Name The Colour Of These Flowers

While visiting the flower shows this year, I was drawn to a colour thread represented by the flowers I’m showing here. I’d filed the pictures as Clarets thinking ‘Anyone for claret?’ would be a good post title, but reluctantly concluded that claret was stretching things too far…

Heads of small bright pink flowers with lighter centres

Achillea ‘New Vintage Violet’

though not quite so far as the liberties taken in naming this ‘New Vintage Violet’…

Hydrangea flower and foliage with a lime green fern

Hydrangea ‘Dark Angel Violet’

or this ‘Dark Angel Violet’. Plant names are a minefield at the best of times, even before you add colour into the mix. 

Daylily flower with the dark feathery foliage of a neighbouring plant

Hemerocallis

The bold combination of the daylily against the dusky foliage of an adjacent plant was so striking, I completely forgot to note down the variety names, but it looks like another violet to me – dark violet perhaps (only teasing).

It’s easy to mock, but more tricky to put your finger on what would be better: Pinot Noir, raspberry, fuchsia, pale crimson, magenta, burgundy… I could imagine objections to all of these. Professional help was required. Pantone, famous for their colour expertise, would have a name for the colour of these gladioli:

Bold pink gladioli flower spikes with ferns

Gladiolus ‘Karaoke’

Problem solved. After consulting their site, I can confirm that, in the parlance of the day, these glads are Pink Peacock in hue. I don’t know if nature has given us any real pink peacocks, but Pantone asserts that the colour is tantalisingly theatrical, bold and experimental, and on trend.

Phew. I’ll leave you with a twist on the theme – a dahlia with pale upper petals as a beautiful contrast to their Pink Peacock reverses:

Dahlia flowers that have pale petals with deep pink reverses

Dahlia ‘Creme de Cassis’

I love the picotee effect and the light waving or rippling of the petals that gives them a subtle light and shade effect.

So there you have it. A selection of perennials to create a modern twist on the classic red border.

We’ll soon start hearing about the colour Pantone has identified as the guiding light for designers during 2019. Assuming the corporate influences that gave us Pink Peacock will still be in play, I’m forecasting the colour of the year 2019 will be Unicorn. What do you think?

45 thoughts on “Name The Colour Of These Flowers

  1. tonytomeo says:

    This is such a girly topic! Men can not see as many colors! I know this from growing rhododendrons! I sometimes needed to ask my neighbor about colors. She knows them all. I still do not know what the most popular colors of bougainvillea are.

    • susurrus says:

      You’ve reminded me of seeing displays of many different colours of fuchsias at flower shows. It always makes me smile when the colour of a rose is described as ‘pure rose pink’ as if there was only one colour, even though I sometimes do it myself. I suppose we associate the name of a colour with a particular shade, though we’d be hard placed to explain how the association came to be. With fuchsia, perhaps it is related to the ones we most commonly see growing wild.

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