For over 600 years the symbol of Yorkshire has been the white rose but all that is about to change as gardeners across the county are encouraged to swap white roses for yellow in honour of the Tour de France 2014.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), working in conjunction with Welcome to Yorkshire, the tourism agency which led the successful bid to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire, is producing a factsheet to help gardeners turn Yorkshire yellow next summer.
It contains over 80 different kinds of plants with yellow flowers or yellow foliage – including four varieties of yellow rose - tips on when to plant them and how to maintain them to ensure on the weekend of the 5th and 6th July, when the world’s largest annual sporting event races through the county, they will be at their blooming best.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The Grand Départ provides Yorkshire with a unique opportunity to showcase what the county has to offer and highlight the pride we have in our towns and villages. We understand the economic advantages of attractive places and with the help of the RHS we want to enhance the county, creating show stopping floral displays that will wow the crowds next summer.”
Ruth Evans, RHS Director of Education, Funding and Communities, said: “In honour of this glorious event we’re absolutely delighted to be helping gardeners in Yorkshire celebrate by planting yellow flowers in gardens and public spaces across the region. The colour is synonymous with the Tour de France, so what better way to celebrate the race coming to the county than by drawing on the beauty of nature and making Yorkshire glow a gorgeous yellow while the world’s spotlight is on it.”
Tracy Foster, a gold medal winning garden designer at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012 - who is based in Roundhay near Leeds - added: “I think it is a fantastic idea that a county with so many beautiful gardens should welcome the Tour de France with flowers! With a dazzling variety of yellow flowers and plants to choose from we can be really creative and make The 2014 Grand Départ even more memorable.”
Welcome to Yorkshire and the RHS are working with all local authorities, RHS Britain in Bloom groups, RHS Campaign for School Gardening schools and parish councils along the routes to share the dedicated factsheet and to encourage communities across Yorkshire to think yellow next summer when planting hanging baskets, bedding plants and perennials.
To help turn Yorkshire yellow follow this easy to use planting guide.