22nd 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

Rhododendron ‘Ginny Gee’ in The Rockery is nearly over in the shade. Light pink when it opens, fading quickly. The other plant in full sun is long over.

Rhododendron ‘Ginny Gee’
Rhododendron ‘Ginny Gee’
Rhododendron ‘Ginny Gee’
Rhododendron ‘Ginny Gee’
Rhododendron ‘Wee Bee’ is smaller growing and less plastered in flower than its neighbour.

Rhododendron ‘Wee Bee’
Rhododendron ‘Wee Bee’
Rhododendron ‘Wee Bee’
Rhododendron ‘Wee Bee’
These Rhododendron russatum are the last survivors of a once large old clump. Interesting colour variation. The podocarpus needs cutting back from the paler plant.
Rhododendron russatum
Rhododendron russatum
Rhododendron russatum
Rhododendron russatum
Rhododendron russatum
Rhododendron russatum
This is the deciduous Rhododendron reticulatum. A very old plant in full shade in The Rockery and performing well today. This is a reddish-purple form without the dark purple spots or blotches which you see in some others which can also be purple or rose-purple. One for Asia to propagate. Today it looks one of the nicest of the deciduous species. Schlippenbachii is over as it quinquefolium and albrechtii. Only weyrichii is still to come out.
Rhododendron reticulatum
Rhododendron reticulatum
Rhododendron reticulatum
Rhododendron reticulatum
Rhododendron neriiflorum died out on the drive and this is one slow growing replacement. More dwarf than I remember and less floriferous.
Rhododendron neriiflorum
Rhododendron neriiflorum
Rhododendron neriiflorum
Rhododendron neriiflorum
Now we come to a problem. This is labelled Magnolia ‘Daybreak’ but I think it may well be ‘Peachy’ based on younger flowering plants in the garden. Certainly we have two different plants but which is which? This certainly looks more ‘peachy’ than the big tree below Tin Garden which looks, to me anyway, more like a much paler ‘daybreak’. What does everyone else think?
Magnolia ‘Daybreak’
Magnolia ‘Daybreak’
Magnolia ‘Daybreak’
Magnolia ‘Daybreak’
Magnolia ‘Daybreak’
Magnolia ‘Daybreak’
Rhododendron oldhamii is a sparse flowerer but the new growth shoots are attractive in themselves. Very ‘furry’ leaves too.
Rhododendron oldhamii
Rhododendron oldhamii
The Euphorbia mellifera outside the library window is now massive and in full flower all over. Soon for the chop I expect.
Euphorbia mellifera
Euphorbia mellifera
Euphorbia mellifera
Euphorbia mellifera
Euphorbia mellifera
Euphorbia mellifera
Another picture of Isla Rose!
Isla Rose
Isla Rose

2016 – CHW
Another six boring hours (now 20 in all) on the Single Payment Scheme forms which have now been submitted in part electronically and in part on paper due to the Rural Payments Agency omissions on our field parcels which were entirely their fault and which we were unable to amend online. In the 95 page rule book a field of miscanthus has to be coded PC01 but it will not accept this online. When we ring the RPA they say the rule book is out of date and the code is in fact S01. They only sent the rule book last week! This famous online system failed totally last year and sent us all back to paper form filling having wasted many hours online. It has so far cost £200m and still has many glitches. The most annoying one is that you have to go back to the top of the field list every time you fill in and confirm a field rather than jumping back to where you were in the list. Childishly simple you would have thought. Too tired to bore you any more with this euro trash nonsense and bureaucratic fascism perpetrated by incompetents.2015 – CHW
Banbury Town Hall for ‘The Pride of Hooky’ awards.  Hook Norton Brewery’s annual pissup for its publicans.  The one sitting next to me is taking the week off to recover.  Lunch and the awards end at 5pm when the publicans lurch uncertainly to the two Hooky pubs in walking distance to carry on the bash while we have a five hour drive home.

Hooky Gold from Hook Norton Brewery
Hooky Gold from Hook Norton Brewery
During the (very slow) lunch word comes of an invitation (a summons actually) to attend a speech from the PM at 9am next morning in West Cornwall.  The email comes at 6.30am saying it is at Penzance and be there by 8am.  Impossible to make Penzance and back in time for the visitation of the Scottish Rhododendron Society (26 people) at 10.30am so Scotland’s gain and Cameron’s loss!  Preferring the Scots to the PM has a strong whiff of topical amusement but I do not let on to the Scots.

1984 – FJW
Open Day 2500 people. Very fine not a gum boot in sight.

1922 – JCW
Far behind 1918-19-20-21. Auklandii not started, Augustinii hardly started, Orbiculare not started. Only ½ Calophytum open, Cherries in drive are ½ out, Subhirtella and dependens on the wane.

1921 – JCW
About the same as 1920 but only one flower of Orbiculare open and the reds are scarce.

1920 – JCW
Japanese maples good. New Planting Rhodo’s wane. Augustinii is yet good. Orbiculare very good. Auklandii has passed the best.

1918 – JCW
Daffs are nearly over and the rhodo’s mentioned in 1917 are all over now, we are nearly three weeks ahead of last year. Saw the first swallow.

1917 – JCW
Daffs just coming out well, very fine and dry. Rhodo 1350 just opening for the first time. R oleifolium is the best of the species now, red violet is very nice.

1915 – JCW
Daffs are turning back and we never saw so good a lot, or so many good things, or such fine weather for them. The white and pinky white Arboreum x Auklandii are opening and are very nice. R calophytum is very good indeed. Sir Charles Lemon is nice. A few buds of Auklandii are left by the frost, they are opening. Cherries are good.

1910 – JCW
Cherries about their best. Also Auklandii x Arboreum. Some nice late daffs now, but not many, beautiful moist weather for a week past. Clematis montana rubra good. Iris van T’s fine.

1906 – JCW
Only about 3 daffs left to open. Recurvas is open, Iris lusiana, Korolkowi and cushion hybrids are all open, the last are the earlier. R falconeri and thomsonii open also R campylocarpum. Auklandii, Niveum and Yunnanense nearly. R augustinii opened for the first time.

1904 – JCW
Primroses good. Grandis nearly all open and so Langtry, recurvas well up, the first Auklandii just opening. Thomsonii very good. Daffodils have nearly all gone. Go to Dinton and Birmingham tomorrow.

1899 – JCW
Primroses at their best. A few Montana have been open for a week. Camellia reticulata going by. The last (Narcissi) Beacon is open. Sol is yet a long way off. Waterlilies growing well.

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