The Power of Green

This image of the trunk of my minivan may not be the prettiest picture I’ve shared, but it speaks volumes.

All this green?

This says everything about my evolution as a gardener.


I began gardening because I loved the beauty of flowers.

I will ALWAYS be smitten with flowers.

And yet, this trunk filled with green plants from a local nursery speaks to an understanding that I have only recently embraced:

Flowers need green. Gardens need green. People need green.


As professional garden designer Julie Witmer recently said, “Green signals health in the garden.”

Without enough green, gardens look a bit sickly, no matter how much we admire all that purple or variegated foliage.

While the amount of green will vary from garden to garden, and especially from climate to climate, green is a universal sign of good plant health.

It sets off the colors of flowers beautifully.

It is soothing to people, and gives our eyes and our spirits rest.


There is no ideal ratio of green to other colors, however I have found that the ratio in my own garden is steadily increasing.

I do not love flowers any less, but now I know that I need lots and lots of green in order to feel at peace in my garden and in order to better spotlight the colorful flowers I love so much.


The garden designs of Miranda Brooks are famously green.

Ten beautiful and mostly-green gardens for inspiration.

Have you heard about these new varieties of boxwood? They are supposed to be very resistant to boxwood blight!


Explore all our Black Barn Garden Library posts here.


Posted on

April 26, 2021

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