Color of the Year: Marsala in the Garden

Photo from

Photo from

A nice glass of Marsala, anyone? Over the next year, you can expect to see more foliage and flowers boasting the Pantone Color of the Year for 2015, a wine red called Marsala.

Pantone is¬†a company that provides graphic designers, printers, and others with a systematic way to identify and label color tones. Each year, they select a color that reflects the times, or at least the design sensibility of the moment. In 2009, it was a sunny yellow that matched the dress Michelle Obama wore at her husband’s first inaugural. In 2012, it was a bright tangerine orange, which seemed to be featured on every plate, dress and plant that year. In 2014, the color was Radiant Orchid, an almost fuchsia purple.


Expect to see more wine-colored foliage this year.

Marsala is an earthier tone, somewhere between red and burgundy with a brown undertone. The folks at Pantone describe it as earthy and adaptable, a color both men and women like. “This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors,” says the Pantone website.

How will it translate in the garden? Think the rich foliage of coleus or some of the new begonias (we have an article on leaf-centric begonias in the next issue of Northern Gardener). ¬†Columnist Rhonda Fleming Hayes remarked on Facebook that the color is very similar to a ‘Chocolate’ cosmos she grew this year.

What pairs well with Marsala?

Pantone shows it with a variety of green tones as well as gray and even purple. Look for lots of Marsala at garden centers this spring and add an Italian touch to your northern garden.

Leave a Comment