Sarah Raven’s curated colour palettes for 2024

Gardening expert Sarah Raven reveals her new colour palettes for herbaceous borders, displays, and floral arrangements.

Sarah Raven's curated colour palette
credit: Photography © Jonathan Buckley

Fashion is not often associated with gardening, perhaps only in terms of gardening being “trendy” or “fashion-able”. The ardent gardener will probably also dismiss fashion as a frivolity, but fashion and horticulture have a natural, yet unspoken relationship. Manoj Malde wrote an interesting article on the history of the relationship between the fashion industry and horticulture. He has an interesting perspective as he was a creative director in the fashion industry before he became a garden designer.

Fashion is a visual phenomena, in which colour plays a major role. On the catwalk, designers use colour as a source of inspiration, make a statement or connect with one’s audience and/or consumers. One of the great advocates of colour in the horticulture industry is Sarah Raven. Always with a strong emphasis on colour, Raven collections strongly resonate with the gardening public and, though rarely admitted, always tend to reverberate throughout the industry. Raven inspires industry trends as well as consumer demand for plant varieties and colours.

For 2024, the colour queen has grouped her curated choices into four palettes:

  • Dark & rich – Raven admits she is always most drawn to the dark and rich colour palette as ever since she started her gardening career, it’s still her standout favourite palette. Chestnut, mahogany, crimson, and deep purple tones, with bronze tones as seen in varieties such as ‘Rosie Raven’ and ‘Sarah Raven’.
  • Soft & Cool – Astutely called the “Pillow Talk” collection, undoubtedly named after the most iconic of lipsticks on the cosmetic market by Charlotte Tilbury, famous for its nude, pale and smoky colour. This colour palette includes the classics; Dahlia ‘Cafe au Lait’, Dahlia ‘Shiloh Noelle’, and soon to be a classic, Dahlia ‘Tsuki-yori-no-shisha’.
  • Soft & Warm – Making up her “Peach Bellini” collection, ranging from corals, vintage 1970s apricots and bronzes. Dahlia ‘Apricot Desire’, Dahlia ‘Copper Boy’, Dahlia ‘Mats’ syn ‘Mikkels’, and Dahlia ‘Peaches’.
  • Boiled Sweet – Fit for a “Maharaja’s Palace”, describes Raven. Flamboyant peacocks, pink flamingo, watermelon-esque, bold and radiant colours. Dahlia ‘Emory Paul’, Dahlia ‘Fairway Spur’, Dahlia ‘Islander’, Dahlia ‘Belle of Barmera’, and Dahlia ‘Penhill Watermelon’.

“Everyone has a different mood they wish to create, or look they want to achieve in their gardens. And it’s true that the correct colour scheme can help to create those moods. I work with four different colour palettes throughout the range, and I believe everyone has a palette they naturally lean towards that feels suited to their personalities and desired look and feel” explains Raven.

Raven has published 14 books and runs the popular Sarah Raven brand. The company was established in 1999, and offers a comprehensive range of seeds, seedlings, plants, and gardening and floristry kit, serving over 600,000 customers. The company have just acuired Taylors Clematis and her recent gardening podcast venture, ‘grow, cook, eat, arrange’ has already achieved an impressive, 3.5 million downloads.

Headline image photography © Jonathan Buckley. Products featured in the image available from Sarah Raven.