I love color so I am always curious about what is chosen as the Pantone Color Institute’s® 2012 Color of the Year. "Spirited reddish-orange,” has just dubbed the new “it” hue by global color authority
“Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” says Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone’s executive director. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”
So what plants can bring this hot, exciting color to our gardens? And how do we use it in our landscapes to its fullest? Here are just a few ideas:
“The reddish-orange blooms of the dark-foliaged Tropicanna® Black canna certainly match Pantone’s Tangerine Tango,” says Anthony Tesselaar, cofounder and president of Tesselaar Plants, developer of the colorfully foliaged Tropicanna line of cannas. “What’s more, the backdrop of black, broad leaves makes its hot, bright blooms pop out at you even more.”
Tesselaar suggests using red-orange with other plants featuring subtle echoes of the same color: “Not too much of this fiery hue,” he says. “A little goes a long way.”
For example, he suggests this sizzling “thriller-filler-spiller” combo: Tropicanna Black as the thriller, red-orange ornamental peppers as the filler and thread-leaved croton (with reddish-orange streaks) as the spiller.
Or, since orange-red is opposite of blue-green on the color wheel, he suggests grouping it with plants like the frosty, cool-hued Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’ and the blue-bloomed Salvia farinacea.
“Don’t forget the pot, adds Tesselaar. “Containers look just as good in Tangerine Tango as the plants!”
In my Milton front yard garden this year I used a more analogous color grouping: Tropicanna Black cannas with other sizzling-hot reds like giant dahlias, South African daisies, and Bonfire begonias for shade which continue to bloom now in my greenhouse for the Christmas season with giant amaryllis.