Springtime Shades of Green


Have you any idea how many shades of green exist? It took me months to settle on exactly the right one to paint our family room… a variation of sage. Armed with a handful of paint chips that we declared were almost too similar to distinguish nuances with the naked eye, we examined our favourites. We taped them up in various locations checking them in artificial light and natural, and at different times of the day, before deciding one labeled ‘Quaking Aspen’ was the perfect choice.

Fortunately, I still love it, much to the relief of my husband who teetered on a ladder to edge around the vaulted ceiling and isn’t anxious to tackle that death-defying stunt again anytime soon.

Driving home from town yesterday I marveled (as I do every spring) at the palette of fresh new greens in nature, as abundant as any collection of paint chips.  Winter-darkened evergreens sprouting lacy lime tips, buds bursting to fill the underbrush with a haze of apple green, lush, satiny perennial leaves emerging from the soil to dangle blossoms like ivory earrings.

Every year I struggle unsuccessfully to adequately describe the sensation of being enveloped in spring greens. Help me out. Pick your favourite shade of green and describe it in a couple sentences. Consider it an exercise in observation and writing.


“To everything there is a season.”
[Ecclesiastes 3:1a]


13 thoughts on “Springtime Shades of Green

  1. I discovered a plant in our neighbor’s backyard this weekend called “Lamb’s Ear.” I wondered if it felt the way it sounded. It invited me to touch it. As I gently rubbed one of it’s velvety leaves between my fingers, I wished for a blanket made of its woolly surface. It amazed me that such a plant even exists and wondered what animals or insects might call it home.

  2. Judith Robl says:

    What a lovely description of the greens you gave us! I can think of nothing to add. The Leprechauns in Ireland are sitting in speechless admiration.

  3. sjlewis39 says:

    Green is the crayon of my life. It’s the color of awakening, of resurrection and renewal full of joy and promise. Green is the color of the compassion of shade, the flavor of apples, mint with a jolt of lime, the music of cottonwoods and pines, the peace of the forest, the healing of sage, the color of envy and money. Spring green is a exclamation, tea green a tempering in a teapot, army green a duty, full of death and honor. On and on my life’s story , written in green.

  4. joylene says:

    Army green because it sets off my son’s brilliant blue eyes in contrast to his red hair, which is never long enough, as far as I’m concerned.

    I also love grass green, thick, plush, the kind you want to lay down on because you’re sure it beckons.

    What a lovely idea for a blog. You really make me appreciate my surroundings, Carol. What a dear sweet girl you are.

  5. As an Irish immigrant I grew up with the knowledge that Ireland was made up of 40 shades of green. True, but no more true than other parts of the world. Living on the west coast of Canada I see as many gorgeous shades of green. Just love the palette God paints with.

  6. elderfox says:

    Morning … although Fall (for some reason or another) is my fav color pallet, I do admire greens and I’ve seen that family room green of yours that seems to change before your very eyes almost every time of day (and I remember that “cool” green on one wall in a former home of yours). Your artistic eye is amazing. I often save calendar pics that reveal natures selections of colors in flowers and landscapes. We have plants in our living spaces (“gramma”–she was my mother’s ivy plant and still hangin’ in) J J’s spider plants (not looking very good at the moment) and one that has almost reached 8 feet straight up with large dark green leaves randomly sprouting up and down its woodish stalk. And a fake (but looks real) bamboo plant (when we were moving a young man offered us $100 for the bamboo…until he found out it was fake). 🙂

  7. What fun, Carol! You said it in your post and it stirred me. Sage. I love the smell of it and the shade of dried sage. Fresh sage is deeper than dried. I prefer the lighter shade of dried sage, a muted green with the slightest hint of blue, both calming and vibrant at the same time.

    Thank you for a delightful post! Quaking Aspen. The name makes me think of bold green that reflects light. I know what you mean by saying that fortunately you still love it. Often the color samples are not true to the shade one finds in the bucket and on the walls. I am happy to hear that you like it. Blessings to you, Carol.

  8. Dave Ebright says:

    Green is my favorite color – especially when there’s a picture of a former US president centered prominently between numbers – the higher the number – the more excited I get. So when I want to see these wonderful crisp green rectangular leaf-like things, I raid Deb’s purse to check out the “stash” she always denies having – she stuffs it in a side pocket behind her handgun. Of course, whenever she goes in a store, she always asks ME for cash. (True. She once hit me up for $40 – to spend $10 – no change returned, of course – & at the time she had over $700!)

    I also like the 2 foot long green lizard that lives in the tree near the pool. He suns himself & his color changes throughout the day – darker green as night approaches. He works as a great bug zapper too.

  9. Thanks to everyone for your ‘green’ comments. Green as “the crayon of life”, speechless Leprechauns, and Ireland’s forty shades of green, army green and Dave’s greenbacks… what a great variety of inspiration!

    Aren’t Lamb’s Ears lovely, Ezzy? I love their texture and pale silvery green colour. Apparently they don’t mind poor soil and are deer- and rabbit-resistant, which make them good for rural gardens. I should give them a try here.

  10. Brooke says:

    That was fun, Carol. Your husband is to be commended for balancing on the ladder! My brain’s a little tired after work today, so I don’t have anything so creative as all the above, but I would have to say army green has been my favorite the last few years – – mainly because I love the two soldiers I get to hug who wear it 🙂

  11. So these aren’t my favorite shades, but this post immediately brought “puke green” to mind. That’s the color that used to be found in hospitals and especially in the operating room I worked in.

    Then there’s “chartreuse,” which is the color my mom painted the kitchen cupboards in our little house. And then I found the can and painted the screen porch while they were gone.

    And finally, there’s the color of my first car–a 1971 Ford Maverick in “anti-establish mint.”

    I do love sage, though. What paint company is your Quaking Aspen from?

  12. karen evans says:

    I love all kinds of green. Hard for me to pick a favorite. And like you-like all the shades that God made, just for spring!

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