CO-Horts Blog

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Tribute to Kermit the Frog: Loving Green

Posted by: Alison O'Connor, Larimer County Extension

Are you a Muppets fan like me? I grew up watching the Muppets and Kermit the Frog was always my favorite character. Well, I had two favorites: Kermit and Slimey the Worm. Kermit's song, "It's Not Easy Being Green" was always so touching, especially when he says, " could be nicer being yellow or red or gold...or something colorful like that." To me, green is absolutely beautiful.
A look across the creek at my dad's backyard north of the Twin Cities. Spectacular!
I'm spending some time back in my home state of Minnesota and it always amazes me how green everything is! Colorado is gorgeous, no doubt, but there's something about green vegetation that makes it easier to take a deep breath and truly enjoy nature.

In my mom's backyard...a bird bath surrounded by hosta, sedum and iris.
When planning your garden, don't overlook the multiple hues of green. Green is considered a neutral and pairs well with any color, but greens on their own are stunning. Mix and match varying green shades to brighten or subdue your landscape. Use variegated foliage to add a spark of interest.
Hosta in my mom's backyard outside St. Paul.
My mom's backyard is pretty shady since she has several large mature oaks (another wonderful green!). Over the years she's converted it to a shade plant haven with many hosta. Some of her favorites include 'Striptease', 'Guacamole' and 'St. Paul'. Unfortunately, she didn't label them, but together they create a masterful shade garden. (Like mother, like daughter, since I didn't label my collection of Heuchera.)
One of mom's hosta gardens.
While Colorado has its challenges growing hosta, with the proper site and water, they can do really well. I think the trouble lies where people may place them in a too-sunny location, leading them to foliage burn.
Our beloved family dog, Bosley, has long since passed, but mom uses his house in her garden. Magenta peonies stand out against the green foliage of lamb's ear.
So take a moment and appreciate the green. It gives the phrase "Go Green" another fun perspective. There are many green options for your garden (no matter where you live). Just like using greens in floral design, use hardy vegetation to balance and round out your favorite spaces.
A pop of color from a blue chicken (soon to be in my garden!) offsets the green hues of hosta and fern.
Finally, I have to end with one of my favorite flowers--the bleeding heart. This was one of my Grandma Dorothy's favorite plants and it can have a tough time in Colorado due to the intense summer heat. But in my dad's Zone 3A garden, it performs beautifully. After the heart-shaped blooms fade, the foliage remains (unlike in Colorado), adding another dainty green element to his landscape.
Bleeding heart in full bloom in my dad's garden.
Remember what Kermit says, "Green's the color of the spring...and green and be cool and friendly-like." Indeed Kermit! It is.

P.S. We really aren't kidding when we say the mosquitoes are the size of dogs in Minnesota. It's true! All that water...


  1. Al, I wish you had given me notice. I would have at least pulled weeds in the areas you photographed. YIKES! I've purchased unique hosta at local nurseries, farmers markets and garden club plant sales. The Washington County Master Gardeners host a fabulous plant sale at the county fair grounds. They offer hearty plants, are on-hand to answer questions and plants are reasonably priced. Can't get any better than this. Jan Stoven AKA Mom Stoven

  2. Two beautifully described green yards!


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