25th 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

A two hour trip in the bus to Stourhead to meet the Hoare family and tour the garden in some style with the head gardener.

Stourhead House
Stourhead House
Stourhead House
Stourhead House
Stourhead House
Stourhead House
Stourhead House
Stourhead House
A tall 100 year old white Rhododendron arboreum nearly dead like ours.
white Rhododendron arboreum
white Rhododendron arboreum
A fine Rhododendron falconeri, 40 to 50 years old.
Rhododendron falconeri
Rhododendron falconeri
Rhododendron falconeri
Rhododendron falconeri
Rhododendron rex which has fallen over. Not positive that the name label is correct. One of the very few plants labelled at all which is absurd in a National Trust garden with 400,000 visitors a year.
Rhododendron rex
Rhododendron rex
Rhododendron rex
Rhododendron rex

View across the lake

View across lake
View across lake
Halesia diptera just coming out. Perhaps Halesia monticola?
Halesia diptera
Halesia diptera
The tallest Pinus monticola in the UK.
Pinus monticola
Pinus monticola
Pinus monticola
Pinus monticola
A group of three Rhododendron augustinii ‘Electra’.
Rhododendron augustinii ‘Electra’
Rhododendron augustinii ‘Electra’
Horrors in the grotto!
Horrors in the grotto!
Horrors in the grotto!
Horrors in the grotto!
Horrors in the grotto!
More lake views
lake views
lake views
A rather fine Carpinus betulus trailing over the lake.
Carpinus betulus
Carpinus betulus
One concludes that with seven gardeners and 21 acres of laurel to cut to 3-4ft each year the place has somewhat lost the plot as a garden. Iconic landscape, amazing setting but virtually no new planting for decades. Many of their finest landscape trees are nearing the end of their lives – where are the replacements? Could the public not be educated with a few more plants rather than oceans of clipped laurels? Not a popular view!

2016 – CHW
Off to Old Park to plant 22 more magnolias and some rhodos with the dogs.Three plants of wild collected Rhododendron racemosum are nicely in flower but a rather insipid colour compared to other forms which can be white or darker pink..
Rhododendron racemosum
Rhododendron racemosum

Nearby a newly planted Magnolia ‘Petit Chicon’ has its first yellowish flower.

Magnolia ‘Petit Chicon’
Magnolia ‘Petit Chicon’
Three plants of the deciduous Rhododendron canadense awaiting planting which I bought at Rosemoor from David Millais. Not a species that I have ever known at Caerhays. It comes from Quebec and Newfoundland and is more often white than pinkish-purple as here. Looks very tough.
Rhododendron canadense
Rhododendron canadense
Rhododendron canadense
Rhododendron canadense
Magnolia ‘Rose Marie’ x ‘Black Tulip’ (no registered name) is better this year than last by the Hovel. A very late flowerer. I wonder if this has yet been named and registered as it ought to be?
Magnolia ‘Rose Marie’ x ‘Black Tulip’
Magnolia ‘Rose Marie’ x ‘Black Tulip’
Magnolia ‘Rose Marie’ x ‘Black Tulip’
Magnolia ‘Rose Marie’ x ‘Black Tulip’
This is one of the two plants on the drive of Magnolia ‘Margaret Helen’ which won the magnolia cup at Rosemoor. New Zealand bred and of similar parentage to ‘Caerhays Surprise’. A lovely colour and very late.
Magnolia ‘Margaret Helen’
Magnolia ‘Margaret Helen’
Magnolia ‘Margaret Helen’
Magnolia ‘Margaret Helen’
Magnolia ‘Apollo’ has faded in colour but this plant has taken off and has been an excellent show.
Magnolia ‘Apollo’
Magnolia ‘Apollo’
Magnolia ‘Apollo’
Magnolia ‘Apollo’
Beside it the much newer New Zealand hybrid Magnolia ‘Cleopatra’ is still showing nicely weeks after it first came out. Despite the leaves now appearing it is a delicate light colour. Mauve not pink or red at this late stage.
Magnolia ‘Cleopatra’
Magnolia ‘Cleopatra’
Magnolia ‘Serene’ full out with the first yellow deciduous azalea in front of it. One of my father’s azalea hybrids not worth a name but I remember them being planted here. There was a superb Prunus ‘Shirotae’ growing here which died in the 1970s.
Magnolia ‘Serene’
Magnolia ‘Serene’
Azalea ‘Black Hawk’ is nearly swamped out by adjacent magnolias (as was the plan) but what a dark red. Perhaps the darkest and best?
Azalea ‘Black Hawk’
Azalea ‘Black Hawk’
Azalea ‘Black Hawk’
Azalea ‘Black Hawk’
I memory of the above I planted a new Prunus ‘Shirotae’ nearby which has not quite got the trailing habit of its predecessor. Sadly this superb cherry lasts only a week or so and today the north wind is blowing off cascades of petals onto the drive.
Prunus ‘Shirotae’
Prunus ‘Shirotae’
Prunus ‘Shirotae’
Prunus ‘Shirotae’
Amelanchier is not a plant group which was represented much at Caerhays until 20 years ago. At Windsor Great Park they make much use of this in the landscape and in avenues. Good autumn colour too. So we have planted quite a few Amelanchier lamarckii in dull corners. Here is one below the drive holding its own as the nice coppery-reddish new growth complement the flowers.
Amelanchier lamarcki
Amelanchier lamarcki
Amelanchier lamarcki
Amelanchier lamarcki

Magnolia ‘Yellow Lantern’ is now quite a beacon above the rockery and well worth its place.

Magnolia ‘Yellow Lantern’
Magnolia ‘Yellow Lantern’
The true and very old Azalea ‘Tebotan’ in the rockery is full out. We were right to resist the temptation to give it a haircut last week when other adjacent plants got a good clipping.
Azalea ‘Tebotan’
Azalea ‘Tebotan’
Azalea ‘Tebotan’
Azalea ‘Tebotan’
Just a tiny bit of Rhododendron russatum survives from of old in the rockery.
Rhododendron russatum
Rhododendron russatum
Rhododendron russatum
Rhododendron russatum
2015 – CHW
At last a little drizzle opening to a morning of thick fog.  The beech tree by the Green Gate (ex Werrington) has suddenly popped its leaves overnight.  It was noticeable in Oxfordshire that there was more leaf on the trees than in Cornwall although the crops, rape especially, looked just as poor and stunted.  Hopefully more rain tomorrow and spring will have set.

So to Rosemoor for the RHS main rhododendron show (1 ½ hours’ drive).  John Anderson was taken ill just before leaving Exbury so no entries from them sadly.  However this allowed Caerhays and Werrrington to claim a lot of the silverware.  Caerhays were awarded:The McLaren Challenge Cup – any species of rhododendron – one truss

The Crosfield Challenge Cup – three hybrids of different parentage bred and raised in the garden of the exhibitor(RHS)

The Quicke Cup – for best magnolia in show (South West Group – Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group)

In its history since 1933 the McLaren Cup had never been won by Caerhays.

While Werrington won the Roza Stevenson Challenge Cup – any species – one spray.

Pictures of the cups and some of the entries themselves are featured here.  The RHS cups are far too expensive to be given to the winners for the year so this is all you will see of them until they re-emerge from their packing cases at next year’s centenary show.

RHS Rosemoor April 26th 2015x

 

Rosemoor Garden is developing quickly with excellent new woodland walks and much new planting.  Sadly many of Lady Anne Palmer’s rhododendron species nearest the house are nearing the end of their lives or now have died of old age.

Magnolia ‘Morning Glow’ near the house was superb.  Huge flowers for a smaller growing plant with unusual dark markings on the tepals.

MAGNOLIA 'Morning Glow'
MAGNOLIA ‘Morning Glow’

1990 – FJW
Bluebells at their peak – Michaels Pride, Saffron Queen, Nancor and loderi all out.

1984 – FJW
Puffkins left us after at least 18 years.

1982 – FJW
South Georgia retaken. First swallow seen.

1968 – FJW
Shy flowering of Big Leafed Rhodo’s.

1959 – FJW
Mag veitchii nearly over. Rain has come after a hot week. Nitida in flower for first time since my arrival here. Michelias magnificent. Few flowers on Sinogrande – Big rhodo’s shy of flowers this year. The maples good. The cherries nearly over or spoilt by stems.

1921 – JCW
The Auklandii’s are goodnow but not all open. Zuelanicum x Auklandii are nice. A few Azaleas show, Schlippenbachii remains good, just a bud or so open on Mag wilsonii. Augustinii go back. Maddeni hybrids very good indeed in new planting, not yet in 40 Acres.

1908 – JCW
Snow again last night, just as above.

1907 – JCW
The Recurvas seedlings are coming out. Maples have begun to show.

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