Color Trends in the Garden

Each year, Pantone, a company that categorizes colors for designers, selects a Color of the Year. The selection usually gets a lot of media attention and is a good hint as to what kinds of colors you will see for the summer clothing, home decor, drapes and sheets on sale in Target and other retailers.

Broad Street coleus

Broad Street coleus

In 2015, the color of the year was Marsala, a brownish maroon.This year, the Color of the Year is two colors—Rose Quartz, a soft pink, and Serenity, an almost baby blue. The two go well together, which is how Pantone usually shows them. How do these colors show up in garden centers? Often, you will see containers, art pieces or other decor items that reflect color trends, but so do plants. For instance, Marsala showed up in the many deep burgundy colored coleus that are still popular, such as ‘Broad Street’ coleus, shown in a container at the U of M Display Garden near Morris, Minn.

Crabapple blossoms put a pink glow on spring in Minnesota.

Crabapple blossoms put a pink glow on spring in Minnesota.

Pink, of course, has long been a popular garden color with many annuals, perennials, fruit tree blossoms and roses, sporting pink hues naturally or with a little help from hybridizers. Supertunia Vista Bubblegum Pink has been around for several years and is one of the most popular of the pink annuals. You may also see it in some new plants, such as Summerific® ‘Perfect Storm’ hibiscus, which has a flower with notes of pale pink on the petals. And there are plenty of naturally pink plants—crabapple, cherry and apple tree blossoms, among others.

With the soil that is acidic, some hydrangeas will produce a baby blue bloom,

With the soil that is acidic, some hydrangeas will produce a baby blue bloom,

Blue is a tougher color to find naturally. I’ve seen a few alliums that look almost blue and, there are some bluish perennials and annuals—delphiniums, some morning glories, irises, wisteria, amsonia. if you have the right soil, some hydrangeas come up blue. There are relatively few plants that have the baby blue tone of Serenity, but many have richer, almost purple colors that are very attractive in the garden, especially when paired with yellows.

What are your favorite colors to use in the garden?