With a new year comes new trends, and the 2024 Pantone color of the year, “Peach Fuzz,” will be dictating many of them. What does this have to do with your garden? Everything.
The Pantone Color Institute has been governing worldwide color trends since 2000, providing, according to its website, “a universal language of color that enables color-critical decisions through every stage of the workflow for brands and manufacturers.”
That means that, come spring, you can expect to see peach-toned clothing, shoes, home furnishings and wall paints dominating their respective domains as designers scramble to satisfy a trend-hungry public. You’ll also see a plethora of peachy plants at the nursery.
Breeding new plants takes much longer — at least a decade, in most cases — than making new textiles. But make no mistake: Garden centers will be stocking a dizzying array of existing peach-toned plants this spring, and many will be new to us.
Some of my favorites:
At Last is a beautiful light-orange shrub rose that checks all the boxes: It’s highly fragrant, low-maintenance, disease-resistant, and blooms from early summer through fall in zones 5-9.
Peach Drift, too, offers disease resistance and repeat blooming from spring through frost, but with a spreading habit. This groundcover rose is ideal for hillsides or open areas in zones 4-11.
Double Take flowering quince is a long-blooming, low-maintenance, heat- and drought-tolerant spring bloomer with soft peach flowers that grows in zones 5-9. Unlike older varieties, it doesn’t have thorns, so you can work around it and make bouquets without getting pricked.
Suntastic Peach abelia puts forth pretty white flowers all summer long, but the real star of the show is its bright-peach evergreen foliage. As a bonus, it offers superior drought resistance and heat tolerance and is smaller than standard abelias. Grow it in zones 6-10.
Peaches and Cream is a bushy, heat- and drought-resistant Grevillea shrub suited for zones 9-11. Its eye-catching, multi-toned flowers bloom year-round against bright green, dense, dissected foliage.
Firefly Peach Sky yarrow flowers emerge peachy and then fade to yellow as they age, creating a kaleidoscope of peach, orange, cream and yellow interest as some flowers in different stages of maturity converge. Thrives in zones 3-8.
Pyromania Hot and Cold, a Kniphofia or red hot poker plant, has spiky flowers that are peachy at their tips and creamy at their base, making for quite the garden conversation piece. They rebloom all summer in zones 5-9 over tall, grassy foliage, and resist drought, salt, deer and rabbits.
Venti Tequila Sunrise dahlia is a showy, vigorous plant that lives up to its name. Peach-toned double flowers with coral tips and yellow bases bloom on mounded plants from early summer through frost. Hardy in-ground in zones 8-10; dig up and store tubers indoors over winter in colder zones.
Fresco Apricot is a striking plant: It’s taller and narrower than most other echinaceas, and its large zinnia-like flowers are a delicious peachy-apricot shade. Expect nearly nonstop blooms from June through October in zones 4-9.
Celway Salmon cockscomb boasts velvety, spiked flower clusters, each composed of one central plume surrounded by several smaller plumes atop tall, strong stems. The salmon-colored clusters bloom from spring through late summer, and their longevity in bouquets makes them well-suited for the cutting garden.
Vivacia Orange dianthus is a low-growing, creeping plant with grass-like foliage and large, solid, light-orange blooms. Although some cultivars are perennial, this one is categorized as annual.
Superbena Peachy Keen verbena is a vigorous grower that blooms continuously from spring through fall without deadheading. It’s also heat-tolerant and deer-resistant.
Toucan Coral Canna is a dramatic plant with pretty peach flowers and a strong tropical vibe. The long-blooming plant tolerates heat, humidity and drought, and deer tend to avoid it.
Begonia Cocoa Enchanted Sunrise has unusual, dark, chocolate-colored leaves with lime green veins that contrast strikingly with its large, peach-toned flowers. The shade lover is hardy in zones 8-11 and widely treated as an annual elsewhere.
Northern Exposure Amber coral bells is a low-growing, densely mounded plant with evergreen leaves that performs equally well in full shade as in full sun. Tall, slender stems hold up tiny, bell-shaped, green flowers in late spring for added interest.
Coleus Fancy Feathers Copper is a mounding plant with a whimsical tuft of narrow, yellow-orange and pink leaves that will brighten shady spots, whether in the ground or in a container, as well as your mood.
Jessica Damiano writes a weekly gardening column for the AP and publishes the award-winning Weekly Dirt Newsletter. You can sign up here for weekly gardening tips and advice.
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