Gardening: Yellows, apricots and oranges in fashion

Looking for some floral inspiration? David Austin Roses has a great 15 per cent saving on roses.

Yellows, apricots and oranges are fashionable this year but they’ll stand the test of time in such warm shades.

Here are six favourites, all bred by David Austin:


The Lady Gardener (shrub rose): Large, full-petalled rich apricot blooms with a strong, tea scent. Repeat flowering and good for disease resistance, price from £16.50.

Grace (English shrub rose): Produces many charming, pure apricot rosettes with a warm tea fragrance. Very healthy and repeat flowers extremely well. RHS Award of Garden Merit, from £16.50.

The Poet’s Wife (English shrub rose): Cupped flowers of strong, unfading yellow with a rich, fruity fragrance. Low, naturally rounded growth, repeat flowering and ideal for containers, from £16.50.

Roald Dahl (English shrub rose): Very free-flowering peach blooms, produced almost continuously. Orange-red buds open to cupped peach rosettes with a lovely tea fragrance.

Rosa 'Grace'

It matures into a very attractive, rounded, bushy shrub with few thorns. £2.50 from the sale of each rose will be donated to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, from £19.95.

Lady of Shalott (English shrub rose): Striking apricot-yellow, chalice-shaped blooms. It’s very healthy with vigorous, bushy growth, so is ideal for inexperienced gardeners and poor soil. Good for disease resistance and repeat flowering. RHS Award of Garden Merit, from £16.50.

Charlotte (English shrub rose): Exquisite cup-shaped flowers with pleasant tea fragrance with attractive bushy growth. Excellent repeat-flowering and good for disease resistance. RHS Award of Garden Merit, from £16.50.

To claim your discount, enter code KCM in your basket by April 11.

Lady of Shalott. Picture David Austin Roses

For more information on these and other roses, visit


The soil will still be warming up, so delay seed sowing in open soil until you can see weeds growing strongly.

As weeds start to emerge and flourish, hoe regularly to stop them becoming a problem. Remember to check under cloches too. Weeds grow particularly well in the warm conditions. Get to know what vegetable seedlings look like, so you don’t hoe them off by mistake.


Dig in overwintered green manures three to four weeks before you want to use the ground. Using a sharp spade, turn the plants back into the soil, chopping them up as you go.

As climbing roses send out shoots, pull them down to the horizontal. This will encourage flowering shoots to emerge all along the stem.

Pot on dahlia and begonia tubers and pinch out tips of fuchsias and other half-hardy plants.

Sow perennials in modules or small pots. Prick out once leaves are large enough to handle. Plant out when well-established. Some perennials may flower this year, others will take longer.

Plant up hanging baskets. This gives them plenty of time to bulk up. If you use fuchsias, remember that they prefer shadier conditions, so sit them under the staging out of direct sunlight.

If your lawn is filled with moss, now’s the time to address the situation, as it’s a symptom of an underlying problem.

Rosa 'Grace'

Compaction, too-close mowing, acid conditions, heavy shade and damp conditions will trigger moss development.

Identify the problem, then resolve it.

Hard-prune shrubby herbs such as sage, cotton lavender (Santolina), bay and rue. This will encourage vigorous new growth and side-shoots. Trim old stems from marjoram and savory, if not already done.

Prune lavender into shape, taking care not to cut into the old wood. Offcuts can be used as softwood cuttings. Old, woody plants are best removed.

Lady of Shalott. Picture David Austin Roses