And the Color Trend for 2018 is....
At the close of every year, the Pantone Color Institute releases their "Color of the Year". I get a little excited to know what's coming and whether or not it'll be a quirky, off-beat color not widely used or if it'll be a tried and true hue favored by many. This year, they've chosen the color Ultra Violet to drive the design industry.
Pantone is a consulting service that forecasts worldwide color trends and advises companies on color for brand identity and product development. Recognized globally as a leader in color information by influencing seasonal trends, custom color development and palette recommendations for products and corporate identity, they establish the psychology and emotion of color in impending design strategy.
Not only is color used to push trends in fashion, beauty, packaging and home decor, it can be carried into the garden as well. There is an array of ultra violet plants at your disposal. You may love the color purple and want it everywhere in your yard, or you may just want a nod to it in your annual pots. Either way, it is a bold color statement that invokes a sense of whimsy, drama and regality and is a great anchor color for other plants.
After a long hibernation, spring plants are a sight for sore eyes. Some gardeners use this season to brush off the winter chill by front-loading their seasonal bloomers. Bulbs such as Tulips, Crocus and Allium start the show teasing you into believing warm weather is soon to arrive.
Lilac, Lupine, Hellebore and Grape Hyacinth are also ever present. They explode on the scene as if they have a mission to accomplish. Sometimes they bloom unscathed by the frost, but occasionally Colorado delivers a wallop, one last heavy snow right around Mother's Day just to put a damper on your spring fever. In those cases, flower shows take a beating and fall fruit production suffers due to frost nipped buds. Iris and Salvia 'May Night' usually fare pretty well blooming at the end of May.
Clematis 'Jackmanii', Catmint, False Indigo, Larkspur, Centaurea and Hardy Geranium show up in summer. Warm days and cooler nights are the ideal condition for these beauties, but Colorado summers can be unpredictable. Sometimes we'll have a long lovely run of temperate weather, but it can get cut short and be oppressively hot and dry for months on end more often than not. We are a high-plaines desert after all.
Lavender, Campanula and Rose of Sharon 'Hawaii' arrive fashionably late to the party in end of summer/early fall, but they will bloom steadfast in the garden right up until the impending frost. I value and appreciate these late bloomers as they are chugging along when everything else in the garden looks pretty darn tired. They remind me of the girls who were shy in high school and peaked later in life.
Of course, most gardeners have a broad palette in mind when creating their space and not everyone loves purple. It does tend to be a color that gets lost when in semi-shade or be overlooked when paired with bright colors or white, but I do find it to be a hard worker; the support staff to the more extroverted, showy flowers. Purple is an intimate color in that you have to be up close and personal with the plant to truly appreciate it. Some of the brighter flowers scream at you in the heat of summer, whereas a dark color gives you a visual respite from the intensity of the season.
A great way to incorporate purple temporarily into your space is through annual pots. Scaevola is one of my absolute favorite annuals because you get your money's worth. Graceful, yet showy, they perform so well that I have decided to incorporate them into my pots every year. Calibrachoa is another powerhouse. I prefer them over Petunias any day. Purple basil, yes the herb, is another great addition to your pots. Not only does it fill out nicely, it's usable in your kitchen. Win! And if you'd like a showstopper on your mailbox or trailing up a post, Morning Glory is an excellent choice. Annual flowers get pricy, so you want to make sure you purchase plants that deliver.
There are many other ultra violet offerings I haven't mentioned as well. Your planting zone may be home to ones I'm not able to use here in Colorado. I am excited to see the use of purple this year. It's not a color I use a lot, but I welcome it's thoughtful application. It may be cold outside, but now is the perfect time to think about your yard and the possibilities it offers. Will you be trying out Ultra Violet this year?