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’.
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.
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.
The sizzling effect of the different hues of the color orange was brought home to me on my recent trip to 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 is a color with a very wide range of hues from peach and apricot, to copper and ochre.
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.
Not only flowers are turning up orange, accessories are turning up the heat with eye-popping color.
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!
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 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.
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.
Include plants that bear orange fruits: pyracantha, sea buckthorn, and bittersweet, as well as some roses and hollies.
Bright orange can make a statement. Use it carefully!
17 Replies to “Orange is the New Black”
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?
I wouldn’t be surprised by any orange flower!
LOVE the gnome!! Wonderful article
Thanks Leigh! I loved that little gnome too.
Well, did you bring the gnome home? Love your post on “orange”. You certainly made your point and I believe. Orange — beautiful! Thanks Claire.
No, he is still making a statement in Portland! But I need to find something similar.
I’ve not been a fan of orange until now : )
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:)
The gnome was at Floramagoria in the seating area. I wanted to take him home!
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.
There were too many orange flowers to include but I do love the orange milkweed for sure!
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 🙂
Thanks! I really didn’t plan that one. It was serendipity.
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.
It was a surprise to me too. I definitely am looking to add more orange to my garden. Thanks for
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?
Definitely, I am rethinking my whole color palette! But isn’t that the point of going to different gardens? – To see a whole new perspective.