Living Coral – how and why our florists celebrate Pantone’s 2019 colour of the year
Pantone’s 2019 Colour of the Year is Living Coral (PANTONE 16-1546), described as ‘an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energises and enlivens with a softer edge’. Vibrant yet mellow, it evokes sunsets, warmth, comfort and buoyancy – a feelgood colour for what can seem uncertain times. The colour has already made it on to the catwalks in stunning designs by brands including Altuzarra, Chanel, Etro, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Brandon Maxwell and Prada. And it has been embraced by celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Amy Adams and Anne Hathaway, who wore it to promote her new film Serenity.
Yet many corals are endangered species and the world’s fragile coral reefs are deteriorating at an alarming rate. So here at The Real Flower Company, we are delighted to be able to celebrate the delicate beauty of this natural resource by embracing the 2019 Pantone Colour of the Year in our bouquets. The very name, Living Coral, is a reminder of our duty to support sustainability, a mission that forms the core of our business. The Real Flower Company was founded out of our passion to safeguard and nurture the colours and scents of real English roses and we grow our renowned blooms in conditions that preserve their organic beauty to bring you nature at her very best. We are also deeply committed to ensuring we protect the environment on and around our farms – certified under the Assured Combinable Crops Scheme and part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and Farm Wildlife Advisory Group, we have beehives dotted around our land to encourage pollinators and we use no chemicals. Even our imported roses, from our sister farm in Kenya, are grown sustainably, and by utilising spare space on passenger planes for transport, we keep their carbon footprint low.
Our florists have been waiting excitedly to start designing a Seasonal Living Coral Bouquet. That dream has now been realised – and so we caught up with the team to find out what they’ve created:
Talk us through the key stems in the bouquet and what is special about them.
We grow some beautiful coral roses at The Real Flower Company – Rene Goscinny, Romantic Antike, Scented Whisper and Anigua – as well as roses with peachier tones such as Sweet Vuvuzela, Princess Sakura, David Austin’s Juliet, Chandos Beauty and Anna Pavlova, to name just a few. This bouquet is very special because it’s just roses with no other flowers so you can truly appreciate their glory and fragrance. Plus it includes masses of foliage, and here we’ve chosen stems that perfectly complement the coral tones of the blooms. We felt that limes and deep greens would form too startling a contrast – like setting up a competition – so instead we’ve gone for glaucous tones, using olive, hebe, rosemary, eucalyptus and sage.
Fashions in foliage seem to change from year to year. Tell us the trends in 2019 and how you’ve interpreted them for your Seasonal Living Coral Bouquet design.
Foliage has been big for a few years now, especially for weddings. We also know that many interior designers use nothing but vases of eucalyptus in staging their houses – not only is in on trend, but as in a bouquet, it provides a neutral backdrop against which other elements can shine. We’ve noticed that foliage is continuing to gain in popularity this year too – and it’s usually those glaucous, bluey-grey tones that people go mad for! Instead of the obvious eucalyptus, however, for here we’ve used hebe, olive, rosemary, pistache leaves and fountain grass.
What feeling or message do coral tones bring to a bouquet?
Coral is a popular wedding colour, as well as working well as a colour around the home because of the warmth it brings. Men and women both seem to love it and it’s popular for birthday bouquets too. Corals are also linked to our body’s energy centres, our chakras, including our sacral and root points, which makes it a good gift for someone recovering from illness. And as Pantone’s choice of Living Coral highlights, it works as an extraordinary celebration of the wonders of the natural world, a colour that’s quite rare in nature – think sunsets or shellfish or coral itself – and that therefore deserves our respect and protection.
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