Pink is the colour of puppy love, but it can also be zingy and fresh – the colour favoured by many marketers when it comes to advertising campiagns aimed at millennials – and even, at times, the new masculine. However, while pink enjoyed its time as the colour of the 2010s (with the climax being the release of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel), the twenties are heralding a new age when it comes to the hottest hue.
After perusing this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, where gardening and plant trends are set for the year ahead, I’ve come away with a hunch that the colour orange could knock pink out of the race to become the next most coveted shade on the spectrum.
This is a fluoro garden, and the more bright colours, the better!!!
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I spotted many zesty hues being used in a variety of creative and fun methods – even in ways that people who dislike this misunderstood colour would be flocking to try. Here’s what I found…
Sunset coloured gerbera
Orange gerbera are nothing new, but a quick Google will tell you that pink is the most popular shade when it comes to these impactful daisies. Rock the boat by introducing more orange blooms into your borders – you can even mix them in with your pink flowers if you can’t quite let go of those magenta petals.
These over-rail containers are a beautifully contemporary way to add colour to a balcony area, whether big or small! Plant up some purple-flowering plants to nail that contrast.
Similarly, the ‘St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots’ show garden at Chelsea featured huge orange containers housing trees and shrubs of all shapes and sizes, making a big impact in the space.
This ombré begonia display features (left to right) Begonia Jessica, Colin Hamilton, George McCormick and Doctor Sparky. Again, the orange hues made a big impact when juxtaposed with the purples of those lofty delphiniums in the back!
The great thing about chrysanthemums is, of course, that they’re so diverse in shape and size that you could pull a whole load of orange varieties together and your assorted border would look as diverse as any other flowering perennial border.
Iris ‘Rocket’ is one of many stunning orange iris varieties, and towers above other plants at nearly 3ft tall. These would look just ethereal dancing in the breeze – not a word you’d usually use to describe something orange, but the iris pulls it off!
Houseplant Stylist James Whiting put together this display of mushrooms in ‘Planet Studio’, a groovy disco mushroom cave that later played host to a DJ set. The orange interior was unexpected but worked so well in making the mushrooms appear even more otherworldly.
Osteospermums from the home of Selecta Klemm
But, there is one set of oranges that really ticks all the boxes for vibrancy and fiery energy in your fluoro garden, and that is the ‘Purple Sun’ variety by Selecta Klemm in Germany! It has already picked up awards across Europe, for it’s otherworldly colour scheme, combining ombre orange with a purple crested centre, the ultimate combo we think!!
Sister variety ‘Tropic Sun’ is the new kid on the block, with tonnes of yellow energy too!
Look out for this variety in your local garden centre or online, but I warn you to wear sunglasses….!! Show me your fluoro garden when you get it planted up too!!
Are you playing around with orange in your garden this year? Let me know what you’re up to with this colour in the comments section below!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.