The “Green” of Spring or Fifty Shades of Green



Dear Reader:

Within a two foot radius in my garden…there are three different shades of green growing stronger every day…stemming from dark to light to yellow-green…all strikingly beautiful.

I remember a couple of years ago when I toured Linwood’s Bed & Breakfast gardens…(Linda Shelbourne’s beautiful home and gardens)…she told our group that she didn’t try to keep blooming flowers alive in the hot summer months in the lowcountry…she simply diversified the shades of green in shrubs, bushes, and trees through-out her exquisite gardens.

It was a lesson that stuck with me. If I were running an “official” B&B I wouldn’t have time for all the pruning and watering necessary to keep flowers alive in the hot, humid months of the lowcountry south either. (So I pay the price for my love of flowers with high water bills  through-out the summer and early fall months.)

But I did take to heart the lesson of planting varying shades of green… and now I purposefully look for flowers or plants that diversify this color- the color that dominates nature.

The word “green” has a Germanic origin and consists of two root words “grass” and “grow.” Perfect combination, isn’t it? The color green symbolizes the hope of life and continual renewal of it.

Because the color green is so familiar to us (through its dominance in nature) it is a peaceful color to use and hospitals have traditionally gone with it to help patients heal in calming harmony with nature.

* And of course our latest “addition” (Lachlan) arrived on St. Paddy’s day ….the day when “green” rules.


I agree with all these ideas about this beautiful color…because as I walked around my yard, garden, and neighborhood yesterday…I felt a calming, peaceful presence accompanying me.

So now come along…and I will show you (perhaps not 50) but several diverse shades of the color green in my neighborhood

Here are the three plants from the title photo (taken separately)…they are all close neighbors and offer such a variety of green in their section of the garden.


During this time of the year I keep an on-going love/hate relationship with my two oak trees…one in the back and one that hangs over my car in the driveway from my neighbor’s yard. The continuous brown leaves falling, falling, falling gets pretty old about now.

But then, once they have fallen, the beautiful shade of green that emerges is breath-taking! Never again….will the green on an oak tree be that fresh-looking…like it just went through the washing machine….it sparkles and how I love it. (Throw in some yellow jessamine growing among its branches and it is just about perfect!)


I have been fighting a bare spot around my Bradford Pear tree for several years…nothing sticks in the way of grass seeds. But this year moss has appeared and I am perfectly happy with it…maybe some Irish moss got stuck to the bottom of my shoes while there last summer….However it arrived…it is getting the job done…covering the bald spot! I also like the contrast between my boxwoods…


On the right side of my house (facing it) nature has pretty much been left alone to do what it wants. (In other words I haven’t touched anything over there in a long time.) The azaleas have become trees and really large bushes…but it is this “wilderness” separating my neighbor’s and my property that is I am drawn to each spring.


Even the grass re-appears as if it has just finished a calming shower and smells as fresh as it looks…especially after the first cutting.


The tea olive bush isn’t my favorite in the green coloring category but it sure makes up in fragrance what it lacks in color…especially right now as we speak….I love walking around the corner of my house where my tea plant is located…UMMMM!


Let’s turn out attention now to flowers and lovely green plants….with creeping Jenny to add another dimension of color… so many floral pots.

Even this indoor plant that I have had for several years keeps its green gleen…I think the plant is in love with girl behind it….

Last week I heard a thump and jumped. Redbird had fallen for some strange reason…I jumped up and placed it back in its spot quickly…don’t want any bad luck following me!










“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”

–Pedro Calderon de la Barca [Spanish poet and playwright, 1600-1681]

So until tomorrow…let us all stay green, fresh, and open to God’s voice leading us along our path through life and the green of nature.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* I just talked about geese in the blog yesterday… and then two of them stopped in the middle of the road on Marion Avenue and stared at me as I slammed on brakes while they slowly and regally crossed the road. (Maybe that is what the I-26 signs are all about back home here in Summerville: (Expect the Unexpected.)



* Donna Clark responded this morning with a quote she remembers her grandmother saying:

My grandmother always said, “God’s favorite color must be green because He made so many shades of green

( I read once that God picked green for earth and blue for skies because they are the most calming, peaceful colors to live in and under….Since God is the meticulous “detailer” and “planner” I think this is probably right….great choices!)

* I had another lovely surprise yesterday…Jo and her granddaughter, Colby, stopped by bearing gifts from Simple to Sublime. Jo said when she saw this… the history gal recognized what another history gal would love… and I did.


Most of you recognize John Lennon’s lyrics from his song “Imagine” (which is pretty cool in itself) but it is the words behind the Lennon lyrics in dark black… that are fascinating.

The words come from a reproduction of the original dictionary by Noah Webster celebrating its 100th birthday from 2013. What a lovely keepsake…thank you so much Jo and Colby!


And speaking of keepsakes Colby handed me this silver token with the words IMAGINE on it since I love imagination so much…but not as much as I love Jo and Colby!


You knew I would have to place it on my “green” place mat…bring the blog full circle!

* Sorry I missed you Lassie, Pap, and Doodle….my Easter bunnies who hopped by when I was returning something at Belk’s…glad you got to see the garden and liked it….Love you sisters of mine!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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8 Responses to The “Green” of Spring or Fifty Shades of Green

  1. Donna Clark says:

    My grandmother always said, “God’s favorite color must be green because He made so many shades of green”. Loved your tribute to the many, varied and unusual shades of green 🙂


    • Becky Dingle says:

      One source said there are over 200 shades of green…Asia and Ireland (obviously) are the lands with the most green…and emerald has been voted the number one color for this year….come to think about it…I have seen more green dresses and cocktail dresses that color….but nothing can compete with nature…Grandmother was right!


  2. Fran townsend says:

    We hear the geese from the pond on Marion at odd times; the ducks add their calls as well, making us feel far out in the country. With all of the rain there are puddles in the yard, and the ducks have come for a swim!! Most of the green in our yard is now covered with a coating of yellowish/green….. Hope to see you soon!!


  3. Becky Dingle says:

    They were too funny…looking at me with slight disdain for interrupting their walk across the street…another sign of spring….and you are right..with the pollen…all our mud puddles have a yellowish twinge these days!


  4. Gin-g Edwards says:

    Love love the colors of nature…


  5. Becky Dingle says:

    Green looks so good you…by the way…have noticed it several times!


  6. Honey Burrell says:

    Mike and I put out a pallet oh grass yesterday just before the rain. The shades of green varied as well. Love your garden and your pictures, but you more!


  7. Becky Dingle says:

    Back at you and I am “green” with envy for that view and Hope Falls you reside within…God’s Love to You….deservedly!


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