Each year, the color trend company Pantone names a color of the year. In 2013, it was Emerald; the year before, Tangerine Tango. For 2014, the color is a deep pinkish purple that the company calls Radiant Orchid. It’s a fun color and one that gardeners already see in many of their favorite plants.
Earlier this year, Northern Gardener ran an article called “Royal Flush,” about ways to use various shades of purple in the garden. As writer Susan Davis Price notes in the story, while a strong color, shades of purple blend beautifully with other colors, including blue-greens, reds and yellows. Purple shades, including Radiant Orchid, look great in almost all garden situations. But, Susan advices gardeners not to plant it by itself in shade. There the dark hues fade into the shadows.
What’s the significance of the color of the year? Sometimes trend watchers read larger social commentary into the colors. According to Pantone, this year’s color is “an invitation to innovation, radiant orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.” Practically, the color will show up in lots of clothing and home decor. You’ll also see more purple plants at garden centers. Among the new introductions for 2014 with a purplish edge are Blackberry Ice™ heuchera, which I tested last summer and loved, or Centaurea Caramia, which has a windmill-like, orchid-colored bloom.
The official Pantone swatch of Radiant Orchid is below as well as a couple of samples of the color we’ve seen in gardens. What’s your favorite garden color?