Among the plants that Joy Creek Nursery is introducing in 2012 are two perennials that we found as seedlings in our gardens – one a helenium, one a geranium. We have enjoyed them both immensely.
Helenium ‘Tijuana Brass’ PP22346 has a long history. We found it at least 15 years ago and fostered it until we could determine its merits. Plantsman David Culp visited our garden not many years later and was taken with this particular helenium. David noted the large size of the flowers and the fact that the foliage on our seedling looked fresh and green while the stems of the other named cultivars of heleniums looked naked. (Many cultivars suffer from this “bare-legged” appearance.) We monitored the plant for several more years and finally offered it to Sunny Border Nursery in Connecticut for trialing. They trialed it and then sent it to Peter zur Linden, a helenium authority in Germany, for trial. His judgment was that it was superior in all ways with a vigor and size he had not seen before. Sunny Border Nursery helped us with the patenting process.
In the garden at Joy Creek Nursery, ‘Tijuana Brass’ is tall and upright in habit. It produces golden yellow ray-flowers that are larger than those of most named cultivars and maintains the foliage on its lower stems throughout the blooming period. The central cone of the flowers is golden brown. The flowers are favored by plant pollinators and, when in bloom from mid-August to the end of September, they are abuzz with a variety of native bees as well as honey bees. Standing from 4 to 5 feet, this helenium makes a glorious backdrop to the summer border.
Geranium ‘Pure Joy’ has a much shorter history. Found six years ago in our clematis display beds, this geranium caught our attention from the moment it bloomed because of the pristine appearance of its flowers. We grow other white-flowered forms of geraniums but none of their flowers are as pure as those of this seedling. The whiteness of the filaments and the near-white of the cream colored anthers all combine to enhance the effect. Even the creamy buds are attractive. The leaves betray the parentage of this seedling, looking like those of G. sanguineum. In habit, this perennial is low and mounding. We have also been impressed with the length of its bloom time. With a little dead-heading, it will flower throughout the summer.
We hope that all of our new plants enrich your garden experience