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Classic Blue: 2020 Color of the Year

Every year Pantone selects a color of the year to catch our eye and inspire our imaginations. This year, it’s Classic Blue.

"It's a color that anticipates what's going to happen next," said Laurie Pressman, the vice president of the Pantone Color Institute.

With that in mind, let’s see what might come next in the garden this year, shall we?

This low-grower is gaining more and more popularity and it’s easy to see why. 'Gold ’n Sapphires' caps its lime green foliage with loads of classic blue flowers for a good portion of the season. Reasonably drought resistant and trouble-free once established, it adds drama and color to a rock garden or under a clump of eye-popping Monarda 'Cherry Pops'. Yummy!

In early spring, classic blue bursts among the silver toned leaves of 'Majeste'. One of the earliest blooming perennial plants, clusters of blue bell-shaped flowers can be seen even before the snow melts in some areas. Pollinators love the early treat. Like all Pulmonaria, it’s a quick and easy grower – making you look like a pro.

OK, so maybe this isn’t as "classic blue" as Pantone suggests, but you can’t deny that 'Marina' is a very blue Sedum – the bluest of the mid-height varieties. Add a wave of cool hues among other colorful selections like the deep foliage of Penstemon 'Dark Towers' or the hot pinks of Achillea 'Saucy Seduction'. We think you’ll like the look.

This native selection, called Lead Plant, is a large plant with gray-green foliage. When it blooms, the deep blue stalks get a sprinkling of orange pollen for a designers’ dream come true. Oranges and yellows add hot spice to blues so pair this with Asclepias tuberosa for a winning color combination.

Classic blue is made for summer, just like 'Royal Rembrandt'. Long torches of perfect blue rise in summer and keep blooming until a hard freeze. Veronica is a popular stop for all kinds of pollinators. Dainty Sulphur butterflies and pudgy bumble bees are frequent visitors to the abundant true blue flowers. Veronica is easy to grow and establishes in a clump that stays put. Its vertical presence combines beautifully with rounder plant forms like Gaillardia 'Mesa Yellow' or Bergenia 'Angel Kiss'.

Flowers don’t have to carry the whole load for adding classic blue to the garden. Think colorful pots, painted Adirondack chairs or the darkening sky reflected on the surface of still water. Classic blue adds a serenity to balance the energy of pinks, yellows, reds and oranges.

So what comes next for classic blue in your garden?

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