15th April

FJ Williams Profile Picture
FJW 1955-2007
CH Williams Profile Picture
CHW 2015-
JC Williams Profile Picture
JCW 1897-1939
C Williams Profile Picture
CW 1940-1955

2017 – CHW

Clearance work
Clearance work
Tree fern trunk
Tree fern trunk

Clearance work around Orchid House Nursery to allow access for heavy machinery to clear behind the Playhouse this summer.This old tree fern trunk shows a woody core.

Startling new shoots from the bamboos above the greenhouse which have appeared where the laurel has been cleared. They look like Phyllostachys nigra but I do not recollect planting this species here.

Bamboo shoots
Bamboo shoots
Bamboo shoots
Bamboo shoots

Then off to Penvergate.

This is the first flowering of Paulownia fortunei. One of the nice surprises of the year as I had no idea that we even had this species here. White flowers with dark purple insides to the trumpet and a dash of lilac on the lower outside.

Paulownia fortunei
Paulownia fortunei
Paulownia fortunei
Paulownia fortunei
Paulownia fortunei
Paulownia fortunei
Paulownia fortunei
Paulownia fortunei
The rare Magnolia officinalis var biloba is just coming out and not, I think, as pink as last year as the flowers open. Very erect habit and nicely unusual. Apparently there is now a true ‘red’ form in the USA.
Magnolia officinalis var biloba
Magnolia officinalis var biloba
Magnolia officinalis var biloba
Magnolia officinalis var biloba
Magnolia officinalis var biloba
Magnolia officinalis var biloba
Magnolia ‘Yellow Fever’ is just out long after the ‘Yellow Bird’ beside it has gone over. As it has been so dry the flowers stand proud from the emerging leaves this year rather than being swamped by them.
Magnolia ‘Yellow Fever’
Magnolia ‘Yellow Fever’
Magnolia ‘Yellow Fever’
Magnolia ‘Yellow Fever’
Magnolia ‘Yellow Fever’
Magnolia ‘Yellow Fever’
Rhododendron desquamatum is its usual bold colour in the evening sun.
Rhododendron desquamatum
Rhododendron desquamatum
Rhododendron desquamatum
Rhododendron desquamatum
Rhododendron desquamatum
Rhododendron desquamatum
For the record I attach a copy of the front of The Field with my daughter Serena and a copy of some recent publicity in the Sunday Telegraph. Visitor numbers are up on last year’s record but the weather has been kind in March and April.

2016 – CHW
Jaimie has taken pictures of the start of the repairs to the Old Dog Kennels below the Kitchen Garden. It is starting to look like a building again. This is the building which Natural England are very keen to see restored and for which they have provided a large grant under Caerhays’ Higher Level Scheme agreement. However, for some bizarre reason, they will not grant aid the construction of the roof. To restore a building with public funds for use by visitors to Old Park garden without a roof seems somewhat illogical but there we are. The work will take about 12 weeks and includes repairs to the adjacent Kitchen Garden wall.
repairs to the Old Dog Kennels
repairs to the Old Dog Kennels
2015 – CHW
Back on the night train to a day of meetings.  The first house martins have arrived at the castle where they nest in scores or even hundreds by the end of August in the eaves under the castellations.   They are five days late despite the southerly winds and sand pollution from the Sahara.   Normally a few swifts nest with them but have heard them yet.A quick viewing of the now completed, wired and staked new planting above Roger’s Quarry.   All looking good but we need rain.

PLANTING above Rogers quarry
Planting above Roger’s Quarry

2004 – FJW
Very sunny spring. Today a nice soak of rain. George’s Veitchii at its best.

1990 – FJW
1100 Easter opening. Donkey Shoe Rho loderi full out.

1979 – FJW
3200 at Open Day (Easter Sunday). Magnolias quite splendid. Miss Pascoe died.

1935 – JCW
(Typed letter attached to Garden Book page)
From Knapp Hill Nursery to J.C.Williams, Esq.
Dear Mr Williams,
Thank you for your letter. I think you would enjoy the Cherry Tai Haku, a plant or two of which we have here.
Its magnificent flowers are double the size of most of the cherries; it is very showy and appears to be a good doer.
I note with great interest that you may try and pay us a visit on your way south after deer-stalking.
Yours sincerely,
F. Gomer Waterer.1926 – JCW
Daffs are over. The May poet is in the house. The Souleii hybrids are very very good. Maddeni’s just opening slowly.1915 – JCW
The poets begin to come and the large things in daffs to go back. R calophytum is in flower and is very fine. I crossed it with Argenteum. Thomsonii x Arboreum are over, the Mrs Butler x Arboreums are at their best, some pink and white Auklandii x Arboreum are opening.1906 – JCW
Very much as in 1897, plenty of good Camellias. Would be some nice rhodo’s but for sun, very very dry.

1902 – JCW
The Show day, we had as many things open as we shall ever have, M de Graaf very good, G brought a good lot of flowers, rhodo’s rather over.

1900 – JCW
Homer, Horace and most of the poets including White Elephant are opening, also White Lady, M de Graaf etc, in fact this is about the best day of the season, Marrel is a long way off.

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