The color green

The lovely garden of the Canadian Pavilion at EPCOT Center, August 2003

“When I look out the window, I exhale a prayer of thanks for the color green…for the simple acts of faith like planting a garden that helped see us through another spring, another summer.”Barbara Kingsolver

Many times over the years I have felt deep gratitude for the color green, especially as it reappears each spring, brightening lawns and gardens, or in the heat of late summer when it provides cool shade above and soft relief from too-hot pavement underfoot. I love all the colors; it would be almost impossible to pick only one favorite. But I truly cannot imagine living without the green of the outdoors. Even in fall and winter, I look for the evergreen trees that accent the golden autumn foliage, or adorn an otherwise barren landscape.

If you’re feeling especially agitated or frustrated, or tired and discouraged, try giving yourself a brief interval to focus on the many shades of green with which nature paints this season. Make a few minutes to step outside, if time and weather permit; if not, looking through a window (or at colorful garden magazines) will suffice. It almost always helps me. I hope it will do the same for you!



  1. Raynard

    Julia Kermit the frog always sang it’s not easy being green.He was also standing next to Miss Piggy and the Swedish chef yelling”Pork,Pork “Frog Legs” lol I digress you needed a blessed.

  2. MaryAnn

    Nature “speaks” the wonders of our Creator! It is glorious to inhale the beauty, with our eyes, ears & nose. Such delights to discover each day! Praise God!
    Thank you for encouraging us to “see”!

    • You’re welcome, Mary Ann. I have been spending some time outside the past two evenings and it has been very therapeutic.

  3. The secret to the photosynthetic properties of chlorophyll lies in the absorption of other wavelengths of light – reflecting green for our pleasure. Interestingly, in the Autumn the green pigments die first, revealing the reds, yellows, and oranges that were always there – only masked by the green. When the leaf fails to reflect the dynamic energy of green-wavelength-light, it absorbs too much of the sun’s energy, and quickly wrinkles up, turns brown, and falls to the ground. (Green truly IS energy).

    • You sound like someone with a degree in biology from Georgia Tech. Seriously, you have taught me much about nature over the years and I have truly enjoyed it.

  4. Mike

    Here in the NOrthwest we kind of take green for granted with all our evergreens- Douglas Fir and Hemlocks to mention a couple. But you are right and some of the lawns in Canton were really brown- like dirt brown and just beginning to get a little color. The last two days we were there I helped out mowing with my son who has a lawn business on the side- Bert’s Lawn Care. One day that we watched Jo Jo -Jen was able to sub-teach so that is an added incentive to move. I don’t think that would be too much of a burden do you? She subs at the school where Norah has pre-school -at Hickory Flat UMC.
    Have you heard of the blog- Bitter souterner? I just saw a bleep about in on NPR about cooking with cane sugar. A friend of my son gave him some pure cane sugar syrup which is quite dark as you can imagine.

    • I just love the evergreens. I wish we had more here. Some of our York neighbors have some nice ones that I enjoy. I was a substitute teacher in Hawaii and really loved it. It paid quite well there, but the unforgettable experiences are what I remember most. I got more work because I was willing to teach Middle School. I have never heard of Bitter Southerner but I just popped on over there and it REALLY looks interesting…I bookmarked it. That’s why it takes me so long to get to these blog comments. People have such interesting info; I always find out so much cool stuff and end up chasing rabbits and taking way longer than if I just breezed through…but it feels more like a cyber visit if I take my time. I quit using refined white sugar years ago and used to cook with the turbinado or other unrefined, brown types (I hardly use sugar at all anymore) but I have never had any of the pure cane syrup. I bet it’s good.

  5. Harry Sims

    Why are there so many colors in nature and why do colors never clash in nature?
    And for that matter why do we have so much beauty available?
    Could Omnipotence bring forth a functioning universe without this?

    • Good questions, Harry…

  6. You again tempt me with this post. When you start writing about nature and trees I become so nostalgic and long to be there in Kerala. Green – the most soothing colour. It is the rarest colour in this part of the world. Still it is mysterious how the neem and the muringa trees here and there by the roadside manage to be so green in spite of the horrible weather conditions of the desert. But sadly not a single one of them to be found anywhere near our apartment. Thanks for the green, green picture.

    • Bindu, I so sympathize with your feeling of being shut away from enjoyment of the beauties in your past. I am praying that you are able to get back to Kerala– or at least to a more verdant environment– very soon! Til then, thank you for finding the spots of joy in any circumstances. Thanks, too, for being here. ❤

  7. We’ve had so much rain and now so much green! It’s my favorite color. Hope you are feeling green too. Hugs.

    • Marlene, I’m so happy you are surrounded with green right now! I find it an endless consolation. Giant leafy hugs.

  8. Hello Sweet Julia! Indeed your Nirvana-in-green is a happy balm for my eyes. This garden looks a lot like Butchart in Victoria. There’s still not much green here yet, since we’ve actually had only 2 mild days. Yesterday and today were warmish and sunny. The warmth of the sun really feels good when it’s not too hot. One day in DC, I walked from the Martin Luther King Memorial back to the Dupont Hotel. It would have been an easy walk if not for the fact that it was 83 F that day, LOL. Can you say melt. I guess it was the day we took flowers for Jeff too, yes, super hot. Us lily white northerners are not made to last long in that heat. But it sure makes for a beautiful and colourful spring. The flowering trees and abundant tulips were nice to see after winter. Well not really ‘after’ winter as it continued to snow the week I got back, ha! xo K

    • K, they designed that Disney garden to be a copy of Butchart, I think. Since it took me so long to get to this comment, hopefully it is warmer and more green now than when you first wrote it. It was unusually hot those day you were here…thank goodness we’ve had quite few cooler days since then. Good thing we got to Mount Vernon before it got too hot to be fun. Hard to imagine going from that heat back to snow! I am guessing you are finally well into spring by now even in Edmonton.

  9. Sheila

    Good morning, Julia. 🏕⛺️ I’ve had problems with our internet here so before I do a lengthy comment I’ll see if this brief comment will post. 💛

    • Sheila, looks like it came through…I’ll read it next! 🙂

  10. Sheila

    Julia, we’ve gone from the green Inlet marsh grasses to the lush greenery at Willow Tree since Thursday, when we came for some “tin condo” time. I noticed this quote is that of Barbara Kingsolver and is so reflective of her life. She has a small farm and a restaurant, the Harvest Table, in southwest Virginia, close to Abingdon. Harvest Table is a farm to table restaurant that opened in 2010. The “Vann sisters” had lunch there soon after it opened and the food was so delicious and fresh.🌽🥒🍅🥕 We are trying our hand at growing tomatoes and green peppers on our terrace. It’s really fun to care for them and watching them grow. I hope y’all are enjoying these beautiful Spring days we’re having. I’m looking forward to our upcoming Verandah! 💛

    • Sheila, I was wondering whether you were getting in any “Tin Condo” time lately. Harvest Table sounds wonderful. I’ll have to put that on my “must do” list. I didn’t realize Kingsolver had a place there. How are your tomatoes and peppers doing? Daddy used to grow some on his porch too. I should try my luck at green peppers. The squirrels get all the tomatoes so I quit trying to grow those. I have really enjoyed the spring evenings the past couple of days. Meet you on the Verandah! ❤

  11. Good morning, Julia!
    You’ve probably read about the benefits of green in articles such as “Green is Good for You” at
    People who believe in chakra energy decided that green is the color of the heart chakra, and gives healing, balance, tranquility, and serenity.
    In Feng Shui, green is accepted as the color representing family and health.
    I find it sort of amazing that so many different, varied sources seem to arrive at such similar conclusions … and then I look outside at the lawn and trees after winter has passed and we’ve had a few good days of sun and rain ….
    And suddenly it seems so obviously true! How could anyone think otherwise?!
    (Disclaimer / subject to consider: I’m not a huge sports fan, but I like Fenway park and the Packers Stadium. Hmmmm.)

    • Susan, I had not seen that article, but I just pinned it to my Pinterest board so I can get back to it later when I have more time (as if!) or just need some confirmation of my own fondness for natural colors. I never thought about it until you mentioned Fenway, but I now realize that a huge part of my deep and abiding love for the look of a baseball diamond is the dominating presence of GREEN (which stands out so sharply against the warning track and background commercial billboards). On some subconscious level I think we envy the players for being able to be OUT THERE. Of course that envy is non subconscious for many former players such as my older son, but I think the green grass still carries a connection to childhood bliss that goes farther back in an individual’s mind than any knowledge of the game…but my whole theory may be blown by the lack of such connection to a football field, whose parallel lines and harsh rectangular shape does not convey the same pleasing connection. I wonder if a “feng shui” study exists that compares a football field to a baseball field? But I digress… 🙂

      • Wow, you’re right! A football stadium doesn’t impart nearly the same impression nor sentiment as does a baseball diamond. It does have a more artistic look, somehow.
        It also seems likely that more Americans have probably spent more time actually playing baseball than football (in high school phy ed and such), so we’d feel more connected from that perspective, too.

        • I think the football stadium would appeal to those who like symmetry and predictability in design, as well as clear boundaries. The baseball diamond has this lovely suggestion of infinity, with the outfield stretching out so far as to suggest endlessness, despite the “warning track” that keeps players from running into walls. Interesting metaphors suggest themselves around both sports. Perhaps George Carlin first made me aware of this.

  12. Mike

    I liked this line from La La Land. “I’m not giving up. I’m just letting life hit me till life gets tired. Then I will hit back.It’s the classic Rope a dope move.”
    Ryan Gossling.

    • I haven’t seen that movie, but I love that line! In my case the dope thinks (s)he’s winning, but let’s hope I prove that assumption wrong. 🙂


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