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For Color Trends, Look to Garden Roses

Take a look at any color-trends palette for 2019, and you’ll find that forecasters are embracing everything in-between—blended hues that look as though an artist took the colors out of the paint box and started mixing them together.

Today’s color trends have moved beyond the dominance of just a few popular hues. Where wedding couples used to insist on solid, uniform colors (a flower hue to match the bridesmaid dresses), today the trend is toward color shifting to embrace those transitional, in-between tones.

“Garden roses typically have a depth of color,” says wedding designer and top influencer Holly Heider Chapple. “And because we want to use them so much in our designs, they make us push our color boundaries.”

Vivid Colors

Living Coral, Pantone’s color of the year, is a great example of the blended tones that are on-trend this year. The shade is really a reddish mix of pink and orange. In fresh flowers, it’s not easy to find a perfect match—but Alexandra Farms’ Japanese garden rose Princess Aiko (Beloved) offers a vivid pairing of pink and peach. The cabbage garden rose Romantic Antike also fills the bill nicely, with a softer version of Living Coral in the center petals, surrounded by outer petals in dusty pink.

Princess Aiko (Beloved) and Romantic Antike

Muted and Muddied Hues

Tones such as dusty rose, sage green and Wedgwood blue are dominating the 2019 palettes. Even the more vibrant colors are tempered with rich, earthy undertones: the brighter burgundy that is sometimes called berry pink—think of Darcey or Kate—or the warm, faintly gold yellow (known as sun yellow) that’s found in the center petals of Beatrice.

Beatrice™ (Auslevity) and Darcey™ (Auschariot)

Other Garden Rose Varieties to Try in 2019

As another good example of the in-between tones that are in high demand, Holly points to Constance. In this garden rose, the mingling of delicate pinks and cream yields a delicious ombré effect that changes as the rose opens and varies from one blossom to the next.

You can also look at Juliet, the well-known David Austin garden rose. “It’s the perfect peach,” Holly says, “with a creamy base and so much texture and tone that it goes with red, with purples, blushes, whites. We are mixing colors in combinations that we wouldn’t have seen before, all because of the garden roses.”

Constance™ (Austruss) and Juliet™ (Ausjameson)

Peach, of course, took the market by storm just after Juliet made her debut. “From 2003 to 2009 I sold probably one peach wedding,” recalls wedding florist Alicia Schwede of Bella Fiori and the florist blog Flirty Fleurs. “Then, along came Juliet, and peach became the ‘in color.’” Not just Juliet’s delicate, distinctive tint, but everything about this rose—the cup shape, the pleated petals—sold wedding couples everywhere on peach, she explains.

The Artist Behind the Trend

What’s the inspiration for all this blending and nuance? Chalk it up to that master colorist, Mother Nature. She put some of her best work into garden roses—which just might be the epitome of the strong trend toward blended hues and what is being called “color shifting,” with subtle variations within a narrow range of color.

Garden roses from Alexandra Farms are grown in greenhouses, which provide the perfect environment for strong, healthy, blemish-free flowers. But in their botanical heritage they mimic the way garden roses that are grown outdoors may blush or pale, depending on the weather. These special color qualities of garden roses are part of what makes consumers feel drawn into closer contact with nature. And that is very much on-trend in every way.


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