30th 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

2018 – CHW

Off to the greenhouse to sort through seedling rhododendrons then to be grown on in the frames and others to the nursery bed in the Rookery. Asia has done a superb job in the last six months to get the production line of replacement plants going. So many species live only short lives that if you forget to propagate they are gone. With the closure of Glendoick nurseries, at least for mail order, where else in the UK can you actually now buy rhodo species in variety? Defra is probably to blame for turning all rhododendrons into invasive beings in the public perception.

On the way above the greenhouse is Magnolia ‘Sunsation’ with its very erect and upright habit. One of the better yellow mixtures but many of the Sunsomethings are very similar indeed.

A Clematis forsteri cutting with a few flowers.

Clematis forsteri
Clematis forsteri
Menziesia ciliicalyx var purpureum flowering in the greenhouse. These plants will eventually be for the Rockery as they are fairly dwarf in habit. Menziesia have only recently been added to the genus rhododendron rather than being on their own. Odd to understand how these flowers are rhododendron-like? Menziesia are now all Rhododendron multiflorum! More botanist bollocks!
Menziesia ciliicalyx var purpureum
Menziesia ciliicalyx var purpureum
Prunus ‘Shogetsu’ is pink as it opens then turning white. The natural shape of the tree is umbrella-like. Very fine in the sun today. Certainly as good as Prunus ‘Shirotae’ which has a similar habit.
Prunus ‘Shogetsu’
Prunus ‘Shogetsu’
Prunus ‘Shogetsu’
Prunus ‘Shogetsu’
Prunus ‘Shogetsu’
Prunus ‘Shogetsu’
The swan has decided to nest again in the same spot as last year where it hatched off only two cygnets from eleven eggs. Neither survived to maturity and the last one perished in late January when its parents drove it away.
swan has decided to nest
swan has decided to nest
The newly buried electric cables in Beach Meadow left us on the generator here for a day.
buried electric cables
buried electric cables

2017 – CHW
To Burncoose to finalise the 2017/8 budget and enjoy the unaudited year end figures to 31.3.17 which make happy reading yet again.

Rhododendron ‘Surrey Heath’ is another good yakusimanum hybrid which is one colour in bud and when first out but quite another when full out. You can see both outside the nursery entrance where some have had more full sun than others.

Rhododendron ‘Surrey Heath’
Rhododendron ‘Surrey Heath’
Rhododendron ‘Surrey Heath’
Rhododendron ‘Surrey Heath’
A fine clump of Hebe ‘Wiri Charm’ in flower in the nursery. Nearly over in fact.
Hebe ‘Wiri Charm’
Hebe ‘Wiri Charm’
Rhododendron radicans is a true rockery species with a short life and, as here, the flowers can be variable in colour.
Rhododendron radicans
Rhododendron radicans
Rhododendron radicans
Rhododendron radicans
Rhododendron ‘Graffito’ is a new introduction to the website. A tough old hybrid by the look of it but still only one bud today.
Rhododendron ‘Graffito’
Rhododendron ‘Graffito’
Rhododendron ‘Gartendirektor Rieger’ has faded a bit but nice red spots in the bells. Shy to flower in a pot and only one in the row has.
Rhododendron ‘Gartendirektor Rieger’
Rhododendron ‘Gartendirektor Rieger’
Rhododendron ‘Gartendirektor Rieger’
Rhododendron ‘Gartendirektor Rieger’
Magnolia acuminata var subcordata nicely in flower in a pot. This is a small growing form of the ‘cucumber tree’ and the one from which so many of the newer yellow magnolias have been bred. Not a huge flower and a variety of yellow hues as the flower develops.
Magnolia acuminata var subcordata
Magnolia acuminata var subcordata
Magnolia acuminata var subcordata
Magnolia acuminata var subcordata
Magnolia acuminata var subcordata
Magnolia acuminata var subcordata
The first time I have seen Magnolia ‘Jersey Belle’ in flower. A cross between Magnolia wilsonii and Magnolia sinensis but showing, in its anthers at least, more wilsonii than sinensis in terms of colour. The plants are grafted which is a surprise but the flowers are very fine. Sadly too early for Chelsea where it would have been a show stopper! Furry indumentum on the new growth too which is more sinensis than wilsonii.
Magnolia ‘Jersey Belle’
Magnolia ‘Jersey Belle’
Magnolia ‘Jersey Belle’
Magnolia ‘Jersey Belle’
Magnolia ‘Jersey Belle’
Magnolia ‘Jersey Belle’
What a show on the batch of specimen sized plants of Calycanthus raulstonii ‘Hartlage Wine’. Some held back in the cool for Chelsea.
Calycanthus raulstonii ‘Hartlage Wine’
Calycanthus raulstonii ‘Hartlage Wine’
Do not the Viburnum plicatum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’ look a great batch too. This is the larger size. No pink yet in the flower but it will come.
Viburnum plicatum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’
Viburnum plicatum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’
The new clump of Rhododendron royalii flowering for the first time in the Burncoose garden. It died out at Caerhays years ago but was just as dark as these when in flower on the drive.
Rhododendron royalii
Rhododendron royalii
Rhododendron royalii
Rhododendron royalii
I went to hunt down Viburnum cinnamomifolium in the garden to compare it with the Viburnum cylindricum seen in Wales with berries but as yet no flowers. Seems I was nearly too late for the flowers here but the leaf is similar. New growth more like Viburnum odoratissimum. Three quite similar species if that is what they are?
Viburnum cinnamomifolium
Viburnum cinnamomifolium
Viburnum cinnamomifolium
Viburnum cinnamomifolium
This is a pure white form of Abutilon x suntense we think which Clare has acquired and hidden in the office for ‘safe keeping’. Hopefully it will go on to a happier life in the propagation house soon. Hilliers claim this as a chance seedling they found in 1975. In their nursery called ‘White Charm’. It does not look like a white Abutilon vitafolium but we could be wrong?
white form of Abutilon x suntense
white form of Abutilon x suntense
white form of Abutilon x suntense
white form of Abutilon x suntense
The Olearia scillionensis is full out beside the car park already. A bit too early for butterflies to enjoy it today!
Olearia scillionensis
Olearia scillionensis

2016 – CHWThe season is racing on alarmingly quickly and no matter how many times you go around the garden there are still many surprises to take in before you miss them for another year.

Crataegus chinensis in flower in the greenhouse is a new plant to us.

Crataegus chinensis
Crataegus chinensis
Staphylea holocarpa ‘Rosea’ is especially fine above the greenhouse. Strangely the pure S holocarpa (white) nearby is not showing colour yet.
Staphylea holocarpa ‘Rosea’
Staphylea holocarpa ‘Rosea’
Staphylea holocarpa ‘Rosea’
Staphylea holocarpa ‘Rosea’
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis is full out and nearly over in just 10 days.
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Nearby the pure Rhododendron edgeworthii is in a similar state. Note the larger and more bullate leaves.
pure Rhododendron edgeworthii
pure Rhododendron edgeworthii
pure Rhododendron edgeworthii
pure Rhododendron edgeworthii
Rhododendron ‘Martha Wright’ is out in the rookery nursery. A new scented hybrid for us bred at Glendoick.
Rhododendron ‘Martha Wright’
Rhododendron ‘Martha Wright’
Rhododendron moorii is ready for planting out next spring to replace the old clump by Georges Hut which is dying of old age. The second time in a generation that we have had to start this medium sized species off again.
Rhododendron moorii
Rhododendron moorii
Rhododendron moorii
Rhododendron moorii
Rhododendron moorii
Rhododendron moorii
Beside it are two nice plants of Rhododendron ‘Wine and Roses’ coming out. The underside of the leaves has bright purple indumentum.
Rhododendron ‘Wine and Roses’
Rhododendron ‘Wine and Roses’
Rhododendron ‘Wine and Roses’
Rhododendron ‘Wine and Roses’
Above the green gate two ‘new’ magnolias are out for the first time (to me). The Magnolia x veitchii seedling from Chollipo in Korea has huge flowers just over and the Magnolia ‘Sweet Merlot’ is full out with some leaves emerging. One day they will look splendid from the castle lawn.
Magnolia ‘Sweet Merlot’
Magnolia ‘Sweet Merlot’
Magnolia ‘Sweet Merlot’
Magnolia ‘Sweet Merlot’
2015 – CHW
A filthy day with some rain and a strong south east wind. Perhaps a good night for lamping!
Two new first time flowering magnolias (to me anyway):

MAGNOLIA 'Rose Marie x Black Tulip'
MAGNOLIA ‘Rose Marie x Black Tulip’
MAGNOLIA 'Rose Marie x Black Tulip' 02
MAGNOLIA ‘Rose Marie x Black Tulip’

Magnolia ‘Rose Marie x Black Tulip’ is a very late flowerer and darkish red but lacks the neat shape of Black Tulip.  Do not see this being one for the public at large even if it does get awarded a name.

MAGNOLIA 'Carlos'
MAGNOLIA ‘Carlos’

Magnolia ‘Carlos’ is yet another pale-ish yellow but has no particular distinguishing marks that would make many people want to grow it.Good to see yellow flowers on Yellow Lantern from the front door today.  A new first for Caerhays as the plant is tall enough to show up (against the new beech leaves behind) above the wall by the old play house.

SYRINGA pinnata
SYRINGA pinnata
SYRINGA pinnata 02
SYRINGA pinnata

Three Syringa pinnata full out outside the front gate.  I first saw this very unlilac-like syringa at Altamont Garden in south Ireland 10 years ago and had no idea what it was.  Susyn Andrews had one in a bag at Rosemoor.  She is probably the most knowledgeable botanist/plant identifier in the UK so we appear to share a ‘like’.

BERBERIS insignis var INSIGNIS 02
BERBERIS insignis var insignis
BERBERIS insignis var INSIGNIS
BERBERIS insignis var insignis

Also Berberis insignis var insignis flowering for the first time having just shed its large and very prickly old leaves.  Rather ‘floppy’ but perhaps it will square up in time.

CARDAMINE pentaphyllos
CARDAMINE pentaphyllos

I am not one for herbaceous woodland plants but Cardamine pentaphyllos on the drive was always a favourite of my mother’s.  The white form seems to have died out beside the purple on the drive.

1998 – FJW
A very wet April – cold.

1993 – FJW
A wet April.

1944 – CW
All daffs over in Tin Garden. Auklandii still very good. Magnolia rostrata and fraseri out also. A good many Maddeni hybrids. Single peonies and two double out in Tin Garden.

1911 – JCW
A few daffs to come. Montana rubra ⅓ open. Indian Arboreums at their best. Auklandii’s a few open. Sir C Lemon going over. Big recurvas poet at its best.

1900 – JCW
Audreana shows colour. Many Iris germanica open, daffs are nearly over except Marvel and recurvas not yet open.

(Handwritten note attached to Garden Book page re planting out of Oaks and Magnolias in Oct 1927 to Feb 1928).

hist_april_30_1

hist_april_30

2 thoughts on “30th April

  1. Hi,
    Interested in your comments re Magnolia “Jersey Belle”.

    In my teens I worked as a garden boy at Highdown (Chalk Garden). It was there that I saw Magnolia highdownensis and this on a soil no lower than pH 8. Of course the sweetly scented pendant blooms looked great but even then I was more interested in the form and foliage. The wide spreading multi branched form together with the bold foliage pleased me. Although I worked in arboriculture most of my working life the opportunity to re aquaint oneself with old friends is not always possible and memory dims.

    I planted a 3 litre pot of M wilsonii but it hasnt done well. Planted as a small plant and badly attacked by slugs. Soil heavy clay with some sub soil (disturbed soil) although I have mulched. I planted when soil was at its most workable.

    So I am left with the decision of whether to replace with another M wilsonii or go with Jersey Belle. I prefer a multi stem wide spreading habit. Wondered if the larger flowers would go brown and hang on the tree in inclement weather? Also interested in your comment about it being a grafted plant. Would you consider it preferable for this plant to be produced from cuttings and is there a disadvantage of grafted Magnolias?

    Also is there much difference between the two, branching form and foliage wise. Trouble with that as always it requires one to have seen both plants when reasonably mature often no easy task. Or perhaps I should go with something such as M sieboldii or sinensis as an alternative?

    Would value any suggestions please as I have little experience of this Genus.

    Many thanks,

    All best,

    Frank.

    1. Dear Frank

      As far as growth and habit are concerned there is very little to choose between wilsonii, Jersey Belle, sieboldii or sinensis. All are multi stemmed, spreading trees and (with the exception of Jersey Belle) they will all be on their own roots rather than being grafted.

      If you are worried about your soil and are looking for a quick result in terms of early flowering I think Magnolia sieboldii would probably be the easiest to grow.

      However, at the end of the day, it is really for personal choice as to which flowers you like best.

      Kind regards

      Charles

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