Garrya × issaquahensis
Garrya × issaquahensis, a cross between G. elliptica and G. fremontii, is an evergreen shrub with wavy-edged, leathery foliage which makes a very pleasant contribution to the late-winter/early spring garden when both the tassels and young growth are flushed an attractive wine colour. It will grow to three metres in height and width and looks best when given room so that the tassels can be fully enjoyed.
The late Lord Talbot of Malahide Castle received Garrya seed from the University of
Washington Arboretum, Seattle, and grew on 26 hybrid seedlings. He named one of
these G. × issaquahensis ‘Pat Ballard’ as the seed had originated in the garden of Mrs
Page Ballard, Issaquah, in Washington State, USA. In the 1980s Dr E Charles Nelson
had a female plant of G. × issaquahensis in his garden in Celbridge which did not
produce fruit until he fertilized it using catkins from a plant of ‘Pat Ballard’ which was
growing at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin. One of the resulting seedlings was
more distinctly flushed red than ‘Pat Ballard’ and was named ‘Glasnevin Wine’.
Text by Paddy Tobin