As floral designers we get rather excited each year when Pantone release their Colour of the Year however, we much prefer it if the colour is what we at Hybrid consider to be a ‘floral’ colour! For us, a ‘floral’ colour must be the colour of at least five naturally occurring, truly beautiful flowers.
This year’s Pantone Colour of the Year ‘Living Coral’, and last year’s ‘Ultra Violet’, were colourful music to our floral ears (but we have to admit we did have a bit of trouble with turquoise one particular year!).
Here are two little known facts about Living Coral that we really wouldn’t expect you to know: firstly, it is our Caroline’s all-time favourite colour, referred to in our studio as ‘Caroline’s colour’ and secondly, it is definitely not our Alan’s fave!
Perhaps Alan’s aversion to coral has something to do with the ambiguous nature of the colour, sitting, as it does, somewhere between pink and orange which, for Alan, just doesn’t quite work. Despite being a very natural colour found in things such as well… living coral and flamingos for example it is always greeted with a sense of wonder and bewilderment; just how can nature produce something so vibrant, intense and downright bizarre!? And this is where I suspect his dislike of the colour may lie… for you see there is a commonly held misconception amongst Alan’s friends that he loves flamingos. Indeed, he has amassed quite a collection of kitsch representations of the leggy coral-coloured bird over the years. But we can now reveal, for the avoidance of any doubt, that our Alan is not a fan of them at all (sorry to break it to you, Alan’s pals!).
For the majority of us at Hybrid Living Coral is a glorious colour, full of warmth and fun, perfect for both spring and summer florals. We can clearly see it becoming ‘A Thing’ in the floral world this year quite simply because coral coloured flower varieties are utterly beautiful, versatile and unique. A coral coloured sweet pea for example or even a flamingo coloured tulip will always be held aloft and admired by the florists in our studio.
According to our good friend Karen Haller, a leading international authority in the field of applied colour psychology:
Coral is a hue that is a beautiful mix of orange and pink. You’ll be familiar with other variations with names such as apricot, peach and salmon where the orange is quite soft, almost pastel with the addition of soft warm pink. Looking at the psychology of this colour it’s a mix of orange’s fun, playful side and the soft pink’s nurturing side – when it comes to romantic colours, this is quite a sensual hue.
Living Coral looks fabulous with bold blue, pink and purple colours for a rich jewel-like palette, and it looks amazingly fresh with lime green. And if you really want to push the boat out, why not combine coral with butter yellows and lilac tones and for a more eccentric colour scheme (in a good way of course!)?
In the same way that last year we incorporated intense violet coloured hydrangeas and anemones into party designs, and in doing so developed a renewed appreciation for Ultra Violet, we will continue to immerse ourselves in Living Coral as the year progresses and maybe even convert our Alan! We cannot wait to create even more giant vase designs full of yellow, lilac and coral coloured blooms for the ultimate bonkers party-style and we know exactly who we are going to ask to make them!
Here are our top 3 Living Coral Coloured flowers:
Coral coloured camellias start out an intensely orangey pink and provide a much needed hit of vibrant colour in the months of February and March. They then open and turn a more faded apricot colour which looks beautiful against their glossy green leaves.
In a similar way to Camellia, the Coral Charm peony is an outstanding variety which starts it’s colour as an intense, almost luminescent, pink and as it opens, turns into a very pale coloured peach. It’s an absolute marvel of a flower and looks lovely with frothy acid-green Alchemilla Mollis.
Coral coloured roses just sing with colour. Whether it is the tight spiraled versions or the more open garden-style roses, these can look utterly vibrant in any party design and look amazing placed next to nearly any other vibrantly coloured summer flower.
We are already making predictions for next year’s Pantone colour and keeping our fingers crossed it is another floral one that will match some of our all time favourite blooms.