The Pantone Color Institute has recently announced its color of the year.  The color is selected to reflect the year ahead.  This year they actually selected two colors.  The two hues are a vibrant yellow called Illuminating and a neutral color called Ultimate Gray.  

According to Laurie Pressman, Vice-President of the Pantone Color Institute, "It's a combination that speaks to the resilience, the optimism and hope, and positivity that we need, as we reset, renew, reimagine and reinvent.”  She also went on to say that “It's the first time an achromatic shade (gray) has been selected, and the second time two colors have been chosen.”  These two independent colors can come together to convey a message of strength and hopefulness.

Here are some yellow and gray plants that would look great in your garden or containers:

 

Yellow

Black-Eyed Susan – This hardy perennial plant is a member of the sunflower family with bright yellow petals and a deep black center.  It is a Native American plant also known as Rudbeckia Hirta.  The daisy-like flower blooms from summer through fall and when in full bloom it will be a showstopper in the garden.  The average height is about three feet but there are smaller and taller varieties too.  How tall they grow is dependent on their location, care, and weather conditions. In a pollinator garden, the flower is a big hit.  It is low maintenance and can be grown from seeds.

Kelvin Floodlight Dahlia – This prize-winning Dinnerplate Dahlia is deep yellow and will be eye-catching in your garden.  The flower is huge (7-8 inches) with deep green foliage.  The plant will grow 3-4 feet tall. It is an easy Dahlia to grow and is great for beginners. The flowers look wonderful as part of a floral arrangement.  Flowers will appear in late summer and grow until the first frost. Dahlias can be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost, sown directly in the garden after frost, or grown from potted plants or tubers.  We find tubers the easiest way to get started.  During the growing season, make sure you keep plants well-watered, especially during dry spells.  Plant in a full sun location in rich moist soil as the more sun Dahlias get the more flowers that will bloom.   Dahlias can be grown in zones 3-10, but the tubers need to be dug up in colder zones.

Eremurus Stenophyllus - Eremurus Stenophyllus is also known as Foxtail Lily and has numerous yellow bell-shaped flowers on tall flower stalks. The plant has narrow leaves that form tufts. It blooms in the summer and grows 6 – 8 feet.  Plant Eremurus Stenophyllus in a sunny location in well-drained soil. Keep the soil moist but not soggy during the growth and flowering phase. After flowering, the water can be reduced. Eremurus Stenophyllus is a low maintenance plant and great for beginners. Eremurus Stenophyllus attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Hardiness Zones 5-9. 

Sandersonia aurantiaca – This tender perennial is native to South Africa and has eye-catching bell-shaped yellow/orange flowers.  Delicate flowers cover the plant with thimble-sized blooms. It is also known as Chinese Lantern Lily or Christmas Bells.  The plant is easy to grow and makes a pretty cut flower.  The flower blooms in late spring to early summer and lasts up to three weeks.  It grows 20-30 inches tall. Sandersonia aurantiaca loves a sunny location and needs to be planted in well-drained soil. The plant only needs water during the growing period until it has fully bloomed. They do not like being wet in the winter. It is deer resistant.  Hardy for zones 9-10.

Stella D’Oro Daylily – This prize-winning; number one Daylily in the US has the most eye-catching bright yellow flowers.  Stella D’oro Daylily stands for “Star of Gold”.  The fragrant flowers start blooming in early summer and it is a rebloomer. There are many places to grow these flowers.  Use them as edging in your front garden as they are short compared to other Daylilies. This low maintenance flower is a perennial. Daylilies don't grow from bulbs like true lilies.  They are grown from bare roots.  Butterflies love this flower.  It is hardy for zones 2-9.

Gray

Dusty Miller - The plant is a tender perennial and originates from the arid regions of the Mediterranean. It is also known as silver ragwort or jacobaea maritima.  The fern-like foliage is a silvery grayish-green color to nearly white, that almost looks like lace.  The plant produces mustard yellow flowers.   Dusty Miller can be planted in full sun but can also tolerate afternoon shade.  The soil conditions can be poor but it should be well-draining.  It is drought tolerant and looks excellent in garden containers.  The plant will look great in a moonlight garden. When they start to get leggy cut them back and they will continue to grow.  The plant can be grown from cuttings or seeds.

Lamb’s Ear – Lamb’s Ear is a perennial plant and got its name because of the shape of its leaves.  They are fuzzy, large, oval, and silver.  It is grown as a ground cover but be careful it can be invasive.  From May to July the plant has tall purple flower spikes.  The leaves have tiny white hairs, which help keep the moisture in the plant and help make it drought tolerant.  If you have a child this plant is a great addition to your garden.  They enjoy touching and stroking the soft leaves. Another plus is deer do not like this plant. The plant can grow in most soil conditions except for soggy soil. Lamb's Ears can grow as high as 18 inches with a similar spread. It is hardy for zones 4 to 8 and grows best in full sun.

Senecio Angel Wings - Senecio Angel Wings, also referred to as Senecio Candicans, is a tender perennial with stunning foliage like the popular Dusty Miller.  The white, grayish foliage has velvety leaves.  Its leaves are heart-shaped and each leaf grows about 7 inches tall and 5 inches wide.  The plant grows 16 inches wide and has a distinctive wing-like look.  Grow the plant in a sunny location but it can also do well in a bright location with shade.  Once it has fully established, it only requires regular watering during the dry season.  The plant needs to be watered regularly during its initial planting phase.  After that allow the plant to dry between watering and avoid overwatering it.  The plant will look great in mixed containers, with other plants, as a focal point in pots, borders, and beds.  The color and unique texture of the plant mixes well with other annuals and perennials.  It can also do well in the garden as the only plant in a container.  It looks great both indoors and outdoors.

Silver Falls Dichondra – Silver Falls Dichondra is an annual plant and a vigorous grower with small fan-shaped silver foliage on silver stems.  The leaves actually resemble miniature lily pads. This trailing plant is mainly grown as a ground cover but to us, it looks best in a hanging basket, a container, or even grown on a wall. It is a low maintenance plant that is both drought and heat tolerant. In a container, it looks great growing with brightly colored annual flowers.  You can buy it as a small plant or grow it from seeds.  The plant does best in dry conditions, so let it dry out between waterings.

Silver Mound Artemisia – This perennial plant has soft, fern-like foliage that is silvery-gray.  It is a small plant and grows in a bush-like form, typically growing wider than taller.  The foliage adds texture to the garden and makes a great compliment to bright colorful flowers.  It is a low maintenance plant and looks great month after month.  Silver Mound grows well in many soil conditions and is drought tolerant.  For best results grow it in full to partial sun in well-drained soil.  It can also be grown in containers.  The plant is resistant to deer, rabbits, and many pests and is great for containers, rock gardens, or plant beds.  It is hardy for zones 3-7.

Try adding yellow and gray to your garden this year and let us know your favorite yellow and gray flowers!

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