Colour is often what describes us. Some colours we love and some we do not. We dress ourselves with colour through our attire choices, we colour our homes in our décor choices, and in the gardening world, we colour our outdoor spaces with the types of plants we grow.

In our business, colour is what captivates us when we walk into a greenhouse in full bloom. It is colour and our reaction to it that influences what flower we will plant. Colour is what motivates me to create unique plant / combinations every year. I am always in pursuit of colour, in its many shades whether complementary or contrasting that make my job so fascinating. When a customer asks, “What is new this spring?” to me this means, “Show me a different way to colour my world.” Colour gives us the chance to celebrate the diversity of our seasons. Plant breeders and researchers are always delivering new plant varieties and colour is an important trait, whether it is in food (think purple carrots), flowers or foliage. Colour really is the backbone of our industry, and it is exciting.

The Pantone Color Institute, as stated on its website, “… is the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems”. Every year the Pantone Color of the Year is unveiled and many industries from high fashion to home décor get in on the excitement that a new colour opportunity brings with a new season. For 2016, the colour of the year is actually a blending of two shades for an overall subtler look and calmer feel: Rose Quartz and Serenity. I encourage you to visit the website ( and see if you like the hue.

As for me, I like the softness of the 2016 colour, and see that in nature we already have lovely reminders of these shades in early spring beauties like Aquilegia “pink lanterns”, a native columbine that we grew last year and perennial geranium (Cranesbill) “Rozanne” that will be on our benches this spring.