The Pantone colour Institute has declared that “greenery” is its 2017 colour of the year.
Well that what made me laugh! I’m a landscape architect greenery is my colour every year!
Greenery, foliage call it what you will, green is the colour of gardens and they will never go out of fashion.
Pantone has selected this colour with this statement:
“Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid-a tumultuous social and political environment satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalise greenery symbolises the reconnection we seek with nature one another and a larger purpose”
Well that’s all well and good, we can now have the colour of the garden on the kitchen wall.
But it was there all the time in the garden, all you had to do was to step out of the door and there’s the green.
Currently in Toulouse there is quite a fashion for very mineral gardens the use of coloured gravels, whites and greys and slates, reducing the palette of green to a fashionable monochrome. However I do suspect this fashion will pass and that green will always be the colour of hope.
As a landscape architect the art of using greenery is something that develops over years, the subtle blending of different types of foliage taking into account the changes through the season as greens turn to browns and golds and coppers. The use of foliage as a foil to set off bright blooms of flowers in the same way as the florist, to enhance the colours of chosen blooms in a bouquet, is a delicate balance between textures and colours to give life to a composition.
Green will always be the dominant colour in any landscape composition but designing a garden with a selection of flowers according to a precise palette gives extraordinary results. The most memorable “white garden” at Sissinghurst in Kent is the most fabulous example of the old adage that less is more. The green foliage of the garden is essential in the composition; the clever use of dark hedges as backgrounds to set off the bright white flowers is just as important as the blooms themselves.
The darker foliage of evergreen shrubs and trees defines the very structure of gardens even in the winter months, and is a permanent frame for the seasonal variations playing within the garden.
Evergreen foliage plants are essential allies in garden design, they give volume texture and colour all year round, usually low maintenance they provide sterling service throughout 12 months of the year and in some cases add flowers on top. Variegated foliage adding greys and white and yellow or even bronze and purple tones into the palette of colours can only enrich where flowers are usually relatively short lived..
So many people are tempted by flowering shrubs I feel they are being led astray from much better “team players” for the shrub bed, I aim for 60% evergreen shrubs to maintain the balance between summer colour and winter structure in most gardens
So hey ! Great to have had a shout out for Pantones “greenery” but I for one will keep on using, not one shade of green but hundreds in every garden I design.