Apricot roses are a favourite with gardeners who want the best of both worlds – soft pastel colours that also have an intensity of colour that stands up to our long, sunny days.
British gardener Monty Don regards apricot as an elusive colour, and he is right. At the lighter end of the spectrum, apricot mixed with cream and pink produce dreamy specimens like ‘Moonlight Panarosa’, ‘Amarula Profusion’ and the climber ‘Crepuscule’.
At the other end of the spectrum, deepertoned apricot roses edge towards bronze, like ‘Marjorie Chase’, or the ‘Easy Does It’ melange of orange, peach, pink and apricot, while the large blooms of ‘Helpmekaar Roos’ take on shades of apricot-cherry brandy.
Even the classic ‘Just Joey’ changes with the weather, gaining intensity in cooler weather and autumn days. She is not pure apricot, but a subtle play of shades from creamy petal edges to an intense copper apricot heart.
The truest apricot roses are Fairytale roses ‘Clocolan’ and ‘Avril Elizabeth Home’. Both are disease-resistant Eco-Chic roses that produce full, multi-petalled blooms.
‘Clocolan’ grows to shoulder height, producing clusters of long-stemmed cuttable blooms, and needs very little care. ‘Avril Elizabeth Home’ is more compact and suitable for containers, with large, heavy blooms at the end of arching stems. It is a less upright, more informal plant.
The ‘Nomzamo‘ rose epitomise romance, with large, full-petalled old-fashioned blooms that are produced in an endless supply on healthy, glossy plants. The blooms are a warm salmon apricot, aging to dusky pink.
Using apricot roses
The softer apricot shades blend easily with other roses, adding warmth and depth to beds with roses in other pastel shades. For a more exciting effect, use brighter apricot roses, with stronger tones of orange and yellow, to complement reds, blues and purples.
Rose care for December
- Water deeply at least twice a week.
- If you are at home in December, fertilise with Vigorosa in mid-December.