Bring Fashion Colors to Your Garden

See how the Pantone Color Institute's color trends play out in the garden.

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Looking for an on-trend pop of yellow in the garden? Try the popular perennial crocus to bring a hopeful harbinger of spring color to the garden. The Pantone Color Institute thinks the bold yellow of Freesia will be a trendy color choice.


Each year the Pantone Color Institute picks an array of on-trend colors each season like the bold, sunny yellow of Freesia. This year's spring color palette pairs soft pastels with vivid brights says the Pantone Color Institute's executive director Leatrice Eiseman, who consults designers to choose seasonal color trends for fashion, home and outdoors.


"Full of warmth and energy" says Leatrice Eiseman, Freesia pairs well with Pantone's Celosia Orange. If you are a fan of color paired with delicious fragrance, freesia in a happy yellow shade, makes a lovely summer bloomer when planted in pots or in garden beds.


Pantone's designers took their inspiration for colors like Celosia from nature. "Floral-inspired tones are very important for spring," says Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman. "No less than half the palette are named after flowers or ornamentals."

'Jewel Box Salmon' Celosia Argentea (Cristata Group)

The Cristata cultivars of celosia work very well in containers with their warm burst of color.

'Apricot Brandy' Celosia Argentea (Plumosa Group)

The Plumosa cultivars of celosia feature feathery, plumelike flowers with a whimsical, tree-like shape.

Violet Tulip

Violet tulip is "a romantic, vintage purple" says Leatrice Eiseman, that "evokes wistful nostalgia." Leatrice Eiseman suggests pairing Violet Tulip with Celosia Orange "for a captivating vision, much like the setting summer sun."

'Delft' Violets African Violet

The 'Delft' African violet is a real head-turner with its wavy-edged blooms above dark leaves. The large, semi-double cornflower-blue flowers have contrasting yellow centers.

Verbena Superbena 'Violet Ice'

This new verbena grows vigorously and shows good tolerance to heat and mildew. The bright violet blooms of 'Violet Ice' are an on trend garden color.


"Sand," says Leatrice Eiseman, is a "lightly toasted and amiable neutral, conjures images of the beach and the carefree days of summer. Try pairing Sand with Hemlock for perfect, natural balance."

Attract Wildlife to the Garden

If the natural look is what you are after, there's no better way than creating a habitat attractive to wildlife like the American Toad (Bufo americanus), sometimes referred to as the hop toad, can be found mostly in the northeast United States and eastern Canada.


"A summery, ornamental green, [hemlock] provides a decorative touch that's very different from the greens of recent seasons," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Seafoam Succulent

The soft, nearly translucent seafoam green of baby's toes Fenestraria work well in a small container to highlight their delicate form.

Colorful Container

Succulents in Hemlock-hued greens offer unlimited possibilities for container gardens, including the use of color pots and even colored gravel—as seen here—to complement their unusual shapes.

Placid Blue

Leatrice Eiseman describes Placid Blue as "like a picture-perfect, tranquil and reassuring sky."

Delphinium Summer Blue English Cottage Style Plant

Delphinium grandiflorum, or 'Summer Blues', is a wonderfully compact plant that is blanketed with sky blue flowers in early summer. 'Summer Blues' has better heat tolerance and is early blooming.

Borinda Bamboo Known for Vivid Blue Stems

Color can crop up in unexpected places in the garden. If you're not a flower fan or are working with a more modern or Asian garden style, a blue-tinted bamboo can be a great botanical feature. Borinda bamboo has feathery green leaves and gracefully arching canes. The new shoots are pale blue in color and can tolerate a fair amount of sun but prefer afternoon shade, especially in warmer climates. Allow ample space for this beauty.

Purple Haze

Bold colors like Purple Haze work surprisingly well with more subdued pastels, says Pantone Color Institute's Leatrice Eiseman, of the color philosophy behind the Pantone collection.

'Blue Bird' Hibiscus

If you want to add a Mediterranean touch to your patio, deck, or garden, you can't beat a hibiscus shrub for pure flower power. The 'Blue Bird' variety is perfect for a sunny, sheltered area.

Basketful of Blue

The bright blue flowers of campanula 'Stella Blue' are a wonderful addition to containers from midsummer to fall.

'Oxford Blue' Is a Spectacular Blooming Foliage Plant

Eryngium bourgatii, 'Oxford Blue', forms clumps of divided leaves with prominent white veins, and cone-like, dark blue flower heads with silvery blue, spiny bracts.

Magenta Purple

"Another aspect of color for spring is to think in context of combining many unusual combinations—mixing bold with pastel and creating combinations that are exceptional and not straight out of the 'rule book,'" says Pantone's Leatrice Eiseman. Colors like Magenta Purple can be incorporated into a garden design founded on shades of purple; a mix of rich jewel tones; or a blend of brights and pastels.

A Magenta Poppy

Bold-colored flowers in the Magenta range are a great way to add drama to any garden.

Dazzling Blue

Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman calls Dazzling Blue "scintillating" and says "these strong, vibrant colors also pair well across the palette: they are perfect companions to pastels and add confidence and vivacity when mixed with other bold colors."

'Heavenly Blue' Morning Glory

A morning glory, such as Ipomoea, 'Heavenly Blue', has a superb flower display from summer to fall. Consider it to twine over an arch or pergola.

Radiant Orchid

Inspired by the colorful splendor of the garden, Radiant Orchid is Pantone's Color of the Year 2014 and takes its cue from exotic orchids.


Thanks to Pantone naming Radiant Orchid the color of the year, orchids are getting lots of attention these days. This year, more people will start growing orchids and incorporating their delicate patterns into outdoor décor. 

'Princess' Orchid

The Momozono 'Princess' orchid produces colorful heads of blooms that gradate from pink to yellow to white. This beauty is a great way to bring vibrant color into a home or office.


"Cayenne, a high-pitched red, adds a dash of spicy heat to neutrals, and heightens the excitement when mixed with Freesia," says Leatrice Eiseman.

All About the Orange

Color is not just for flowers. Consider architectural elements from sheds, to trellises to containers that can introduce Pantone's gorgeous colors into the garden. Out building or sheds can be painted to coordinate with house colors, as in this shed that is painted a deep orange.

Spicy Tulips

Spice up your garden with the bold shape and color of tulips in an intense red-orange.

Grow the 'Scarlet Giant' Hibiscus for a Tropical Effect

Hibiscus rosa sinensis, 'Scarlet Giant', is a deciduous shrub native to tropical and subtropical areas. It features large, funnel shaped brilliant red flowers. They grow in full sun and well drained soil.


Pantone's color palette combines soft pastels and vivid brights and is inspired, in part, by blooming flowers, says Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman. Eiseman calls Paloma "a quintessential neutral, interesting enough to be worn alone or combined with any color for sophisticated poise."

Shades of Gray

Huge felty leaves make this an attractive texture for any border. Remove the pinkish-white flowers when they appear or they will cause the quality of the foliage to deteriorate.

'Silver Queen' Artemisia Ludoviciana

Artemisia ludoviciana has a striking silver color and spiky form that can bring lovely texture and a chic gray palette to the garden.

Gray Slate

Live the trend in design, with gray slate in the garden.


A soft green-grey, Comfrey is more masculine and richer than Hemlock, and would be the perfect hue for an outbuilding, potting shed, fence or even a chicken coop.

Mobile Chicken Co-op

Soup up your coop with a beautiful paint color to coordinate with your home or just offer your birds a little dose of style. Heritage chickens live in this Comfrey-colored mobile chicken co-op at the Tennessee farm resort Blackberry Farm.

Are Collards the New Kale?

The silvery green color of collards make them the ideal edible to mix with ornamentals. Many are predicting that collards may soon unseat kale as America's hippest veg. Though more familiar to Southern gardeners, collards are easy to grow in almost any zone. This cool-weather crop can be planted in both spring and fall.

Giant Feather Grass

A striking gray-green with silvery flower spikes in spring, giant feather grass shifts to shades of gold and tan over summer and winter and makes for a great specimen grass.