Chicago Spring Annuals

Every year Pantone* picks a color (or colors as is this year) that launches new trends in fashion and design. For Pantone it is “a symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.”

This year Pantone chose two shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity, which got us thinking. Since we’re always looking for new ideas we thought it’d be fun to create a spring annual garden using just these two shades. The combination of these annuals creates a beautifully fragrant, textural display. If you love the two-shades but want to add a little more, try white blooming plants for evening interest or greens for a springtime feel.

Grape Hyacinth.


Muscari armeniacum is a spring flowering bulb that stands about 6-10” tall that will begin to bloom in April. This bulb does well in in Chicago and should be planted in the fall for spring blooms. Or, it can be purchased in bloom for instant planting. It comes in shades of blue, purple, and white.

Photo: https://www.steenvoorden.nl/Catalogus/?group=14


Hyacinthus orienatlis is one of the most fragrant flowers of the spring and does not disappoint. In Chicago, hyacinth bulbs can be planted in the fall for spring blooms or can be purchased in bloom for instant planting. The plant will grow 10-18” tall. The flower heads do get top-heavy, so be ready to stake them or just enjoy their arching habit.

Photo: https://www.7flowers.ru/catalog/Bulbs/professional/Hyacinth-Marconi.jpg

Senetti Baby True Blue.

Pericallis hybrid is a cool weather annual that looks a lot like daisies. Its blooms are about 1.5 -2” and the plant height is about 12″. There are a total of 12 available colors in shades of pinks and purples!

Photo: https://powerflowers.com/


Ranunculus asiaticus is a cool weather annual in Chicago. The paper-like petals create a beautifully layered bloom that is from 1 – 3” in diameter. Plant height is from 12-16″ tall. Colors range from yellows, pinks, oranges, reds, whites , greens, and purples. Die-back will be its most serious problem when the temperatures heat up.

Photo: http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2011/05/03/top-selling-flowers.html


Lobelia erinus is a trailing variety that provides a beautiful edge to containers and landscape beds. The blooms are about .5” in size and thrive in cool temperatures. Die-back will be its most serious problem when the temperatures heat up. Colors range from whites, blues, and purples.

Photo: https://www.bloomsbythebox.com/blog/


Antirrhinum majus is a common spring annual that is planted either in ground or in containers that stands about 12-18” tall. It comes in a variety of colors from whites, yellows, oranges and pinks which makes it a fun pop of color.

Photo: https://www.mainwholesaleflorist.com/


Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, is the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries. The PANTONE® name is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer.



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