Fifty Shades of Green (Minus Forty)

I just love you guys, by Melissa Moss

Ireland can boast no less than 40 distinct shades of green in its landscape, according to a charming news bite that circled the world last March. One wishes they’d come up with ten more, just to make it Fifty Shades of Green (though maybe it’s time to kill the puns from that particular franchise). Here are a handful of other hues from the spectrum that may not be officially recognized by purists.

  1. The unmistakable shade of green food coloring mixed with milk — that treat your mother used to serve up on St. Patrick’s Day, back before anyone cared about chemicals.
  2. The Avocado Green used on appliances in the ’70s that never came back in vogue like its cheerier cousin, Retro Mint.
  3. The rapid transitions of green a real avocado goes through, from Freshly Sliced Green to Guacamole Green to Twenty-Four Hours in the Fridge Desolation Green (aka brown).
  4. The earthy, calming Sage Green that everyone means when they say green is their favorite color.
  5. The lurid Kelly Green that is no one’s favorite color after age five.
  6. The green claimed by the majority of folks who say they have green eyes (really hazel).  
  7. The indomitable green of the first spears of crocus.
  8. The innumerable other greens that follow, once Appalachian spring is truly on the rise.
  9. The joyous green founds in the palette of Asheville artist Melissa Moss, including the “vibrant chartreuse” in her popular painting I just love you guys. Moss praises green’s wide spectrum and notes that it’s the “perfect neutral … just like in nature, all colors look beautiful next to green.”
  10. Shamrock Shake Green (refer to item 1).

— M.M. Bianchi

Melissa Moss shows her work in downtown Asheville at Woolworth Walk (25 Haywood  St., and Kress Emporium (19 Patton Ave., For more information, see and on Instagram (@melissamossart).

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