Color Series: Green for Growth

Color Series: Green for Growth
05/03/2017 Rachel
Green Temari by Yarndance

Top image: Green Temari by Yarndance.


Garden Greens by Rayela Art

Garden Greens by Rayela Art


My “Garden Greens” has made it into a bunch of treasuries on Etsy themed with green colors. I think it captures well that explosion of growth that happens when Spring arrives, life emerging from earth and giving us all renewal after a cold winter. We are so ready for that right now here in Kentucky, USA!

1970's kitchen

1970’s kitchen

In terms of design, green has come a long way! About 20 years ago, a friend of mine said that she loved all colors but despised green. I think that came from an overdose of that awful avocado green that was everywhere in the 1970’s. Look at the wallpaper! Ugh. And, that orange jumper…  Not the best time in our sensibilities of decor and fashion in my book.

Another friend used to live upstairs from me and when his new wife moved in, he told her that she could get rid of whatever she didn’t like that was his. She made a big pile on the floor of avocado green owls, frogs, trivets, coasters and other trinkets….  mostly gifts from his mother!

There is nothing wrong with avocado green. It’s just that the combinations that were prevalent in the 1970’s were often muddy in hue and maybe our tastes have just changed, but a world without green is a cold and sad one without green. Many years ago I made my first trip to Arizona, excited to see the desert as people had often talked how beautiful it was, a spiritual place. Yes, I could see why it was interesting, but it made me sad, feeling like everything was dead even though my brain knows that there is plenty of life there. I still don’t like it. The tropics are in my blood and I need trees and plants around to feel like the world is in balance.

Green is, of course, the result of mixing yellow and blue. The more yellow there is, the warmer it feels. More blue makes green feel cooler and vibrant. Surround it by red, purple or orange and it pops. Green has many different meanings in the English language. Bourn Creative has a color series with a nice list of what green means. In a nutshell, she says in her color series: green-

Green, the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy, is associated with meanings of growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility, and environment. Green is also traditionally associated with money, finances, banking, ambition, greed, jealousy, and wall street.”


Siamese Dream Design- Green Hmong Embroidered Skirt

Siamese Dream Design- Green Hmong Embroidered Skirt



Color Wheel Artist is a great resource for colors and also associates the color green for growth, along with other cultural implications mentioned above. They give some meanings from other cultures which I thought were interesting:

  • In Christianity Green is associated with baptism and the feast of the Eucharist.
  • Green is the sacred color of Islam and is a sign of respect and veneration.
  • In the Muslim world, Green signifies the Prophet Muhammad.
  • Green is the color of Ireland which is sometimes called the “Emerald Isle”.
  • In England green has heroic meanings and is connected to the stories of Robin Hood.
  • In China Green represents disgrace.
  • Also in China Green Jade is highly prized for its beauty which represents virtue.
  • In North Africa Green symbolizes corruption.
  • In Japan Green signifies eternal life.
Afghan Tribal Arts: Green Serpentine Beads

Afghan Tribal Arts: Green Serpentine Beads

Pigments that were used to create green in the past often had deadly consequences, especially as many had high levels of arsenic in them. Web Exhibits has a nice series on the history of pigments and if you click on the various types of greens on this page, it will give you the ingredients used to create them. They mention that both Napoleon Bonaparte and Monet may have suffered from arsenic poisoning due to green wallpaper and paint.

What does green represent to you? What is your favorite green object? Share your experiences with us about how you use green in your life or how it moves you! We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

We’ve handpicked some of the green beauties from our Artizan Market for your delight. Enjoy and share!

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