Each year Pantone – creators of the color matching system that’s used everywhere, every day from clothing to home décor – declare an official color of the year. The choice is generally a symbolic color selection that serves as an expression of the feeling and mood of our culture at the time. This year, for the first time, they choose the blending of two shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity, as the Color of the Year.
This year’s combination color comes at a time when the world needs a little help boosting its compassion (expressed by Rose Quartz) and when we all need some calm and a sense of respite in turbulent times, which is expressed with Serenity’s sky blue airy feeling.
Rose Quartz (a soft pink) and Serenity (a sky blue) are complimentary shades, which is very handy for gardeners who would like to take 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? Here are a few suggestions for inspiration.
For your soft pink “Rose Quartz” colors . . .
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 shrub – compact and very free flowering. It can be Plant it in an oversized container and place it near a deck or window where you can enjoy the fragrant blossoms each spring. It also works well as a hedging plant and you can either clip them to form a crisp flower-studded hedge or let them grow naturally to form a loose soft cloud of soft pink blooms each 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 and is hardy in USDA Zones 7b-11.
FLOWER CARPET APPLEBLOSSOM
Many gardeners couldn’t imagine a garden without a rose and here is one that closely matches the Rose Quartz color swatch. It’s called Flower Carpet Appleblossom and the great 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, 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! It can be planted in a large container or the garden. To add the soft blue Serenity touch, inter plant with one or more of the Serenity suggestions below.
For Serenity, think about growing . . .
BLUE STORM AGAPANTHUS AND MORE
If you live in a warmer climate (Zones 8-11), Blue Storm™ agapanthus is a great plant to provide some soft blue against Rose Quartz. This agapanthus produces a phenomenal amount of flowers over a super-long summer season; it is low maintenance and needs very little water once established. Take inspiration from the Pantone people and mass plant Blue Storm alongside 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’re in a cooler climate, Delphinium Sky Blue, a striking perennial, is hardy in Zones 3-8. This dwarf form of delphinium doesn’t need to be staked and is quite durable too. Another easy-care Serenity blue option for Zones 4-8 is Perennial Lupine. Serenity blue annuals that will grow in almost any climate include light blue lobelia, Forget-Me-Nots, and some varieties of petunias.
Some easy-to grow annuals that are often available in colors similar to both Rose Quartz pink and Serenity blue include Love-in-a-Mist (nigella), Bachelors Buttons (centaurea) and Pincushion Flower (scabiosa).
Whatever plants you choose to add a sense of peace and calmness to your garden this year, choose ones that are easy to grow and require little maintenance, allowing you time to truly enjoy the serenity a lovely garden can offer.