Shades of Green

Shades of Green, a Study in Tolerance

Green is the latest buzzword.  For most of us, green means recycling and avoiding chemicals, for the good of ourselves and the environment.

But, there is not only one green, but many shades, in our environment.  Compare limes to Granny Smith apples, or the noble fir to the birch tree for only four of the many shades of green in nature.

We should each be accepted for whatever shade of green we are able to reach in our lives and our choices along the way.

A vegan may look down on a vegetarian, and a vegetarian may look down on a meat eater.   Some demand only organic in what they will eat or wear.  Some will not wear leather, and others will shoot their food and make sure that no part of the animal goes to waste.  Consider the choices regarding one tree on the African savannah.  Giraffes eat from the thorny top of the acacia, zebras eat the tender leaves from the bottom of the tree, elephants eat the branches, and monkeys eat the seeds.

Being green comes in steps for most people.  Not everyone is up to having a compost pile in the yard or a composter in the kitchen.  But, most can recycle cans and plastic.  With the addition of chemical-free products in most stores, many are deepening their shade of green in their choice of cleaners.

We are all different.  A group of fifty people may include fifty shades of skin color.  We have fought hard to build tolerance of these color differences and see beyond them to find the person inside.  Now we need to spread that color tolerance to each other as consumers.

You could give a scowl to someone who shops without giving the environment a thought or you could give them a canvas shopping bag and a smile.  The second one has the better chance of starting them down a green path.

winter frosts

Ask and You Will Recieve

Shipping season was long over for daylilies due to the coming winter frosts.  Even Southern California is not immune to the occasional dip to 30 or even 28 degrees, so shipping was not scheduled to resume until March.

Ask and you just might receive.

The grower was obliging, even envious, when told that the daylilies would be planted within walking distance of the ocean.  Coastal frost is extremely rare.  The live plants arrived in time for Christmas.  To the credit of the grower, the daylilies were also the largest we’d ever received.  Still, fingers were crossed and weather reports were checked daily.

But, Murphy’s law struck.

It has snowed locally twice in recorded history, and there is a frost or two in the memories of some old folks.  But there it was — in print — frost was expected for two nights.  Along with the awful idea of being thought a liar came the desire to not cause the grower to disallow exceptions for anyone ever again.  Not to mention missing out on the beautiful flowers that were expected and being out a lot of money; these daylilies were prize winners and were priced as such.

After researching books and the internet, protection for the daylily “nursery” was found to be simple and inexpensive.  Only two things were needed:  extra water and a thick layer of bark.  Watering before a frost increases the temperature of the soil, and bark mulch keeps heat in the soil.

The plants seemed not to have suffered from the frost, but only time would tell.  And tell it did.  The new plants bloomed in the middle of May — with blooms so large that they almost broke the tender little stems.  Some of the older plants had been in the ground for two years without their first bloom, so these new ones did live up to their reputations.  So did the grower that took a chance.

If you have a special circumstance, let the grower know.  You just might find that rules are not always written in stone.