2018 – CHW
It is not an ‘April fool’! The magnolias are finally performing as expected after the first 30% were wiped out in the cold. Today the two Magnolia x veitchii ‘Peter Veitch’ are a stunning hundred foot high spectacle. The whole garden is shaking off ‘The Beast’ now rather quickly and there will be more for the Savill Garden show next weekend than I thought even 48 hours ago. It is still cold overnight but the forecasters were wrong about yet more snow here over the Easter weekend. The evergreen azaleas are just starting and might even make Chelsea in this now late season.
White and pink forms of Rhododendron siderophyllum have ridden the frost well in several places.
2017 – CHW
A trip to look at more magnolias flowering for the first time but many distractions!
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis – the rhododendron season is rushing on and we rush to see it all properly!
Magnolia ‘Apollo’ – probably our largest plant of this in full display.
AND now to the closing meet of the Four Burrow Hunt at the beach. Saw the first house martin by the big tower at 7.15pm. A day or two earlier than last year on a sunny day with brief heavy showers.
Camellia x williamsii ‘Elsie Jury’ should be added to the list of genuinely excellent upright growing x williamsii varieties suitable for pots or growing as a hedge. That makes six photographed in the last few weeks or so.
I wait in vain for four hours for the visit of Ian Baldick, a renowned magnolia breeder from New Zealand, and a Dutch magnolia nurseryman who were due to arrive ‘soon after lunch’. No sign of them at 6pm and no phone call. Sadly half of planned garden visits at this time of year end up being hours of hanging around for people who are late! They eventually turn up at 9.50pm having inadvertently gone to Burncoose first! When do they eat ‘lunch’ in New Zealand?Lizzie has today had the original painting by Barbara Oozeerally which she gave us recently wonderfully framed. It is a life size Magnolia sprengeri Diva var Burncoose, accurate in every detail to the plant (52 years old) growing beside the conservatory at Burncoose and bred by Arnold Dance. A wonderful gift from a most remarkable magnolia artist. I doubt it will photograph properly but visitors can see it now on the castle tours (which I have to say are also a remarkable pain in the arse if you try to live and work amid them).
Jaimie, Michael and the team are off to stage our exhibits in the Cornwall Garden Society Spring Show at Boconnoc. One van breaks down on the way back which means a long day but Jaimie says the magnolia entries are ‘nothing special’ (apart from one I hope!).
Then Jim Pascoe, Chairman of the Fourburrow Hunt Supporters Committee, turns up to check out the dos and don’ts for tomorrow’s hunt meet at Porthluney beach. Do not go in the garden or Old Park we say (as usual) knowing not all the 100 or so riders will take any notice but there we are. It will be quite a spectacle for the unwitting garden visitors tomorrow and perhaps the New Zealanders too!
I saw the first house martin returning from Central Africa tonight on the lawn. A few days earlier than some years. Lizzie saw a kingfisher on the watermeadows yesterday and heard a skylark on Tuesday. Spring is here!
2015 – CHW
Planting of the new fernery goes well in Cheshire despite a strong gale. 11 specimen tree ferns planted in specially prepared stone troughs in part of a quarry alongside a dozen other varieties of fern, some evergreen and some deciduous. The fernery now requires water to trickle down through it to create the damp microclimate they all need but this is being sorted by a Dutch expert in water features who comes from Norfolk. Further planting of specimen trees and hamamelis along the entrance drive but all placed out by 12pm leaving James and his team to complete the planting before the bank holiday weekend.
1997 – FJW
Very fine Easter spell – Magnolias have been excellent but over.
1995 – FJW
Magnolias past their best – evergreen azaleas progress – camellia very good.
1990 – FJW
Very dry, very warm March. All deciduous Magnolias out at once – brozzoni, campbellii.
1973 – FJW
1 flower still on lapageria.
1972 – FJW
1970 – FJW
Snow – enough to whiten the ground – taking down Diva, Diva seedling in O.P, white Robusta, dark red Pieris and Charles Michael.
1960 – FJW
First cuttings taken out of electric frame – 57 Cam ‘Caerhays’ out of 52 put in. Some roots 15” long after 8 months.
1947 – CW
(Typed postcard attached to Garden Book page)
Award of Merit given to Camellia ‘St Ewe’ by R.H.S.
1941 – CW
The big storm of March 31st took down the Macrocarpa in cutting and several trees below drive and end of Old Park.
1933 – JCW
The daffs have never been better. Camellia speciosa most blooms of any plant. Magnolia sargentii is the best of all the magnolias open.
1931 – JCW
Daffs about their best. Magnolia’s speciosa, stellata and kobus open. Kobus is the best excepting Wilson’s big Denudata.
(Handwritten note attached to Garden Book page)
About March 1st, 1 Cam speciosa to P.D.W; 15 Cam speciosa to Michael, Caerhays; 5 to G.H.J.
28362 Mulinensis, 28365 Pulchella; 28366 Brevifolia; 28524 Meconopsis horridula; Gentiana nigescens.
1912 – JCW
An Auklandii flower open, nearly a record.
1899 – JCW
Narcissus Plemp open and 131.