CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Fashionistas, artists and advertising sages alike anxiously await the annual "Pantone Color of the Year" announcement.
Pantone is the world-renowned authority on color. The system is used to match colors in the graphic arts community in a standardized format. And now it's gone to the garden.
The 2011 Pantone Color of the Year is Honeysuckle, according to the Pantone Color Research Institute.
"Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color for a brave new world," says Pantone of this festive reddish-pink. "Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It's a color for every day -- with nothing 'everyday' about it."
OK, they get a bit carried away. But it's a nice color.
We bought our little piece of land because of honeysuckle. When we first walked down the narrow dirt road that led to our future home site nearly 25 years ago, the honeysuckle was in full, luscious bloom. I was sold.
Honeysuckle, however, is pretty darned invasive. The common Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica Thunb.) is listed in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's list of invasive species. And this common vine typically has yellowish-white blooms. The Pantone people are talking pink.
At www.abouthoneysuckle.com, I found a couple of pink honeysuckle plants. They are described as hardy in zones 3 through 8, and growing to a height of 10 to 12 feet. The species (Pink Tatarian and Pam's Pink) aren't included on the invasives list, but I recommend planting with caution.
So we need to look for other ways to incorporate this pretty color in our gardens.
A popular coral-colored Flower Carpet rose is a good option. A groundcover rose, bred by a German rose hybridizer known for commitment to disease-resistant hybrids, the Flower Carpet Coral rose boasts a profusion of blooms from late spring through fall.
The single flowers have antique-gold stamens and the petals don't fade in the sun -- they darken over time to a deep reddish-coral. Glossy leaves stay clean as the petals fall cleanly away after the flowers have peaked. Bushes are low, dense and compact. To invigorate blooming once plants are established, cut canes back to 10 inches annually in late winter or early spring.
There's a beautiful Asiatic lily, "Coral Butterflies," that's the same coral pink as the Pantone folks are pushing. The curved blooms sit atop a tall, dark stem. I found these at www.thelilygarden.com and they run $5 each or 3 for $14.