Last year it was honeysuckle pink; this year it’s tangerine tango. Each year Pantone picks a color. This year’s shade, like last year’s, is resolutely loud and brash, notwithstanding the dim socioeconomic climate. The recommendation is aimed at fashionistas and home designers more than gardeners; I'm not saying that nurseries will be overflowing with red-orange plants this spring.
But I do like to use bright colors when it comes to forcing bulbs in the cold months. Like the bright yellow Golden Rain tazetta, the flame-orange Prinses Irene tulip, and the deep rose Double Hollyhock hyacinth. If all goes well, all three (plus Orange Princess) will be blooming this winter. I think the Hollyhock and the Irene are actually pretty close to the Pantone shades, if you don’t get too scientific about it.
It could be that I’m using them for the same optimistic reasons the Pantone people picked their hot pink and bright orange—for the aggressive cheer they’ll bring when other conditions are less than ideal.
The show has already begun with these Wintersuns, a mildly-scented tazetta with a nice bright yellow interior.