After a certain amount of bundling, you start to look for signs...
any kind of indication that something is brewing inside.
That green there in the center?
That's a promise waiting to be exposed.
a few square chips of copper sheeting, some sprigs of purple Salvia 'Caradonna'
and a handful of fresh salal leaves (Gaultheria shalon), wrapped around a small can
and simmered in a bath of red-leaved berberis for about an hour,
then left to air dry for - you guessed it - three weeks...
Do you see the imprint of the salal leaf there on the top half, about center?
Not one iota of color to be found!
Now, India says that everything gives color, one way or the other,
but so far (and after four tries) salal is my nemesis.
Known for its medicinal qualities, it can be prepared as a tincture or tea
and used as a poultice for insect bites & stings...
but as a dye plant...
What to try next...
perhaps soaking the leaves in vinegar first?
Sing them a lullaby? Beg on bended knee?
There might be a wee gift in it for anyone reading who can provide the secret...