Taking inspiration from Pantone colour of the year 2023: Viva Magenta

Background image is of a pink and white Cosmos flower against cosmos foliage. Inset photos show pink Amaranthus flowers and the swatch for Pantone colour Viva Magenta.

Magenta is a vibrant and eye-catching colour that can add a bold statement to any garden or floral arrangement. It’s also colour-matching authority Pantone’s ‘Colour of the Year 2023’ in the form of ‘Viva Magenta’.

At Field Gate Flowers a lot of our colour palate is influenced by what brides and grooms are currently looking for in wedding floral arrangements.  Recently that has been pastels and neutrals with coral and pale greens to the fore.  However, strong colours are still very popular for our DIY buckets and in demand by the flower shops we supply. Looking around the farm, I realise that in fact we have a lot of strong pinks across a wide range of flower species.

So, for a bit of fun (and perhaps to inspire your sowing for next year), here’s my pick of the best magenta coloured blooms and foliage:

Penstemon (Penstemon spp.): Penstemons are perennial plants that produce tubular flowers that are a favourite with pollinators. They come in white, red, blue and purple but the magenta ones are my favourites. Try Harlequin Magenta.

Amaranthus caudatus: Amaranthus is an easy-to-grow plant that we grow as an annual at FGF as it won’t survive frosts.  With crimson/magenta tassel-like flowers it adds a striking touch to floral bouquets.

Dahlias (Dahlia spp.): So many varieties to choose from here and you will probably already have a favourite.  ‘Magenta Star’ is a single dahlia with open magenta petals and dramatic dark leaves.

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea): The common foxglove is a biennial or short-lived perennial that can give any other magenta-hued flower a run for its money.

Salvia ‘Love and Wishes is vibrant hybrid that stands out even in a busy border. In the UK it flowers from June to November. It will grow in part-shade or full sun and thrives in both containers and open ground. Add it to your patch!

Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Fizzy Rose Picotee’: This is one of the Cosmos varieties we selected for growing at Field Gate Flowers in 2023 and it has been a huge success (see main image).  The petals are pale pink but edged in magenta in the most intricate way – sublime.

What about foliage?

Whilst not truly magenta, these foliage choices will add a pink/purple tone to your arrangements:

Cotinus coggygria ‘Red Beauty’: Deep red/purple leaves with large wispy plumes of feather-like flowers in summer.

Common ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius): A deciduous flowering shrub that we use a lot for foliage at Field Gate Flowers.  Some varieties have deep purple leaves, others are more yellow and green. The flowers can be white or pink and appear in attractive small clusters.

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’: This variety has purple semi-evergreen leaves and is an RHS AGM (Award for Garden Merit) plant. Heuchera are clump-forming perennials so will give your borders a wonderful colour underlay even if you don’t select them for cutting.

Above: Cotinus, Heuchera, Common Ninebark

I’m sure you will have lots to add to this – please comment below with your own magenta-inspired favourites!


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