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Eyes of Emerald Green

Here we go with another year and with it another Pantone Color of the Year. This year’s Pantone color is Emerald 17-5641.

Image courtesy of www.pantone.com

Image courtesy of www.pantone.com

It is much bluer in the Pantone World than in the Irvin World and that’s alright. My colors rarely match the accepted color of the moment. Even 2012’s Tango Tangerine was a bit redder than I like my oranges. And 2011’s Honeysuckle could have been pinker or more magenta. I know. I’m a little picky. But I’m also practical enough to work with reality, as nature does not always provide the exact color I truly desire. And certainly green, whether true emerald or not, is the dominant color in the world I work in. And just look at all those words associated with emerald.

The Pantone website says “Lively. Radiant. Lush… A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.” Well now, who does not want more well-being, balance, and harmony? Sign me up!

I think of emerald as the color of the gem.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

The problem there is that light plays on and in and off that material. While that happens to some degree with a leaf, it is hardly the same. But don’t think for a second that that has stopped plant people from using the word emerald to name plants. So if you want to keep that Pantone Garden you created current, here are a few more plants you might include.

How about a Viburnum? Certainly the viburnums are some of our most popular and useful shrubs. ‘Emerald Triumph’ is a hybrid between V. ‘Allegheny’ and V. burejaeticum (never heard of that one). Blooms in April-May, deciduous, 6-8 feet tall and wide. The red berries turn black and leaves turn bronze to dark red in the fall according to the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Image courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Image courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

And then we have Emerald Charm™ (Viburnum rufidulum ‘Morton’), a cultivar of southern black-haw.

Image courtesy of www.mortonarb.org.

Image courtesy of www.mortonarb.org.

Image courtesy of  www.mortonarb.org.

Image courtesy of www.mortonarb.org.

You can use the term southern black –haw if viburnum is simply too complicated. This one gets pretty big at 10-12 feet tall and wide. Fruit color is blue-black, fall color is burgundy to scarlet red. It has glossy foliage throughout the season with the added bonus of exceptional fall color. It is a Chicagoland Grows™ introduction.

One of the plants that say spring to me is creeping phlox, Phlox subulata. Two cultivars that have been around for some time are ‘Emerald Pink’ and ‘Emerald Blue.’

Image courtesy of www.ecgrowers.com.

Image courtesy of www.ecgrowers.com.

Image courtesy of www.ecgrowers.com.

Image courtesy of www.ecgrowers.com.

These plants have a short window of bloom, but because they are so early they make quite an impression. Plus they seem to thrive in less than ideal situations, often sort of thrown out on a bank along the street and abandoned.  I admit these were in my mind even more because of a note from Emerald Coast Growers about the color of the year.

I’ll take this moment to say I am a big fan of green flowers also. Zinnia ‘Envy’ remains a favorite in the garden and in the vase.

Image courtesy of www.botanicalinterests.com.

Image courtesy of www.botanicalinterests.com.

And of course there are a few Gladiolous available as well – ‘Green Woodpecker’ and this one, ‘Green Star’, are the most commonly available.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of www. brentandbeckysbulbs.com

Green flowers go great with hot colors like orange and magenta or with cool colors like blue and white. Very delicious in either palette.

But emerald isn’t always good. Let us not forget the eyes of that good-for-nothing hussy, that hussy they call…….. Jolene.

Filed under: Horticulture

One Response to “Eyes of Emerald Green”

  • avatar
    Pamela Says:

    When I learned that the color for 2013 is emerald green I was tickled pink! As a gardener, green is the color of success. As a handcrafter of beaded jewelry, my eyes sparkled to think of shopping for faceted emerald rondels and crystals. My late mother’s birthstone is emerald. And as for the unlucky number 13, I view this proclamation from Pantone as a sign that this year will be very profitable, as in rolling in the gr$$nbacks.

    Happy Lucky ’13!

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