Sarah Browning: Bringing the color of the year to your garden

January 14, 2019

Pantone, a company with world-renowned authority on color, each year selects a Color of the Year. Ultra violet was the 2018 featured color; this year’s color is Living Coral.

Pantone forecasts global color trends, and their Color of the Year is a symbolic color selection, representing a snapshot of our global culture that serves as an expression of mood and attitude.

Industries such as fashion, cosmetics, interior design, housewares and many more follow Pantone color trends, so rest assured you will see plenty of coral this year. Even at the local garden center.

Pantone describes this year’s color as vibrant, yet mellow, sociable and spirited; embracing us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our shifting world. Living Coral symbolizes optimism and joy, embodying the desire for playful expression.

Using Living Coral in the garden

How can you create gardens using this year’s color? Here are some quick color tips from Pantone, which can be viewed on their website, http://bit.ly/living-coral-19. Use your imagination to decide how you can pair these colors, using both plant material and hardscape elements like containers, gazing balls, trellises and patio furniture. Remember to consider your house color as part of the total effect.

• Shimmering sunset: Combine Living Coral with pinks, magenta, golden yellow, clementine, soft orange and melon.

• Sympatico: Pair Living Coral with dusky rose, taupe, light pink and warm reddish brown.

• Trippy: Combine a vivid palette of bright colors including teal blue, medium green, chartreuse, purple, magenta and Living Coral.

• Under the Sea: Recreate an underwater scene with Living Coral, yellow, pink, melon, pale blue, teal, sage and dark blue

Plant suggestions

What plants bring Living Coral to your garden? It’s easiest to add punches of color with annuals, but there are perennial options, too. Here are a few examples from Proven Winners, http://www.provenwinners.com, to give you ideas to try in your gardens.

Each plant is listed as Genus name, “Cultivar Name,” common name.


• Begonia “Nonstop Deep Salmon,” tuberous begonia

• Calibrachoa “Superbells Coralina,” summer snapdragon

• Calibrachoa “Superbells Coralberry Punch,” summer snapdragon

• Canna “Toucan Coral,” Canna lily

• Dahlia “Dahlightful Sultry Scarlet”

• Impatiens “Infinity Salmon,” New guinea Impatiens

• Osteospermum “Orange Symphony,” African daisy


• Heuchera “Primo Peachberry Ice,” coral bells

• Rosa “Oso Easy Mango Salsa,” landscape rose

These perennials from Terra Nova Nurseries, www.terranovanurseries.com, bring Living Coral to your garden in either flowers or foliage.

• Agastache “Kudos Coral,” hyssop or hummingbird mint

• Heuchera “Paprika,” coral bells

• Heuchera “Northern Exposure Amber,” coral bells

• Lewisia “Constant Coral”

Finally, here are a few more suggestions from White Flower Farm, www.whiteflowerfarm.com.

• Begonia “John Smith,” tuberous begonia

• Calibrachoa “Cabaret Coral Kiss,” summer snapdragon

• Calibrachoa “Cabaret Mango Tango,” summer snapdragon

• Dahlia “Ace Summer Sunset”

There are many great plants that can add the color Living Coral to your garden. Use these ideas to create the perfect combination for your gardens this summer.

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