Pyracantha Golden Paradise will be launched at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show 2015, which begins next week.
Bred by Andrew Parker, Golden Paradise is the world’s first golden-leaved firethorn. It has excellent golden yellow foliage, brightest in the spring and early summer when the new growth emerges, but holding its colour well into late summer. The plant produces a good display of clusters of white flowers in early to mid summer which are then followed by orange-red berries in late autumn, which become darker in colour as they mature. The growth tips also develop a bronze tint in autumn, extending the season of interest for this variety late into the year.
Andrew Parker, a specialist landscape contractor based in Essex, identified Golden Paradise in a batch of Pyracantha seedlings raised at his own small nursery. Andrew had never seen a golden-leaved Pyracantha before and knew at once that he had a special new plant. He grew the plant on and propagated young plants from it, and then sought advice from Graham Spencer of independent plant breeders’ agent, Plants For Europe Limited.
Graham worked with specialist shrub propagators to increase the plant so that there would be enough for launch and then approached Chelsea Gold Medal winner Rosy Hardy of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants to collaborate on the launch. Rosy is always looking for the best British-bred plants to include in her displays and was only too pleased to include Golden Paradise in her 2015 exhibit.
Golden Paradise is available at Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, either at their nursery in Hampshire or by mail order. It is also available from Coblands Nurseries. Other nurseries and garden centres will be stocking it in the future.