27th 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

Two good new offerings at the sales point up from Burncoose yesterday.

Kalmia polifolia ‘Newfoundland’ has a dwarfish spreading shape and many delicate rose-pink flowers. A welcome new addition to the kalmia offering and early flowering for a kalmia.

Kalmia polifolia ‘Newfoundland’
Kalmia polifolia ‘Newfoundland’
Kalmia polifolia ‘Newfoundland’
Kalmia polifolia ‘Newfoundland’
Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ is rather taller growing than I had assumed or expected. The colour fades a bit but is exceptional as the flower opens. Rather better than some of the better known ones I think.
Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’
Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’
Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’
Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’

2016 – CHW
To Hook Norton brewery for the AGM and board meeting at our revamped £1m pub, ‘The Fox’, in Chipping Norton. Lizzie’s mum, Alice, aged nearly 92 is coming with Elke, her nurse, who also looked after my mother.

Last night I saw three pigeons incapable of flight and frumped up under hedges. One was in a similar state near the front door. Perhaps they had eaten dressed seed corn or perhaps the effects of a combative and competitive mating season or perhaps just the effects of overeating emerging beech leaves as pigeons have been doing in the garden all this week. Possibly just a coincidence but I wonder what the truth is?

The first pheasant chicks will hatch tomorrow; a week later than last year. Philip says the eggs are generally larger this year than last which may bode well for fertility rates in what has been, so far, quite a cold year for laying. Certainly the cold north wind in the rearing field was unpleasant yesterday and hardly conclusive to high fertility rates. Philip is hoping for a good summer rearing season and the keepers have shot four roe bucks this week. One of them was in Kennel Close where his horn marks on young trees bear witness to what damage these newish garden pests have been doing. The does are not yet in season but we hope to cull more over the summer.

2015 – CHW
Yet more ‘yellowish’ magnolias appear in a double garden tour day which exhausts the dogs.

MAGNOLIA 'Solar Flair' 03
MAGNOLIA ‘Solar Flair’
MAGNOLIA 'Solar Flair' 02
MAGNOLIA ‘Solar Flair’
MAGNOLIA 'Hattie Carthan'
MAGNOLIA ‘Hattie Carthan’
MAGNOLIA 'Eva Maria'
MAGNOLIA ‘Eva Maria’

Magnolia ‘Hattie Carthan’ is an acquired taste but rather better in maturity than it appears flowering in pots in the nursery.  Not much different from ‘Eva Maria’?

MAGNOLIA nitida
MAGNOLIA nitida

Magnolia nitida – this old and record tree which is clearly nearing the end of its life has just two flowers very high up.  Pity it will not cross with anything as the scent is exquisite.  We have found it hard to get new young plants away and going but there are two other trees neither of which are in particularly sheltered locations which are doing fine.

MICHELIA 'Touch of Pink'
MICHELIA ‘Touch of Pink’
MICHELIA 'Touch of Pink' 02
MICHELIA ‘Touch of Pink’

Although the Michelia doltsopas are going over there are plenty of new ones breaking bud.  ‘Touch of Pink’ is now magnificent and the three Magnolia laevifolias portend much for future years in maturity.  These came first as Magnolia crassipes and Magnolia yunnanense but the botanists now reclassify them as laevifolia.  I think I now agree although in immaturity the leaf shape, habit and flowering time were different.  The key problem is I assumed, quite incorrectly, they would only be dwarfish shrubs and planted them without nearly enough space to grow.  So nearby plants are soon for the chop although the third and fourth have plenty of room.

MICHELIA laevifolia
MICHELIA laevifolia
MICHELIA laevifolia
MICHELIA laevifolia
RHODODENDRON niveum
RHODODENDRON niveum
RHODODENDRON niveum 02
RHODODENDRON niveum
RHODODENDRON oreotrephes
RHODODENDRON oreotrephes
RHODODENDRON oreotrephes 02
RHODODENDRON oreotrephes

Passing by the Rhododendron niveum which won the cup on Saturday hidden away is a good clump of Rhododendron oreotrephes and, nearby, Rhododendron ‘May Day’ (griersonianum x haematodes) which was one of only a very few of my grandfather’s hybrids at Werrington.A single surviving plant (of five) of Rhododendron ‘Martha Wright’ is now excellent and beautifully scented.  The others were squashed by a fir cone laden branch last August.  Not as yellow as our ‘Michaels Pride’ which is not out yet but more scented.

RHODODENDRON 'May Day' 02
RHODODENDRON ‘May Day’
RHODODENDRON 'May Day'
RHODODENDRON ‘May Day’

1986 – FJW
Very late year. Mag’s still show. Rhodo’s and Camellias poor. Serena rode a horse!!! (not here).

1981 – FJW
A great blizzard in north and central U.K felt as far south as Dartmoor.

1926 – JCW
The first Rhododendron Society’s Show in London. Werrington batch of species was the outstanding thing apart from what has been ever seen before.

1920 – JCW
There are 70-80 species of Rhodo’n in flower, but the best of the hybrids are going back.

1907 – JCW
Mrs W saw the first swift.

1904 – JCW
Returned from Dinton and Birmingham, I bought two poets at D.

1902 – JCW
Most of the Auklandii are open – Thomsonii over – Countess of Haddington open. Finished crossing except Marvel. A few roses show colour. Ferns opening.

1901 – JCW
Finished crossing and went to Appleshaw, all except a few late poets are open. There has been a terrible sun. Auklandii some of them show colour.

1900 – JCW
Came back from Appleshaw last night but sun has finished the daffs in the south of England. The Triandrus hybrids at the Drill Hall are the best things that I have seen yet. I saw a very splendid Lulworth seedling at A. Tulips all open here. Auklandii shows colour.

1899 – JCW
Altaclarence just opening. No recurvas yet.

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