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Into the Garden: 'Tangerine Tango' will be hot in the garden, too

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I was honored and humbled to talk to the Kanawha County Master Gardeners earlier this month. Talk about preaching to the choir!

As I looked over the group, I felt like I was giving my first book report in grade school -- nervous, excited and just thrilled to be a part of something so good. The knowledge of the gardeners in that room was intimidating, to say the least.

They asked me to talk about what's new in gardening. Typically, this would mean what plants will be hot this summer. I gave them a bit of this, but then I launched into a spiel about the trends in gardening marketing, plant development and changes in the industry in general. This week, I'll give you the new plants. Next week, the new trends in the field of plants.

Tangerine Tango is the hot new color being promoted in the fashion and home goods industry. The plant industry has long embraced this hue as a perfect foil to anything blue in the garden.

As a trend in gardening, however, more plant producers are visiting fashion runways and gift shows to see what consumers are purchasing -- so they can tailor their new plants to the tastes of the new generation of gardeners.

The color, listed as Pantone 17-1463 TCX, follows 2011's Honeysuckle and 2010's Turquoise. The global color authorities at Pantone predict reddish orange will be the next biggest thing.

I love how Pantone pitches to both sides of the brain -- the cool names like "Tangerine Tango" put my right brain into a bit of a spin. But then they give you specific numbers (used in the printing industry and in manufacturing to make sure the color mix is the same each time it is produced) to let my left brain feel secure.

So if the marketing plan works for you, go out and buy a new handbag and a throw pillow in Tangerine Tango, and then look for these plants for your 2012 garden.

Danziger, a producer of bedding plants, says it will feature a begonia in 2012 that fits the new color called 'Sparkler Scarlet.' A New Guinea impatiens called 'Strike Orange' is another Danziger plant that's got the orange Pantone color in its blooms.

Monrovia's new plant offerings include a Belgian hybrid orange bush lily (Clivia miniata 'Belgian Hybrid Orange'), a shade-loving show-stopper that is a perennial in zones 9 through 11, so it will act as an annual in our area.

The company's also touting the 'Alabama Jubilee' daylily, with its huge, fiery red-orange flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden.

Plant Haven, an independent agency that helps bring new plant varieties to market, is promoting eminent breeder Keith Hammett's distinctive new dahlia series this spring, including Mystic Enchantment, with bright orange-red blossoms with central dark discs. The agency also recommends Geum 'Totally Tangerine,' with deep green, fuzzy foliage forming a compact mound that measures about 14 inches tall. In full bloom, the plants measure 30 inches tall and are covered with tangerine orange flowers.

North Carolina nursery Prairie Delights introduced an Alstroemeria lily called 'Tangerine Tango' last year, produced by Cornell's Mark Bridgen. It looks yellow to me. This year's new Echinacea, 'Tangerine Dream' coneflower, fits the Pantone color scheme much better.

Vote for cherry tree

In 1912, the mayor of Tokyo gave Washington, D.C., the gift of 3,000 cherry trees to denote the friendship between the United States and Japan. Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates this gift with the nation's greatest springtime celebration. Now, 100 years later, the flowering cherry tree remains an American favorite.

In honor of the festival's centennial celebration, all Americans are invited to cast their vote for America's Favorite Cherry Tree, with winner announced on April 27. (That date is the final day of the National Cherry Blossom Festival and Arbor Day 2012.)

To vote, visit www.arborday.org/cherryvote/.

2012 garden calendar

The very useful (and very lime-green colored) 2012 West Virginia University Extension Service Garden Calendar is available by calling 304-720-9573. You can stop by the extension office, 4700 MacCorkle Ave. in Kanawha City, to pick one up as well.

Reach Sara Busse at sara.busse@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.


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