Orange is the New Black

Collage of oranges seen in Portland, Oregon at the Garden Bloggers Fling

Collage of oranges seen in Portland, Oregon at the Garden Bloggers Fling

Orange is the new black in flower colors. If you like black flowers and there are plenty, look at my post, ‘50  Shades of Black’.

Nearly black clematis

Nearly black clematis

Bright and bold orange flowers  are being used more and more in gardens and hybridizers are churning out new varieties of orange flowers all the time.  A few things to remember about using  orange flowers is that they appear closer than they really are, making them easy to see at a distance, and orange can also make a small garden seem larger.

Orange draws your eye

Orange draws your eye

I love this new trend of bright orange as I was getting tired of the typical perennial border in hues of pink, blue, and lavender. Orange amps up the color impact and opens the possibilities of creating some beautiful new color combos.

Magic Yellow flame Mimulus

Magic Yellow flame Mimulus

The sizzling effect of the different hues of the color orange was brought home to me on my recent trip to Portland, Oregon.

mosaic

The color orange really pops in this mosaic at Floramagoria in Portland, Oregon

Orange was front and center and it inspired me to plant more orange flowers and orange foliage plants like this peachy colored Heuchera called Peach Flambe.

Orange and peach Heucheras are a dime a dozen

 

Orange is a color with a very wide range of hues from peach and apricot, to copper and ochre.

Rudbeckia Joy Creek Select

Rudbeckia Joy Creek Select

According to Pantone, the global authority on color,  orange expresses energy and vibrancy. Tangerine Tango was the color of the year in 2012, so maybe the trend has taken a while to catch up with the plant world. But every time I turn around, it seems like a new variety of flower that hits the market is bright orange with names like these Echinaceas –  Flame Thrower, Hot Papaya, Mama Mia, Tangerine Dream, and Tiki Torch.

Orange Echinacea

Orange Echinacea ‘Tiki Torch’

Orange Abutilon

Orange Abutilon ‘Bartley Schwartz’

 Not only flowers are turning up orange, accessories are turning up the heat with eye-popping color.

Orange accessories seen at J J De Sousa's garden in Portland

Orange accessories seen at J J De Sousa’s garden in Portland

Garish and striking with flaming orange shades, or subtle peachy shades paired with creams, olives, and greys, orange is a color that many designers fear and avoid. The picture below has greys and olive-green intermixed to enhance and soften the color impact. Using an orange urn was a brave choice and it worked beautifully with the right shades!

 

Orange urn with orange Kangaroo Paw at the Kuzma garden in Portland

Orange urn with orange Kangaroo Paw at the Kuzma garden in Portland

How to Use Orange for Best Effect

Here are a few pointers for designers who are hesitant to jump into the orange maelstrom.

  • To bring out the best in both bold and pale oranges, blend them with their color wheel complement blue. Fiery orange flowers paired with blue or lavender will make your border sizzle.

Orange and blue colors complement each other

Orange Nasturtium and blue Hydrangea colors complement each other

  • Orange is in its element in sunny, bright exposures. Choose hot orange flowers for hot sunny climates and softer peaches and apricots for regions that are a bit cooler and experience cool, cloudy weather. Soft yellow goes great with a soft peachy orange.

    An pastel orange color for a cooler, shadier exposure

    A pastel orange colored Begonia for a cooler, shadier exposure

  • Because orange enhances appetite and promotes sociability(according to color studies), plant plenty of orange-flowering plants near outdoor eating areas.

  •   Incorporate orange into your garden by using orange terra-cotta pots, copper accessories, bamboo, metal art, and orangey brick accents.

    Orange really pops on this mosaic seen at Floramagoria in Portland, Oregon

    Close up of orange element in mosaic

    orange gate

    Orange carrot gate at J J De Sousa’s garden

Colored bamboo for accents

Orange bamboo at Floramagoria in Portland

  • Include plants that bear orange fruits: pyracantha, sea buckthorn, and bittersweet, as well as some roses and hollies.

    Orange berries on Mountain Ash with creamy flowers of Yucca

    Orange berries of Mountain Ash with creamy Yucca flowers

    Bright orange can make a statement. Use it carefully!

    Bright orange gnome in garden

     

About thegardendiaries

Claire Jones is a landscape and floral designer and owner of Claire Jones Landscapes, LLC. She designs and helps people to create their own personal outdoor oasis and loves to write about her gardening failures and successes.
This entry was posted in art in the garden, garden design, Garden Trends and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Orange is the New Black

  1. zipcoffelt says:

    I’ve added several orange plants to my garden this year. They look so cheerful. I’m waiting for an orange hydrangea … wouldn’t that be something?

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised by any orange flower!

  3. leigh628 says:

    LOVE the gnome!! Wonderful article

  4. Linda T says:

    Well, did you bring the gnome home? Love your post on “orange”. You certainly made your point and I believe. Orange — beautiful! Thanks Claire.

  5. No, he is still making a statement in Portland! But I need to find something similar.

  6. Monica says:

    I’ve not been a fan of orange until now : )

  7. Rose says:

    I’ve never been a big fan of orange, but I think my trip to Portland, and especially JJ’s garden, has changed all that. Thanks for all the great tips on how to use this color, especially companion colors. Was the gnome at JJ’s garden? I don’t know how I missed seeing him:)

  8. I love orange and have loads of orange milkweed and some cool orange daylilies and zinnias. I think it adds some much needed zing to pastel beds.

  9. So many beautiful orange blooms it’s hard to pick a favourite, but if I was pushed it would have to be the crocosmia. Love your sandals by the way :)

  10. Thanks! I really didn’t plan that one. It was serendipity.

  11. VP says:

    Orange was one of my surprises. It’s a deeply unpopular colour here in the UK, but the Fling showcased how well it can be used either full-blown or as an accent in the garden.

  12. Pam/Digging says:

    Claire, your pics make me want to run right out and paint all my furniture and pots orange and plant only orange flowers. It’s hard to imagine ever wanting pastels again after enjoying all that fiery orange, don’t you think?

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