Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Back to the Fuchsia

Pantone anounced the colors for spring 2012. These are mostly intended as fashion and home decor colors, but I like to include them in garden planning where practical.

Listed in order of popularity, Spring 2012's It-Colors are (from top down) Tangerine Tango, Solar Power, Sodalite Blue, Cabaret, Starfish, Margarita, Sweet Lilac, Driftwood, Bellflower and Cockatoo.

The least favorite is my new favorite pot color in the greenhouse, Cockatoo -- I call it aqua. I recently bought aqua pots and similar ones in white. I like pots that are not colors that I'll have flowers in that color, except for white.

The color of the year, Tangerine Tango is the color of a number of flowers in the summer garden: daylilies, Kniphofia, Tithonia, Bengal Tiger Cannas, Zinnias, even Opium poppies in the spring garden.

Tangerine Tango does not have to be bright orange. It can be mixed with increasing doses of white to become a very pale luscious color.

Poppy, 2011

The second favorite, Solar Power, shows up as Black Eyed Susans, daylilies, Melampodium, Sternbergias and of course, Daffodils!

Daffodils, Spring 2011

Looking at some of the palettes from Pantone, I'm inspired to use some old favorites in new ways. My usual combo of Chartreuse alternanthera and purple Setcreasea might be made new with the greyish foliage of Rose Campion and some white flowers. Nicotiana or white petunias might be nice. The purples and chartreuse are usually are accompanied by Black Eyed Susans followed by Melampodium.

September, 2011

Meanwhile, here are the latest Camellias blooming. Can we call them Cabaret?

Cabaret and Sweet Lilac show up in late March as Azalea colors, joining fuchsia fringes of Loropetalum that will bloom from now to late April, with the biggest show in late February and March. White azaleas bloomed out of season here the past week. When hot weather comes, every shade of pink Pentas will bloom for the delight of butterflies.

Starfish will be showing up in the greenhouse to replace the bright blue skirt that hides the water barrels. I'll be telling you about that project soon. I'm waiting for hyacinths to finish blooming so I can move some pots out of the way.

Oh, and the seeds! It's time to start certain seeds. Are you ready? Will you plant Tangerine Tango and Solar Power, or old favorites?

Secrets of a Seedscatterer    


  1. I am not that organized to manage colors; I just plant what I like. I do need to check my seed stash and see what I need to order. I often start snaps in February.

    I like your aqua pots even if they are the bottom of the chart!

  2. Those camellias are really me, they steal the show from all the Pantone colors! I find it interesting how many colors from such charts show up unintended in gardens, too.

  3. Dear Nell Jean, Pantone's color of the year, Tangerine Tango, is not my favorite, but I do like your poppy. I admire your thoughtful color-matching in your garden. Mine's much more haphazard. P. x

  4. I'm not so good at keeping up with color trends. I tend to enjoy most all colors .... in the garden and out.

  5. For glazed pots I go with quiet earthy colours, or singing out loud blues and aquas.

  6. Interesting post, tying it to Pantone's "in" colors for the year. I do think about color when planning my flower gardens. I think it does make for a more beautiful display and helps highlight each flower.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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