The Green Room

Hospital waiting rooms are often painted green because green is understood to be a relaxing colour. And guests on TV shows wait in “The Green Room” for the same reason. The effect that colours have on our emotions has been the subject of many studies. And the results are the same as what most of us already take for granted. Red is a warm colour associated with passion and aggression. Blue is cool and secure, yellow is warm and cheerful, pink is girlie and thus rarely seen on the Tablelands.

Green is the most relaxing colour. It makes you feel cool and refreshed because it reminds you of nature. For these reasons people who may be anxious or nervous are asked to wait in green rooms to calm them down. Residential architects are using the same concept to create relaxing spaces in homes by painting feature walls green.

There is an obvious alternative to green paint. It’s called the garden. Actually I’d better be more specific. It’s a garden containing plants, not just concrete ornaments, or old cars. (You know who I’m talking about).

So if you haven’t already filled your garden with plants, or screened your neighbours with a living wall of green, maybe the fact that you can decrease your stress by having a green space will be enough incentive to get planting.

The following are a few of my favourite really green plants. The common Lilly Pilly (Syzygium australe) that is so popular for screens is also an excellent rich and glossy green. The Umbrella Tree is another one that has rich green leaves and works well in moist spots. Speaking of wet areas, Cunjevoi is a great one for that, and it’s big elephant-ear leaves are great for blocking out fences. In the category of trees, I couldn’t go past the Stockwellia (Stockwellia quadrifida). It’s a medium sized shade tree that deserves much more popularity because it is such a beautiful tree. And yes, its leaves are green.

So with a green lawn as a floor, a green screen as walls and green shade trees as green ceiling, you can create an extreme Green Room in your garden. And next time the kids give you a headache, you’ve got somewhere to de-stress, preferably with a cold beer in one hand.

See you at Yuruga.