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 You are here    Flowers by the Sea / Browse Posts In Cultivating Color

Cultivating Color

Gardeners need to consider many factors when combining plants in borders, flowerbeds and containers. These characteristics include differing sizes and foliage textures as well as varying needs for sun, moisture and soil fertility. One major consideration is color: What looks harmonious together? What whispers in the landscape? What shouts?

To help you cultivate pleasingly colorful gardens, Flowers by the Sea provides useful content on the subject in our Everything Salvias blog. We cover topics including:

  • How light and growing conditions affect color
  • What colors attract hummingbirds and other pollinators
  • Which Salvias to mix for peaceful, pastel gardens
  • Why it's fun to apply the Pantone color system to garden design and
  • What choices are available for adding specific colors to your yard.

You'll find a rainbow of ideas for cultivating color in the FBTS catalog and blog.

Pantone Pageant: Emerald Designer Salvias

Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Synopsis: Emerald and other cool shades of green are among the hot colors for 2013, according to Pantone, a design-industry leader. Flowers by the Sea doesn't generally think of greens or of any colors in nature as being in or out. However, we think it is fun and fresh to consider garden design from a different perspective. Emerald is Pantone's top color for the year. This article about emerald-colored Salvias begins a pageant of sorts down the runway of our blog, showing how the Pantone color matching system can be used to shape landscaping decisions.

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Pantone Pageant: "Tender Shoots Green" Designer Salvias

Posted: Monday, January 7, 2013
Synopsis: "font-style: italic;"> Lime is the kind of bright, cheerful color that practically shouts, “Hey, look at me!” Limelight Mexican Sage (Salvia Mexicana ‘Limelight’) is the kind of plant that makes you say, “Hey, look at that! Let’s plant it.” It brightens the landscape with its startling contrast of chartreuse-lime foliage and deep violet-blue flowers. Among the hundreds of Salvias that we grow at Flowers by the Sea, it is difficult to think of a more dramatic poster plant to illustrate “Tender Shoots 14-0446,” one of the greens that the Pantone color corporation says will be big this year with fashion and industrial designers. Three other lovely, lime Salvias originally from the Mediterranean and the Middle East are also discussed here. Although you may not feel comfortable stepping out in a pair of chartreuse jeans, your garden is a safe place to shout out your love of the color.

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Pantone Pageant: A Chorus Line of Grayed Jade Designer Salvias

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Synopsis: Sage is the common name for the uncommonly beautiful Salvia genus. But when designers describe a product as being sage-colored, they mean a shade of grey-green that they say is soothing and that harmonizes with a multitude of colors, including soft pastels, hot oranges and deep purples. A version of sage called "Grayed Jade 14-6011" is one of the Pantone color-matching system's top shades for the design industry this year. This post identifies some Grayed Jade plants in the Flowers by the Sea collection. They are fine peacemakers amid a Salvia garden based on a mixture of Pantone's top greens for 2013, which you can read about in previous articles from our Pantone Pageant series of designer colors in the landscape.

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Pantone Pageant: Sprawling Salvias for a Monaco Blue Slope

Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Synopsis: Even landscaping can be stylish. Fill a problem slope with Chilean Mountain Sage and Limelight Mexican Sage. Their flowers are fine color matches for Monaco Blue, one of Pantone's 2013 designer blues. Intersperse lavender-flowered Spreading California Purple Sage.

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Pantone Pageant: Shady Salvias on a Mixed Blue Designer Patio

Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Synopsis: Got shade? Go ahead and get blue about it in the garden. We'll hold your hand, listen to your concerns and help you pick just the right shady salvias in hues to match the 2013 designer colors Dusk Blue and Monaco Blue from Pantone.

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Pantone Pageant: 15 Designer African Violet Salvias and Companions

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Synopsis: Purples are cool yet quietly passionate. This includes African Violet 16-3520, a spring 2013 designer color created by the Pantone Corporation. Shades in the blue and purple color range are tranquil and soothing yet commanding, because they calm the garden. If you have a garden bed that is in your face with bright reds, oranges and yellows, one way to cool it down is to add Salvias and companion plants from the blue to purple palatte. Here are 15 choices from our catalog that fashionably match Pantone's African Violet.

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Pantone Pageant: Creamy Linen-Colored Designer Salvias

Posted: Sunday, May 26, 2013
Synopsis: Pantone’s Linen designer shade for spring 2013 looks a bit like a rosy beige champagne. In the garden, it is ethereal -- a creamy, dreamy choice for edging a pathway. Here are four subtly colored sages (Salvia spp.), which closely match Pantone Linen 12-1008. Similar to the lace on a wedding gown, they are best appreciated when viewed up close.

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Pantone Pageant: Eye-Popping, Poppy Red Designer Salvias

Posted: Monday, May 27, 2013
Synopsis: Here's a tip for Oz's Wicked Witch of the West: Pantone's spring 2013 Poppy Red is a designer color that won't make anyone sleep. It's a bright, wake-up call that is often found in the scarlet blossoms of many sages (Salvia spp.). We offer five eye-popping suggestions here for matching the Pantone Corporation's Poppy Red 17-1664.

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Pantone Pageant Cheerful Lemon Zest and Nectarine Designer Salvias

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Synopsis: Let there be light; let there be brightness. Yellows and oranges are cheerful colors to combine in a grouping of perennials. Pantone's spring 2013 designer colors -- golden yellow Lemon Zest 13-0756 and its hot orange Nectarine 16-1360 -- are fun colors to match to sages (Salvia spp.) that can turn up the light in a garden whether sunny or shady. Two groupings for sunny or shady gardens are offered

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Gray and Silver Foliage Lights Up the Landscape Day and Night

Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Synopsis: It isn't easy describing green in the garden. Foliage can span greens so pale they are almost white to blue-greens so deep they murmur the forest primeval. Amid this range, you'll find shimmering silver- and gray-leaf species. To locate these types of Salvias and companion plants in the Flowers by the Sea catalog, please visit our new Gray and Silver Leaf Plants category in our catalog menu at the top of every page on our website. This article includes a small sampler of our selection.

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Cultivating Color: Tracking the Elusive History of Autumn & Mountain Sage Warm Pastel Hybrids -- Part I

Posted: Saturday, January 3, 2015
Synopsis: Whether planned or accidental, hybrids happen. This is especially true among the closely related Southwestern and Mexican species of Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla). They are native to different areas of the Southwest and Mexico, but cross freely when they meet. This story is the first installment in a two-part series initiating our Cultivating Color series. It involves North Carolina Salvia specialist Dr. Richard F. Dufresne, who has helped us track the history of warm-colored S. x jamensis hybrids in the Autumn/Mountain Sage group.

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Cultivating Color: Tracking the Elusive History of Autumn & Mountain Sage Warm Pastel Hybrids -- Part II

Posted: Sunday, November 16, 2014
Synopsis: Luminous Salvia x jamensis pastel flowers began warming up nursery catalogs in the late 1990s. Their journey from steep Mexican mountains to American and European gardens began in the mid-19th century with the discovery of Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii). This is the second post in a two-part article about these Jame Sage hybrids of Autumn and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla). It opens our new Cultivating Color series and is based, in part, on the experiences and insights of Salvia specialist Dr. Richard F. Dufresne. We conclude with descriptions of 10 favorite Jame Sages.

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Cultivating Color: 15 Plants in Pantone Combos for 2015

Posted: Sunday, January 4, 2015
Synopsis: Pantone color corporation's 2015 spring designer colors can inspire garden design, including the company's color of the year -- a red-brown shade of the wine called Marsala. FBTS suggests 15 plants in seven combinations of Salvias and companion species, based on the 2015 Pantone Fashion Color Report, to help you shake up color in your landscape. We include water-loving choices as well as drought-resistant plants.

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True Blue Salvias You Can Rely On for Garden Serenity

Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2015
Synopsis: Forget all the mournful music telling you that blue is the color of sadness. In a Salvia garden filled with hot colors, true blue is a peacemaker -- a reliable harmonizer that commands peace in the garden. This article talks a tiny bit about football, Madonna and the chemistry of true blue flowers. Then it offers a lot of true blue sages for gardens coast to coast from our Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery catalog.

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Cultivating Color: New FBTS Tools Aid Garden Design

Posted: Saturday, April 25, 2015
Synopsis: Have we got tools for you! No, we aren't selling Ginzu clippers, rust-free shovels, a miraculous compost-in-minutes machine or anything requiring payments. We're talking about a set of color tools for accurately visualizing and comparing the floral and foliage colors of Salvias. As you wander through the riot of hues in our online catalog at Flowers by the Sea, these tools aid plant selection and landscape planning. Beginning in fall 2014, we began identifying the colors of all FBTS plants based on the internationally standardized color system published by the U.K.'s Royal Horticultural Society. This improves descriptions of plant colors and makes color comparisons of plants easier for garden design.

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Cultivating Color: Pastel Perennial Sages for Xeriscape

Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Synopsis: Not everyone who lives in a dry climate wants a cactus garden. And not all cottage gardens are filled with pansies and peonies. Flowers by the Sea highlights ten tough perennial Salvias in pastels for low-water cottage gardens. The palette of drought-resistant choices includes sages with blue, lavender, peach, pink and yellow flowers for a soothing touch in your landscape.

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Add Pale Dreamy Sages to Your List of Moon Garden Plants

Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017
Synopsis: Moon gardens contain plants with pale flowers -- especially whites -- and silvery or variegated foliage that shine in moonlight. Some gardeners plant them to glow from afar when peering into the dark through a window. Others design these gardens for nighttime rambles. A number of white-flowered sages would be excellent additions to the dreamy design of a moon garden.

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