artNotes from Hyde House: Beautiful, lush green

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All winter long I yearn-want-wait. Spring comes on so slowly. Still I hold out hope. Finally the day arrives. I go outside. I fall onto the earth. I put my hands in the dirt. I weed out the intruders in the miniature mossy landscape of our shade garden. I seed our little salad patches. I dig and tend with gratitude for the scents of our good earth on my fingers and wintered-over herbs that tease my nostrils at my touch.

I am in heaven on my knees—outside in this sanctuary we call Paradise—like an acolyte serving at an altar. I am euphoric—blissed. I am participating in the holy, seasonal act of worshipful creation. How fitting that the English word for green is related to the word for grow. I am shepherding in the advent of green.

At last we have our first harvests of tiny leaves in a plethora of shades. I cannot get enough of these, our fresh, homegrown greens—a spicy mix with curly edges plus arugula, spinach, kale, endive, cilantro, mesclun and dandelions, too, edged with rows of radishes. I graze-sample-bring them in to be dressed and plated with my husband David’s lightest of vinaigrettes. Adding generous servings of his dreamy sweet potato fries and crisp tempura tilapia fillets our feast is complete. I am satisfied, until I remember my yearning-aching for more for which I have been winter-waiting. I ache for more green.

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Then one miraculous daybreak morning I look out to find the preponderance, the over-the-top abundance of my winter dreams come true! Green—beautiful, lush—green is everywhere. Our upstairs bedroom window view is filled with the giant treetops of our old hood—magnificently, bountifully dressed in a rich wealth of green hues—green in every variation we can imagine. All these tree leaves are green because of a molecule called chlorophyll is driving their photosynthesis—the basis for all life. The trees, like the lawns and the gardens, have been greening-up for all the weeks I have been waiting, anticipating. Now, at last, the “Greening Time” is truly here! Spring never lets me down!

This spring seems particularly lush, and still the rains keep coming! The air is sweet with moisture. The puppy’s nose is covered with dew drops when she sniffs the clovers lining the herringboned, brick paths that lead us on her training walks around our Central Park. The watery-ness of spring seems to be a recurring theme inside as well as out, when we discover two significant, hidden leaks in our very old house! Leaks that require the removal and replacing of two bathroom floors. What might be annoying costs and inconveniences hardly register on our psyches, for our green euphoria cannot be daunted. “All is well and will be”, we keep repeating, for we have spring and green!

According to researcher, Robert Jimison, “Humans can see green better than any other color. Some scientists believe that because our eyes are at the peak of their perception to detect the wavelengths corresponding with the color green, the shade may calm us down. With less strain to perceive the colors, our retinas and our nervous system can relax when taking in the tone.

This sedative quality of green may explain why there is so much green in hospitals, schools and work environments. Historically, actors and actresses would recess to green rooms after so much time looking into bright lights on stage. Green can improve reading ability. People who dwell surrounded by green are said to live longer.”

What is green? Green is a snappy shade that expresses revival and extension—the tone we notice as the largest in the natural habitat. The color of springtime. A vibrant symbol of the environmental movement and healthy living. Green is undeviatingly associated with energy and good fortune. We practice green to help “green” outcomes. Even Brunette Green is generally connected with cash, commercial business, trading and Wall Street. In design green can have a harmonizing force. Green is steady. Green is tranquil.

From light green to dark green, there are so many greens! They all have unique names. Chartreuse, Kelly, Forest, Aquamarine and Lime green. Hunter, Dewy, Neon, Khaki and Jade. British Racing, Willow, Emerald, Moss and Pea green. Viridian, Phthalo, Midnight, Pine and Apple green. Shamrock, Avocado, Jungle, Fern and Brunswick green. Harlequin, Malachite, Sap, Bosky, Tea and Dartmouth green. Myrtle, Spinach, Pear, Hooker’s and Sea green. Lawn, Bottle, Reseda, Islamic, Asparagus, Thyme and many, many more greens. And the very best green of all? Of course…artCentral green. The green of vitality, hospitality, creativity, longevity and visionary imagination that is gathering energy to be ready to welcome you once again through artCentral’s green door!

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