By Saturday our luck had really changed re the weather, though 4 weeks of wonderful warm sunshine in September was an amazing run. Rainy sleety awfulness had set in and the idea of creating solar jars in a blizzard somehow didn’t seem promising. A rolling fire later and we were ready for visitors! Once again we had locals from the Highbury area and natural dyeing enthusiasts who had crossed London to come and see us. Throughout the growing period, we had been deadheading and drying the flowers from the dye garden for this very occasion. Marigolds, rudbeckia, edible chrysanthemums, dyers coreopsis and dahlias were available to use, as well as red onions skins.
The final day of BALCONYLIFE had arrived and by now we were dressed appropriately, but we’d had squandered most of our wood stash on the previous day. Firewood collecting became our first activity and thankfully the blustery winds had blown off twigs and small branches from the trees in the grounds. Our only planned activity was unwrapping, the eco print scarves from Tuesday and objects from the Collection, that visitors had been wrapping throughout the month. It was wonderful to spend the final hours with friends unbundling the scarves. We got some lovely bronze and pinks on some of the scarves but an excess of rusty nails in the dye bath pushed the colours towards some beautiful dark greys and blacks. It was a truly wonderful conclusion to BALCONYLIFE.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who came to visit us during our ‘Open September’, whether for a workshop or just to drop by and say hello – you helped make September such a success. We would also like to thank Steve Allbutt from the Florence Trust for all his support and advice, and the wonderfully generous Jenny Dean who has become a third member of moderneccentrics for this project, albeit from her home on the South Downs. Finally, I would like to congratulate Ross for his amazing drive and creativity – we did it!
Text and images © moderneccentrics.