The Natural Dye Garden is a volunteer-led project sited at the National Wool Museum in Drefach Felindre and run by Museum volunteers. The project has links with both Clwb Garddio Drefach Felindre Gardening Club and the pupils of Ysgol Penboyr who now have their own natural dye bed. In 2014 the beds were cleared and planted with a mixture of traditional and other plants containing natural dyes. At the end of the first year, a workshop took place led by natural dyer and Gardening Club member Susan Martin. Wools were dyed creating a range of colours from yellows to oranges, pink, blue, green and brown. Below is a photograph of a sample box created by Susan showing the wonderful range of colours that can be produced.
Each year the Natural Dye Garden Group selects plants to make an attractive display that will have interesting dye potential. The ground is prepared appropriately, seeds sown, planted out and tended with the help of children from the local primary School, Ysgol Penboyr. Flowers, leaves and roots are harvested as the season progresses and dried or frozen ready for using for dyeing in the autumn.
Members of the Natural Dye Garden Group are currently all Gardening Club members: Pixie Harcourt, Helen Fogden, Maureen Bibby, Jo Taylor and VJ Rees, but volunteers are always welcome and anyone interested should look on the National Wool Museum website to find out more. The group meets regularly at the National Wool Museum to carry out work on the beds, to harvest the plants and to plan for next year's planting.