Each year the people from Pantone – creators of the color matching system that’s used everywhere, every day – declare an official color of the year. In 2016 we are doubly lucky, as they’ve paired two lovely hues on the basis that the world needs: 1) a little help boosting its compassion and 2) some calm respite in turbulent times.
“Rose Quartz” (a soft pink) and “Serenity” (a sky blue) are complimentary shades, which is very handy if we take the initiative to transport those Pantone sentiments out into the garden. After all, what could be better than to fill a garden space with plants that help make us feel better? But which plants fit the bill? And how can we use them?
FAIRY MAGNOLIA BLUSH
A quick look at Fairy Magnolia Blush and you can see Pantone’s Rose Quartz dusted across the petals. This is a lovely plant and it’s also incredibly useful. Popped in a container and clipped into a ball and you have a gorgeous, flower-spangled feature sitting beside your front door. Plant Blush in a row beside a path or drive and you can either clip them to form a crisp flower studded hedge or let them grow naturally to form a loose cloud of soft pink blooms in spring. However you decide to use it, Fairy Magnolia® Blush is a good solid choice because it’s also easy to grow. It tolerates full sun to part shade, a range of soils, and once it’s established it copes with drier conditions and is remarkably disease and pest tolerant; hardy in USDA Zones 7b-11
BLUE STORM AGAPANTHUS
A great plant to set up some blue against the Pantone pink is the Blue Storm™ agapanthus. The shade of blue carried by this plant, above it’s strappy foliage, is spot on Pantone’s Serenity. This agapanthus is the best for all sorts of reasons. It’s gorgeous, produces a phenomenal amount of flowers over a super-long summer season, it is low maintenance and needs very little water. Take inspiration from the Pantone people and mass plant Blue Storm along side Fairy Magnolia Blush for a fantastic look, popping a wedge of agapanthus in the foreground and setting the magnolia towards the rear of the garden bed.
If you live in cooler climates (Zones 4-7) that aren’t suitable for agapanthus, there are a number of delphinium varieties that mirror Pantone’s Serenity blue. These elegant perennials thrive in regions with relatively cool and moist summers.
FLOWER CARPET APPLEBLOSSOM
Many gardeners couldn’t imagine a garden without a rose and here is one that perfectly matches the Rose Quartz color swatch. It’s called Flower Carpet Appleblossom and the happy news is that this rose happens to be bullet proof as well as lovely. The foliage is a glossy green and it’s disease resistant, the flowers smother the bushes in sprays and the blooming period is extraordinarily long. This is also one of those easy-care roses that doesn’t need fancy pruning and it’s hardy in Zones 4-11. Plant it in a large container alongside some Blue Storm agapanthus, or add it to the massed planting of Fairy Blush magnolia and Blue Storm agapanthus or delphinium like Morning Lights to ramp up the floral display even more.
Click here for high resolution images of Flower Carpet Appleblossom, Fairy Magnolia Blush and Blue Storm agapanthus.
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