As a garden designer, photographer, and writer, I’m always curious to see what new plants will be revealed on the prestigious horticultural boardwalk at the California Spring Trials (CAST). This year I had the honor of being invited to attend CAST as a guest of National Garden Bureau and All-America Selections and spent an unforgettable week taking photographs of a dizzying array of new annuals, perennials, edibles, and shrubs while also learning about their unique qualities from passionate breeders.
Reviewing almost one thousand images, I was struck by what appears to be an emerging color trend. In addition to the solid, bold shades of orange, purple, and lime that have dominated the scene in recent years, I was aware of the large number of introductions with a softer yet luscious color palette of vanilla, apricot, coral, and cinnamon, often a harmonious blend of two or more of those shades in a single bloom. The result was a mouthwatering display worthy of the most elegant patio or fashion-forward front porch, the watercolor effect adding depth that a single, saturated color cannot achieve.
For the consumer these color blends make both design and color combinations a breeze – simply selecting a number of the same plants will ensure perfect pairings every time. Just plant and relax. Perfect for busy homeowners, perfect for professionals.
Here are just a few that caught my eye.