The color green has meaning throughout the yearThe luck of the Irish, the appearance of the elusive leprechauns and the charm of the four-leaf clovers, are all part of St. Patrick’s Day. What is it about this day that makes it so special? Do you have to be Irish to enjoy it or is it more of a universal celebration?
By: John Zvirovski , The Jamestown Sun
The luck of the Irish, the appearance of the elusive leprechauns and the charm of the four-leaf clovers, are all part of St. Patrick’s Day. What is it about this day that makes it so special? Do you have to be Irish to enjoy it or is it more of a universal celebration?
St Patrick was the most recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. This day commemorates the introduction of Christianity in Ireland during the early fifth century. Since the early 17th century, March 17 has become a celebration and feast of plenty in honor of this saint. It is said he used the shamrock leaf to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish people, thus making it a symbol of the holiday through today.
The predominant color of this festival is the color of green. Nature is filled with the color of green and maybe that is why it is so soothing to our senses when we are in a natural environment. Green is considered the color of the heart chakra, which takes on the meaning of good health and well-being. It is also the color of Mother Nature at the height of the season giving us a bountiful and healthy harvest for all to enjoy.
When the color green comes in the form of a flower, it symbolizes youth, renewal, growth, hope and health. This is probably one of the reasons we feel so refreshed during the spring season when everything seems to explode in the shade of emerald green, which darkens as the year progresses.
In weddings, green ivy is used in the bride’s bouquet because it symbolizes fidelity and strong and lasting bonds. Even today, the royals of England use ivy and myrtle in each of their wedding bouquets to symbolize strength, hope and longevity. It has gone on for centuries and continues in today’s traditions.
The green flower has a more rare presence in our gardens than most all other colors. Most consider them useless, as all the leaves in the garden are green, so the flowers tend not to stand out. However, when a color is not used much in your garden space, it is that color that seems to be the one that stands out most among the rest. They act as a rare plant in the yard; most people take notice to something different.
The trick is finding plants that create green flowers. The good thing is that there are some different plants that will produce fun and unique blooms. In the spring time you may try the spring green tulip that is a shade of green mixed with cream or the green star tulip that has lily-like flowers that are green with white edges. Both are stunning in the springtime mixed with the other bright colors of the season. There is also a daffodil called “green eyes” with white flowers and a central green cup that is quite striking.
For the summer season, try obtaining the “lime light” hydrangea. These hydrangea bushes are hardy for the area and produce green clusters of flowers that last most of the season, even as they fade. There is a great double lisianthus annual called “arena 1 green.” The flowers are a beautiful lime green shade and love hot sunny areas. If you are one that doesn’t mind digging up bulbs to store every winter, try the “green star” gladiola. It is a true lime green color all the way through on tall stalks.
Many colors of coneflowers have been developed over the last decade covering most shades of the spectrum. There is a variety called “green jewel” that produces a nice green flower with a black center. If you are looking to have numerous types of coneflowers, this one will definitely stand out among the rest.
I like to have colors that are different along with flowers that provide a different texture in the garden. Some great examples would be the amaranthus called “green tail” which is similar to the “love lies bleeding” except the drooping flower head are green instead of red. They can grow up to six feet tall for a nice backdrop. If you are looking for something that takes a little less space, try the “green towers,” which produce tall vertical flower heads on shorter plants.
The annuals that stand out the most for me are the bells of Ireland. Although the name sounds Irish and would be perfect for this time of year, they are actually native of the Middle East countries of Turkey and Syria. They will produce stems of flowers around two feet tall that are covered with the small white flowers that are each surrounded by a green calyx shell. These are what create the ‘bell’ look of the plants. They are long lasting and can be used for dried arrangements. This plant always gets comments when people come through to look at everything in bloom. However, the stems produce thorns, so be careful how you grab them.
These are just a few of the nicest green flowering plants on the market. With time, I am sure numerous other varieties will come on the market to amaze us in their own unique ways.
As I wait for spring to arrive, I will tend to my healthy shamrock plant with its beautiful green leaves. Maybe I will give the leaves a little rub during St. Patrick’s Day and see if it brings some luck. If none arrives, then I will just blame it on the fact I am not Irish. Have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day!