GREEN is the predominant colour in all our gardens. Foliage is green, our lawns are green, some people even paint their sheds green or lay green plastic turf – so why would we also want green flowers? There are two answers.
The first is that green flowers have an unexpected quiet beauty that is always appealing. Clearly, they don’t stand out as scarlet or yellow flowers do but the fact that our first glance misses them and then they register with us a moment later gives their presence a special kick.
Plants with green flowers also allow us to create some intriguing plant associations by grouping them with coloured foliage, in particular bronze and coppery shades, as well as silver and grey.
Perfect for arranging
The second answer as to the value of green flowers comes with the discipline of flower arranging. In classic flower arrangements, in more contemporary hand-tied and other informal bouquets and in smaller, place-setting-scale posies, we get to inspect all our flowers a little more closely than we do in our beds and borders. And on this more intimate scale we come to appreciate the structure in green flowers, the arrangement of the petals and the other floral parts through subtlety of colour, without the dazzling distraction of the rest of the rainbow.
Greater variety than you think
And there’s such a variety of shapes and sizes in green flowers. From the green mist of alchemilla to the dramatic dangling tassels of Amaranthus caudatus ‘Viridis’ and the dainty bells of nicotiana. There’s the big green daisies of echinacea, our native hellebores feature green flowers, and there’s the unexpected variety of green chrysanthemums, large and small, in a range of flower forms.
There’s even a green relation of the sweet pea, Lathyrus chloranthus, but few other climbers, although a number of winter clematis have pronounced green tints.
Green flowered shrubs are also a little thin on the ground. Hydrangeas top the list, although there’s also a rhododendron with pale green flowers, and one of the most lovely of flowering shrubs, Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’, starts out with heads of green flowers, although they mature to white. ‘Roseum’ is supposed to describe the shape (like a rose), not the colour of the balls of florets but I can’t see it, myself.
Such a variety! I’m sure you’ll find something green and subtle to try.
Green options for all needs
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Back to life…
Val anticipates the joys of newly awakened butterflies
It’s rare in horticulture that something with strikingly-good architectural looks is also a joy to eat, but artichokes are just that says Camilla Phelps
A day to remember
What a difference a day makes! Toby explains how to capitalise on the extra daylight the spring equinox brings
Learning To Love Green
Forget the razzle-dazzle of brazen yellows, blazing reds and shocking purples, the colour of sophistication and quiet beauty is green, says Graham Rice
Getting Your Roses Ready
Planting, pruning and feeding are all done now, says Ruth
Slugs? Hosta la vista baby!
Hostas are slug magnets aren’t they, so why should we bother growing them at all? Well, there is a bit more to it than that, as Graham Rice explains
Banned chemicals are causing havoc with bees, says Val
Plan for more toms
Follow these simple tomato tips and you’ll be inundated with more tangy fruit than you can handle, promises Bob
Climbing the walls
A troublesome vine gives Toby pause to ponder why what grows up doesn’t always come down quite so easily
Tubers and cuttings
Make more plants for the summer ahead, says Ruth
Best of Both Gardens
Greg Loades’ book outlines how to fuse the elements of a traditional and new-age landscape for the perfect modern cottage garden.
Bonding Through Birds
Kindness spreads through this Kentucky nursing facility, but it starts with feathered friends at a window.
Junco family tree
Meet the many variations of this beloved snowbird and popular wintertime visitor.
What is your favorite owl and why?
Readers share special memories and the species they think is most interesting.
At the Edge of Lake Erie
Try these three activities at Point Pelee National Park.
How Birds Get Named
Meet the committee in charge of naming and organizing birds.
Prime Time For Planting
Find Out Why Fall Is Perfect For Late-Season Gardening.
A Mind Shaped By Gardening
Sue Stuart-Smith is a psychiatrist and gardener. Her new book The Well-Gardened Mind explores the power of gardening to change people’s lives.
Two doves: One native, one an intruder
We have two types of doves in north-central Washington: Mourning Dove and Eurasian Collared-Dove.
Find Your Voice
Do you love to sing? Botanicals can improve your voice and soothe a sore throat