Each year at a secret meeting, a single colour is chosen as Colour of the Year. Over two days, representatives from key colour standards groups are locked in debate. The decision they reach is a reflection of popular culture, so in a way, we’ve all helped pick the winner which in 2015 is… (drum roll)… Pantone 18-1438, aka Marsala.
And I’m thrilled. It’s a colour that is rich, bold and somehow nurturing. It speaks of wine, delicious food, a glorious earthiness. It’s warm and welcoming and if you look around you’ll recognise moments where it’s already a part of our lives. Flip open a magazine and it seems like it’s on every woman’s finger tips and lips. Interiors make good use of it and it’s a favourite in landscapes – just check out Magnolia Burgundy Star (above) and you can see what I mean. Or what about these…
This is Cordyline Festival Burgundy – also known as Red Fountain in the Southern Hemisphere – up close and luscious, looking almost like rhubarb. The color is a brilliant fit with Pantone Marsala, and it makes a powerful contribution to a landscape setting like the one below. It’s a great color to work with in the garden, and this plant in particular is an easy one to grow well, either massed as it is here, or as a knock-out feature cascading over the rim of a big container.
If you want to play with the same color, but you need something with height, cordyline Burgundy Spire (the next two images, below) is the go. The foliage is broader and it stays with the plant so the trunk never goes naked. As for height, you can count on nine feet or four metres, which means this is a useful choice when you want to fill the back of the garden bed, or block out an ugly view.
Up close, Burgundy Spire’s strap-like foliage is extraordinarily lovely.
Then there’s my absolute favourite – the Black Tulip magnolia (below). The goblet bloom just seem to shout Marsala to me…. in the liquid and delicious form. Ah yes, I think this year’s Color of the Year is a brilliant choice.