Go for the Green

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In honor of today being St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d celebrate “green” in the garden. No, I don’t mean about being environmentally friendly, although that’s certainly important. I’m talking about just plain green… as in chlorophyll-laden leaves.

This time of year, I’m pretty frantic for anything green. There aren’t many broad-leaved evergreens that tolerate Colorado’s winters. Even the conifers are more a blackish-olive drab—not nearly as nice as the “pine” of the decorating industry. Cold weather does that to leaves: many junipers turn plum-purple in winter. Leaves should not be that color. (Mahonia wears the same hue, but manages to look more attractive in it.) Hardy ice plant glows red, and ornamental grasses shimmer in copper and gold. Mostly, however, things look dull grayish brown, or just plain dead.

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