Nothing attracts people like color. It triggers immediate emotional responses and lasting memories. From fashion and food to plants and outdoor living décor, color is a magnet with power to spark final purchasing decisions.
Color is one of the influences that triggers purchasing choices people make everyday for their homes, gardens and outdoor living spaces.
“Trends shape consumer demand,” says garden trend-spotter Susan McCoy, president of Garden Media Group, a garden marketing and public relations firm in Kennett Square, Pa.
Born from multiple disciplines like fashion, art and social ideas, garden trends influence what plants, products and services customers want.
According to McCoy, this year’s new color trends reflect a growing consumer demand for plants and products that bring happiness and bliss.
Global trends expert Li Edelkoort, founder of the Paris-based trend forecasting company, Trend Union, agrees. When looking at the future of fashion and home décor, she explains the upcoming “Year of Bliss” takes its cue from nature, finding expression in bright colors, nature-inspired products and tactile experiences.
The Impact Of Color
“Understanding consumers’ color preferences will put you ahead of the game,” McCoy says. “Color draws the eye and excites the senses. Color commands attention and sets the tone for any size garden, whether it’s creating a tropical island feel with bold colors or a restful palette with soothing shades of pastels and greens.”
Color is a powerful tool to have in your marketing arsenal, and knowing the trends allows you to provide what customers are looking for.
The Spring 2013 Pantone Color Report, part of the Pantone Fashion + Home , supports Garden Media’s own research, predicting consumers’ preference for bold, bright colors that are uplifting and soothing at the same time. These colors, from metallic bronze to true red, impact end-user purchases, particularly in the lawn and garden industry.
“The big news is that any shade of green is being treated as a neutral color in everything from fashion to home décor. Luckily for us, we’ve already got green going on in the original green industry,” McCoy says.
Trendy colors from metallics and energizing blues, yellows and purples to shades of green mimic nature and evoke positive emotions. This is mirrored in Pantone’s palette for spring 2013. The colors are a range of bright, cheerful colors.
In particular, Pantone predicts that three shades of green will be hot in spring 2013:
• Tender Shoots: a vibrant, invigorating, active and cheerful yellow-green
• Grayed Jade: a subtle, hushed green with a gray undertone
• Sophisticated Emerald: a lively, radiant green
Other colors that Pantone predicts will be big in 2013 are:
• Exotic African Violet: a statement purple color that brings a touch of intrigue to the palette
• Poppy Red: a seductive, sensual and celebratory shade of true red
• Nectarine: a bright, effervescent citrus orange with coral undertones provides a tangy burst of flavor
• Lemon Zest: with a refreshing, spritely greenish cast
• Dusk Blue: offers a calming sense of serenity akin to its green counter part, Grayed Jade. Both of these colors act as the season’s newest neutrals.
• Linen: a warm neutral, is light and airy, providing a nude-like basic that is a must-have for spring
• Anchoring Monaco Blue: a classic shade that offers both stability and depth to the entire palette.
McCoy adds that she also sees purples being used as a new neutral.
“From deep plum to lavender and gray, shades of purple will be popular color choices for a sophisticated, yet cheerful landscape. Yellow is the complimentary color to purple and will also be popular.”
There are plenty of opportunities to mix bright gold and silver metallics, neutral browns and grays for a more upbeat, hip look in both small and large urban gardens.
Planning Your Palette
So, how do you incorporate these new color trends into your plans? Marta Maria Garcia, marketing director for Costa Farms, a large grower of tropical, perennial and bedding plants in Gould, Fla., explains how color strongly influences new plant offerings and accessories.
“We are always on the lookout at trade shows throughout the world, scouting for trendy colors, the latest designs and new plants that provide gardeners with the ‘next big thing’ they would want in their own landscapes,” Garcia says.
Costa Farms recently released a dozen hot-colored flowers in the Tropic Escape Hibiscus collection, which offers bright colors and attributes gardeners will be looking for. The oversized flowers come in trendy colors like Caribbean Cocktail yellow, Tiki Temptation orange, and Monsoon Mixer pink. Plus, the easy-care hibiscus bloom twice as long as old-fashioned hibiscus and can take the heat through the hottest summer months.
Consumers also want four seasons of color throughout the year. New this year are some attractive edible ornamentals that are going to change how gardeners think about berries.
An award-winning new blueberry, Vaccinium ‘Peach Sorbet’ is part of the BrazelBerries Collection of new dwarf edible ornamentals from Fall Creek Farm & Nursery. A four-season showstopper, this compact blueberry plant has leaves ranging in color from peach to pink to orange to emerald green in the spring and in cooler climates. During the winter, the foliage turns a rich eggplant purple. In addition, the very dwarf hardy blueberry, Vaccinium ‘Jelly Bean,’ adds trendy year-round color perfect for patios or balconies or throughout the landscape.
First And Last Impression
Nothing says, “Hello” like a shot of color. It could be all white. It could be varying shades of purple. Beautiful landscapes and gardens peppered with colorful plants increase property values and retail sales.
For most homeowners, curb appeal is their home’s calling card. Dr. Charlie Hall, professor of horticulture at Texas A&M and holder of the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture, found that landscaping yields an average of a 109 percent return on every dollar spent, much more than other home improvements. He also reports that home improvement sales are projected to be up 4 percent next year.
“What an opportunity to sell some color for instant impact,” McCoy says. “The garden industry needs to anticipate an increased demand for plants with trendy colorful blooms that bring on a happy, positive feeling.”
Remember, whether it’s choosing landscape plants for a first house or sprucing up a front yard with flowers, most people want colorful, easy, low-maintenance plants.
McCoy insists it’s important to keep communication flowing among growers, retailers and end-users by using emerging trends to increase profits and grow the bottom line.
“Develop relationships with breeders who are visiting trade shows throughout the world to stay current on new flowering shrubs and products that provide easy beauty for landscapes and gardens,” she says. “Read magazines like Greenhouse Grower and other trade publications both in and outside the industry.”
McCoy says growers can use color to help grow their customer base.
“Take these ideas to your customers and show them how to integrate color trends into their strategic planning. Offer opportunities for feedback and time to share experiences and ideas.
“If people are seeking happiness in ordinary things, then the life-enriching benefits of plants should be an easy message to leverage and communicate,” she says.
You can view the complete Garden Media report at GardenMediaGroup.com. GG