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A Little Color on a Drab Day


Easter dawned today gray and drizzly--not what we might hope for on an April Sunday. A few brave souls are visiting the Gardens, where our newest exhibit--Jurassic Gardens--is being installed. But I have a quiet moment to post a little color.

Around this time of year, I like to tinker with natural dyes for my Easter eggs. So much the better if I have a kid or two around to help, but even without, I have fun trying out new ingredients. In the past, I've had great success with purple cabbage (beautiful deep blue), turmeric (vibrant yellow), onion skins (mottled rusty red), and less success with beets (pitiful pale pink) and spinach (no color to speak of). This year, as you can see in the picture, I scored with blackberries (reddish purple), blueberries (nice solid blue), and pomegranate juice (terrific mottled rosy red.) Less impressive were paprika (a nice bright orange in places, and a boring pale orange elsewhere) and Zinger tea (kind of beige.) Still it is fun to experiment. Next year, I wonder if I can figure out a good green?


Matt Cole

Ellen, despite green being the color of plants, there aren't that many green dyes that I can think of, and none that I know work well on eggs. Maybe a turmeric/blueberry combination?
Dominique Bayne

It could be fun to try Mahonia root for a yellow...I think the Native Americans use it for that. I wonder if you could mix it with the Blueberries to get a green?
Ellen Hertzman

I'll have to try the color mixing idea--I'm envisioning muddy brown, though...
Ellen Hertzman

I tried the Mahonia last night (thanks, Dominique), but it only gave me a pale mustard color.

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