Gardeners urged to paint district yellow

A Tour de France-themed garden on show earlier this year
A Tour de France-themed garden on show earlier this year

Gardeners across Harrogate district are being encouraged to plant sunflowers and other yellow blooms in honour of the Tour de France.

It is hoped thousands of yellow flowers – in gardens, roadsides and in hanging baskets – will line the route of the Grand Départ on the weekend of July 5 and 6 next year.

The Royal Horticultural Society, working with Welcome to Yorkshire, the tourism agency which led the 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 kinds of plants with yellow flowers or foliage – including sunflowers, fields of which famously line parts of the route in southern France, and four varieties of yellow rose – tips on when to plant them and how to maintain them.

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 disp franlays that will wow the crowds next summer.”

Ruth Evans, of the RHS, said: “Yellow 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.”

Welcome to Yorkshire and the RHS are working with all local authorities, Britain in Bloom, schools and parish councils along the routes to share the factsheet and to encourage communities to think yellow.

l A three-day festival will offer cycling fans the chance to watch their sporting heroes ride through the district.

The Harewood festival will offer camping so that visitors can enjoy the Tour experience all weekend and, when the riders have raced through the grounds of Harewood House, view the rest of the action on big screens.

Visitors will benefit from a large Expo with major and emerging cycling and outdoor brands represented, as well as on-site entertainment including films, live music, interactive cycling demonstrations and talks.

Keep up-to-date with the latest Tour news at our website www.harrogateadvertiser.co.uk