28th 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

Amazingly some of the Echium pininana are already in flower and at least 12 feet tall. There was some white frost overnight, quickly burnt off in the early morning sun, but not enough to damage much or any new growth. Do echiums flower in April on Tresco? I wonder what the record height actually is?

Echium pininana
Echium pininana
Echium pininana
Echium pininana
Staphylea x elegans is also a late flowerer compared to the rest. A tinge of red apparently as the buds open but we are almost too late for that here and I forgot to do a close up that might have shown this.
Staphylea x elegans
Staphylea x elegans
Polyspora axialis (from Crug) was planted two years ago. Good new growth but it looks chlorotic. Perhaps this is normal for this rare new species?
Polyspora axialis
Polyspora axialis
Polyspora axialis
Polyspora axialis
Polyspora speciosa (from Crug) – no such problems here but a very floppy habit needing a good stake.
Polyspora speciosa
Polyspora speciosa
Polyspora speciosa
Polyspora speciosa
An Alan Clarke collection of Rhododendron concinnum var pseudoyanthinum Group – apparently. In the Pocket Guide it looks more like Rhododendron concinnum var benthamianum. Very different to the Burncoose plant by the pond anyway and easily mistaken for a pale Rhododendron augustinii.
Rhododendron concinnum var pseudoyanthinum Group
Rhododendron concinnum var pseudoyanthinum Group
Rhododendron concinnum var pseudoyanthinum Group
Rhododendron concinnum var pseudoyanthinum Group
Rhododendron concinnum var pseudoyanthinum Group
Rhododendron concinnum var pseudoyanthinum Group
I cannot locate the name of these three excellent loderi types with lovely peeling bark. Sparse flowers as yet but with initially frilly edges.
loderi types
loderi types
loderi types
loderi types
loderi types
loderi types
Rhododendron chapmanii full out in the sun. Dense habit and now a good clump.
Rhododendron chapmanii
Rhododendron chapmanii
Rhododendron chapmanii
Rhododendron chapmanii
The first of our three Magnolia ‘Daphne’ to be full out. It is arguably not as good as the Magnolia ‘Lois’ at Penrice Castle seen last week. More yellow but irregular flowers and too many leaves!
Magnolia ‘Daphne’
Magnolia ‘Daphne’
Magnolia ‘Daphne’
Magnolia ‘Daphne’

2016 – CHW
One day of ‘filming’ with a BBC crew from London who are prerecording rhododendron centenary clips for use in Chelsea Flower Show week TV broadcasts. For eight days they have to broadcast at least two hours of prime time TV so they need to bag a fair bit of it in advance. As expected the day is a write off in the cause of ‘publicity’.We start with two hours of drone filming which gets Karol excited as they have a very posh new drone in use. Whether we will ever get to see or obtain any of the stills from the overfly remains to be seen. We do three retakes of me walking through the arch from on high and picking off a few nearly dead flowers from a Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’. Tedious!
BBC crew from London
BBC crew from London
BBC crew from London
BBC crew from London
BBC crew from London
BBC crew from London
Then we do the digging up of a huge Rhododendron sinogrande with Jaimie and Michael for Chelsea and balling it up ready for shipping. Then a spiel about layering a Rhododendron falconeri and a lot of chat beside a perfect Rhododendron macabeanum at the top of the garden. Finally shots of the new FJW hybrid between Rhododendron ‘Elizabeth’ and Rhododendron ‘Charles Michael’ which is as yet unnamed and unregistered. A centenary name with probably be appropriate when we dream it up but something for the rhodo members to enjoy anyway. Planted here in 2005.
Rhododendron macabeanum
Rhododendron macabeanum
Rhododendron ‘Charles Michael’
Rhododendron ‘Charles Michael’
Rhododendron ‘Charles Michael’
Rhododendron ‘Charles Michael’
Rhododendron ‘Charles Michael’
Rhododendron ‘Charles Michael’

This all takes three hours with ‘Abs’ the producer. Thankfully it does not rain until we have finished. Abs also works for ‘The One Show’ and was not exactly a horticultural expert but at least the crew of three (plus two on the drone) was not quite as excessive as in past BBC performances.The afternoon was spent filming archive material indoors and took three hours.

Along the way I managed a few non BBC shots of:

Magnolia ‘Yakeo’ (probably) tucked away above the Main Ride tree ferns is nicely out but not on the 1997 onwards planting plans or not as this anyway.

Magnolia ‘Yakeo’
Magnolia ‘Yakeo’
Magnolia ‘Yakeo’
Magnolia ‘Yakeo’
Camellia ‘Giant White’ still has a few decent flowers in the shade.
Camellia ‘Giant White’
Camellia ‘Giant White’
Camellia ‘Francis Hanger’, the only true white x williamsii camellia, also has a few flowers left in the shade. Another plant I had forgotten existed in this location.
Camellia ‘Francis Hanger’
Camellia ‘Francis Hanger’
The old clump of Rhododendron ‘Duke of Cornwall’ is particularly fine today in the sun. We looked at some seedlings here a week or two ago on Sinogrande Walk.
Rhododendron ‘Duke of Cornwall’
Rhododendron ‘Duke of Cornwall’
Rhododendron ‘Duke of Cornwall’
Rhododendron ‘Duke of Cornwall’
Rhododendron ‘Duke of Cornwall’
Rhododendron ‘Duke of Cornwall’
Magnolia ‘Yuchelia’ has sprung out unnoticed by me.
Magnolia ‘Yuchelia’
Magnolia ‘Yuchelia’
What a day! All for a maximum of four minutes of live TV. I must have been ‘on camera’ for nearly two hours!2015 – CHW
Time for a review of the newer cherries planted in the last 15 to 20 years replacing JC’s batch which he imported at vast expense from Japan.  Grafted cherries used to be a major feature on the drive but, as grafted plants, their lifespan is only 40 to 50 years and they die suddenly usually full of canker having grossly over-flowered.Just beyond the Four in Hand is a late flowering double white cherry which came in a batch from Hillier’s.  With all the unusual Japanese names these obscure cherries present a naming problem.
PRUNUS gyoiko
PRUNUS gyoiko
PRUNUS gyoiko 03
PRUNUS gyoiko
PRUNUS gyoiko 02
PRUNUS gyoiko
Prunus ‘Gyoiko’ above the Petrol House has a splendid greenish hue and green veining.  Odd that it is relatively unknown.
PRUNUS mahaleb
PRUNUS mahaleb
PRUNUS mahaleb 03
PRUNUS mahaleb
PRUNUS mahaleb 02
PRUNUS mahaleb
Prunus mahaleb, the St Lucie Cherry, is nearby but has yet to produce fruits although the small flowers are out for several weeks.
PRUNUS ahoi
PRUNUS ahoi
PRUNUS ahoi 02
PRUNUS ahoi

Prunus ‘Ahoi’ by the cashpoint is another winner and well worth its place.  An avenue of these  would  be  quite  a  sight  and the  flowering period is  far  longer  than  ‘Shirotae’ or‘Kanzan’.

1927 – JCW
Yesterday was the Truro Show, nothing very new there, the usual crush of trade exhibits, the light very bad.

1924 – JCW
The Truro Show. Too late for daffs, too early for the cream of the Rhodo’s. AMW’s Werrington. Lacteum the best rhodo thee. H Hodges fine form form of R glaucum. I ran it close but no-one saw it. Nothing really new but Magor’s Rhodo damaris was very nice indeed.

1923 – JCW
A few Orbiculares open, ¾ of the very few Auklandii are open. Fargesi, barbatum, argenteum and the Corylopsis are over. Triandrus (pure) not all open. No Maddeni hybrids are really open.

1920 – JCW
The Azaleas have started. R orbiculare is the best thing we have, the Auklandii’s hold on.

1904 – JCW
Picked the first seed pod Cyclamineus x De Graaf.

1902 – JCW
The first carmine pillars open, also sparacio or two. Auklandii nearly at their best. Recurvas open, a bloom or two on Altaclarence.

1899 – JCW
Went to Appleshaw the best things I saw were 33, 57 and 146, 84 and 414, also the new poet (244).

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