inspiring, from the color that emerges—deep mauve, purples, and blacks—to the smell of the dye bath, like a walk in a rainy coastal redwood forest. Making your own natural dyes awakens the potential for designing as nature does, with purpose and beauty.

The value of “living” color is to appreciate and treasure the inherent uniqueness of nature and, as with an heirloom fruit or vegetable, to ensure biodiversity for future generations.


DUER_NaturalColor_COVERThe above excerpt is reprinted with permission from Natural Color by Sasha Duerr, copyright (c) 2016. Published by Watson-Guptill, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.