Flowering seasons will overlap, especially when the weather is variable. Research the plants you like to check that your garden can provide their growing requirements; for example, whether the plants need a sunny spot or shade, sandy or moist soil, and so on.
Surprisingly, orange flowers are the least common of all colours, appearing in a limited range of plants.
If you’re planning a warm colour scheme, see our suggestions for red flowers and yellow flowers. For breaking up blocks of bright colour, see our suggestions for white flowers.
Orange flowers for your spring garden
‘Orange Beauty’ is one of the smaller rhododendrons, as are ‘Trewithen Orange’ with deep orange flowers and ‘Unique Marmalade’ with hints of pink in the orange; ‘Geisha Orange’ is a closely related azalea that can be grown in a pot.
An unexpected splash of colour in the borders comes from ‘Gipsy Queen’, the only orange hyacinth, but the most stunning spring bulb has to be the crown imperial lily, Fritillaria imperialis, over 1m tall with big drooping orange bells crowned with a tuft of leafy bracts.
Perhaps more copper-toned than true orange, Geum rivale ‘Leonard’s Variety’ has simple nodding flowers.
Orange flowers for your summer garden
Orange summer climbers
Summer brings spectacular flowering climbers. Campsis radicans, the trumpet vine can have red or orange trumpet-shaped flowers so buy it when in flower to be sure; the variety ‘Madame Galen’ is paler orange.
Eccremocarpus scaber, the fast-growing Chilean glory flower, has sprays of tubular orange flowers.
Less exotic, honeysuckle ‘Mandarin’ is a variety with orange flowers.
Orange flowers for a summer border
Continue the orange theme in the borders with free-flowering Crocosmia varieties such as ‘Star of the East’ and ‘Severn Sunrise’ and daylilies Hemerocallis ‘Burning Daylight’ and ‘Frans Hals’.
Read our guide to growing crocosmias.
True lilies also come in shades of orange: ‘Orange County’ has robust stems packed with scented flowers; ‘Karen North’ is a turkscap lily with more delicate drooping blooms, as is Lilium pyrenaicum var. rubrum. Ginger lilies are related to culinary ginger: Hedychium ‘Tara’ has eye-catching spikes of fragrant orange flowers. Helianthemum ‘Fire Dragon’ is an evergreen rockrose with papery flat orange blooms.
Orange summer annuals
The easiest way to introduce orange into your colour scheme is to grow some marigolds (Calendula) from seed. You’ll find a range of shades that are self-explanatory, from ‘Neon’ to ‘Orange King’ to ‘Apricot Pygmy’. Tagetes or African marigolds are not as hardy as calendulas and need to be started off indoors; the flowers are like pompoms.
An orange rose
‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ has full bright orange blooms that are highly scented.
Orange flowers for your autumn garden
As usual dahlias are key to autumn colour and there are lots of shades to choose from, from marmalade ‘East Anglian’ with neat round heads to spiky-flowered ‘Paul Chester’ in tones of peach, to shaggy ‘Corton Olympic’ with hints of bronze. Annual easy-to-grow zinnias look like small dahlias and flower at the same time – they come in bright orange but usually seeds are sold as a mixture rather than single colours, though look out for ‘Zahara Fire’.