In a recent post I admitted I wasn’t partial to a certain shade of green (what Pantone describes as UP Forest Green, in fact), but that perhaps my favourite colour is the green of new paddy – not because I like to wear it, or paint my walls with it, but because it seems to embody abundance and fecundity.
Today the WP Photo Challenge calls for a Green Gallery. Now this is serendipitous, because all that soul-searching to discover my favourite colour has led me to understand it’s the green of my island paradise which is at the core of my attachment to it. When I visualise Sri Lanka, it is green – just as, on the other hand, when I visualise my own land, it is a wide and ‘sunburnt country’, ochre tinged and deeply dramatic.
I thought I might show you some of the greens of Sri Lanka, but there was such a plethora of shades I’ve had to revise my thesis somewhat. The faint at heart among you might still need to view this in a double dose, or opt out completely, because I couldn’t cull the greens in my life to fewer than twenty-four.
Geoffrey Bawa, in designing his own home environment, proposed that nature needed very little embellishment to create the most harmonious of gardens. This is where we’ll begin our exploration of green – on the terrace at “Lunu Ganga”, overlooking what is, to me the most delightful farm-park-garden – akin to the Mughal’s vision of Paradise. Come, lets look at cultivated greens …
Bawa’s ‘manicured nature’ thesis on display in his front garden. The paddy field, and rattan patch are farmed – a constantly changing vista from his front porch at Lunu Ganga.
Rockpool meadow, Thalpe. Sometimes, it seems, nature likes to mix it up.
Sometimes the exotics are so integrated into nature it seems as though they belong. St. Clair Falls after rain.
Beautiful but alien – non-indigenous re-growth, Knuckles Ranges
Once-forested hillsides are now carpeted with tea and, to give shade, other introduced species like the Australian Grevillea robusta, the African Tulip Tree, fast-growing Griselinia. Tea Gardens Hatton-Nuwara Eliya Road.
Mother nature’s own garden – Ferns take root in the porous bark of a tree, Hakgala Gardens, Nuwara Eliya
Mother nature fighs back – strangler fig roots provide habitat for spores and seeds
Brief, a garden of pure artifice – The horse’s garden
I Kid you Not – 1001 Shades of Green
Polyathia Longiflora Pendula – maybe my favourite tree, certainly the most exciting ‘discovery’ with its willow-like leaves and cypress pine like growth.
Dambala, Wing bean, delicious as a sambol
Karavila – Bitter Gourd. Like coffee, the taste of karavilla is nothing like the way it looks!
Kohila – how tender are those lance-like shoots, how crunchy those stems!
Kola kanda (green food) a soup of wild greens, garlic, rice and a little second coconut milk – the first food for children, and often a 3am treat at monasteries and meditation centres.
Kumari served my kiri bath on portionos of banana leaf
Lets hop in with Wasantha’s Grass Green Stereo Machine and see what’s happening
Big shady trees aren’t confined to the ‘wet’ zones – here, on the Anuradhapura Road all about was burnt brown by the sun, still, it was cool under these trees.
A little green tuk tuk inches its way through the crowds at the offering stalls, Kandy
White accentuates the green – what would one be without the other? Mihintale
Bodhi shade, Anuradhapura
The fabulously pointy leaves of the Bodhi tree are forever in motion, shimmering in the faintest breeze.
The Green Lantern. The exotic lanterns at the Satya Paul boutique in Cinnamon Gardens are always a favourite at Wesak
Oh, and just one last green thing – a little piece of wickedness I can’t illustrate. Our aged Biology teacher is famously reported to have declared “Just because frogs are green doesn’t mean they carry out photosynthesis.”.
Get the to other Green Galleries here.