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Let the garden be your guide to Pantone’s 2017 spring colors
Guest Post | December 15, 2016
Tropicanna Canna

With its colorful foliage and bright blossoms, Tropicanna canna works well on its own but can also be mixed with a variety of other Pantone 2017 color picks, including Primrose Yellow, Flame and Kale.

As we move into the dreary months of winter, it’s good to have something to look forward to in the spring.  Each year at the beginning of Fall Fashion Week, the global color authority of the design industry, Pantone Color Institute, unveils their color palette trends and choices for the upcoming spring.

This year’s top 10 colors don’t have to be restricted to fashion though, especially because they were, in part, inspired by our natural surroundings.


“One of the things that we saw this year, was a renewed sense of imagination in which color was appearing in context that was different than the traditional,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Reminiscent of the hues that surround us in nature, our Spring 2017 Fashion Color Report evokes a spectrum of emotion and feeling.”  She goes on to say “they capture the promises, hope and transformation that we yearn for each spring.”


Sweet Spot Decorator Rose ‘Calypso’ offers a range of ever-changing colors.

This year’s palette of colors are definitely inspired by nature – from the fertile Kale green, bright Pink Yarrow and cheery Primrose Yellow to the aquatic tones of Island Paradise and Niagara.  These trending colors can easily be added to any landscape, garden or patio or even rooftop planting.

Of course, it’s easy to find a variety greens throughout our landscape, but what plants can bring the other evocative colors to our garden décor? And how do we use it in our landscapes to their fullest? Here are just a few ideas.

Limited on space?  With its brilliant multi-colored blossoms, Sweet Spot Rose Calypso brings Pantone’s Flame, Pink Yarrow, Pale Dogwood and Primrose Yellow together in one magnificent plant.  Small enough to work nicely in deck containers, the multi-hued Sweet Spot Decorator Rose Calypso colors really pop when planted in a Lapis Blue container.


Nothing says “Flame” like this Bonfire Begonia. Not only does it have great color, but unlike most begonias, it’s also heat and sun tolerant.

According to the folks at Pantone, “Flame, is gregarious and fun loving. Flamboyant and vivacious, this wonderfully theatrical shade adds fiery heat to the spring 2017 palette.”

If you enjoy bright colors, Tropicanna canna certainly fits the bill with its multi-striped, orange and green foliage and bright red-orange blossoms. Whether planted in rooftop garden containers or simple garden beds, Tropicanna brings an exotic touch to any space. Inter-plant Tropicanna with bright red-orange sun-tolerant Bonfire begonia and you’ll really have a sizzling combination – one that brings in at least half of this year’s Pantone colors!

Thunder Storm agapanthus is easy care and drought tolerant once established.

Thunder Storm agapanthus is easy care and drought tolerant once established.

Looking for something a little more subtle? New Thunder Storm agapanthus’ variegated soft Kale green and white foliage serve as the perfect complementary background to its intense Lapis Blue blossoms. Planted along a walkway or as a border plant, easy-care Thunder Storm adds texture and color to any setting.

And finally, Pantone describes its Pale Dogwood as “a quiet and peaceful pink shade that engenders an aura of innocence and purity. The unobtrusive Pale Dogwood is a subtle pink whose soft touch infuses a healthy glow.”


Fairy Magnolia ‘Blush’ combines the soft pink of Pale Dogwood and the rich brown of Hazelnut

If you want to infuse your senses with not only this lovely calming color each spring, but also soft fragrance, plant a Fairy Magnolia near a porch or open window.  Growing to only 5-7 feet wide and 9-12 feet high, this sweet little shrub has lovely Hazelnut buds that open to a fragrant soft pink petals each spring.

It’s ideal as a specimen plant in small gardens and containers, espaliered or as a hedge in larger landscapes.  Regardless of how you use it, this free-flowering beauty will add a peaceful touch to any space.

However, you choose to use the Pantone Color Institute’s Top 10 picks for spring 2017, spend any time outdoors and you’re sure to find plenty of inspiration.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was contributed by Anthony Tesselaar Plants, an international horticulture company that searches the world to find and introduce new plants to the landscape. Tesselaar searches for best-of-class plants that are brilliant, environmentally friendly and easy to grow with a minimum of fuss.


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