2020 – CHW
Growing spring twin lambs enjoying the sun having escaped from their mother under a gate. In 2001 it was they who were gated or killed (often unnecessarily) by a horrid disease. Today it is us! I do however discover that the government scientist who advised Tony Blair to implement the contiguous culls (5km or so) of all herds/flocks around a foot and mouth outbreak is the same chap (Neil Ferguson) who is advising Boris now on infection/death rate increases etc with his ‘scientific’ modelling. The public inquiry after F&M found that contiguous culling (without positive testing) and animal burning/burial was often unnecessary and cost the tax payer billions in compensation to farmers and tourism alike while the countryside was locked down for months even well away from F&M outbreaks. See attached Foot & Mouth Enquiry Report. The Sunday Times has been inquiring about the basis and assumptions in the computer modelling being used now to advise the government but the learned professor has indicated that the model is too complex a computer language programme (and only in his head – never written down) for anyone to peer review or comment on it yet. No doubt the COVID-19 public inquiry will one day have a lot to say about the model used, how correct it was, and how many scientists agreed at the time. It would seem the professor’s model only at present. Perhaps being alarmist is far better than being complacent? However my limited knowledge of professors suggests to me that they have been known to suffer from a certain intellectual arrogance with a ‘better than everyone else / always right’ approach. This current government advisor’s track record is far from perfect as I suspect ‘Private Eye’ will have a lot to say about in the next issue. ‘Private Eye’ produced a whole paper on the cock ups of F&M which I keep in the safe for archivists to enjoy one day (along with the Diana issue). I rather think it is time to dig it out to see how many of the F&M panic/lockdown mistakes are being repeated today. The government keeps saying it is only being guided by ‘the science’.
Magnolia ‘Tikitere’ in Old Park is just coming out undamaged. One of the very last ‘tree’ magnolias to perform and even later than ‘Serene’. Last year it was equally late but a bit battered. The colour is excellent this year. It is a New Zealander (of course) from Ian Baldick and the cross is Magnolia ‘Vulcan’ x Magnolia ‘Apollo’. It is in the Burncoose catalogue but has not yet caught on over here. It certainly will with a colour like this in an April flowering tree (probably May upcountry in a normal year).
Narcissus ‘White Lion’
Still no rain!A flower on the large Rhododendron sinogrande which we took up to Chelsea two seasons ago. It had no flowers then (just wonderful new growth) but three or four this year and the plant looks in rude health despite its travels. We lifted it in November but left it in place with the roots wrapped in wire netting until it moved off with the TV cameras in mid May.
2018 – CHW
Another trip to Old Park to take photographs to encourage more visitors to venture this far.
View of the main new magnolia planting on the bank facing the drive. Around 30 new magnolias coming on here but none out yet.
Another of the scented rhododendrons is full out above the greenhouse. Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis.
2016 – CHW
The Treve Holman Memorial Cup – First awarded in 1988 for: Best Exhibit in Section B – Magnolia Classes. Treve was an active member of the Executive Committee.
The George Johnstone Perpetual Trophy – First awarded in 1970 for: Most points in Section B – the Magnolia Classes and was donated by Mrs George Johnstone. Mr Johnstone was the first President of the reformed society in 1958. Though disabled through a riding accident, he built on the initial planting of his ancestors to establish the now internationally famed Trewithen Gardens.
The Abiss Memorial Trophy – Donated by the Cornwall Garden Society in honour of Captain Abbiss. MBE. DCM. MM. NDH. FLS. A pioneer of the Cornish Horticultural Industry and one of the best known figures in British commericial horticulture. The trophy was first awarded in 1966 for: The best vase or growing plant, in Sections A B C or D, as it is today. Captain Abbiss was presented with a silver salver by the CGS shortly before his death in 1966; in honour of his work for the CGS and in general. A memorial garden was built in his name at the Royal Cornwall Showground.
2015 – CHW
It is a bank holiday (Good Friday) but still three house tours despite the rain. This house was not designed to be lived in by us and dad with six dogs and be open to the public so we escape to Penvergate to see if the yellow magnolias there are showing colour yet. Magnolia‘Butterflies’ is nearly out and Magnolia ‘Yellow Bird’ will be in a week to 10 days. Hassle all day long now.
Apart from being untidy there are good displays from the 1920s original and newish Magnolia soulangeanas and especially soulangeana ‘Alba Superba’. Magnolia officinalis biloba is still in bud but about to flower well. The buds have an almost black indumentum covering and stand proud to the upright stems.
Sadly we have missed Magnolia mollicomata ‘Sidbury’ which is now putting on its leaves. Another website set of pictures going begging until next year.
The dogs catch yet another rather sickly cock pheasant who has clearly been fighting his rivals and had lost an eye in the process. This is a pretty common occurrence as the cocks fight to defend their harems who will now be starting to lay properly in the mild weather.
1994 – FJW
The wettest open day to date – non stop rain – say 80 visitors.
1988 – FJW
Open day – 2200 – beautiful day – Magnolias mostly over – Camellias excellent.
1983 – FJW
Open day – 2003 – despite ominous weather forecast – Magnolias A+ Camellias and Rhodo’s B+.
1934 – JCW
Just the reverse of last year. Cherries much injured by birds and bad shooting. Mag sargetiana smothered in blooms. A late season.
1927 – JCW
A very few Augustinii open. Daffs broken by wind. De Graaf not all open. Subhirtella in the Old Park is the best cherry.
1926 – JCW
The pink Davidsonianums were far best two plants in this last week but the Augustinii were very good indeed.
1925 – JCW
Appleyard saw the martins and swallows.
1918 – JCW
Daffs on the wane, though the best late whites are not all open yet. The cherries (double) are starting. Mountain forms of Rhodo at W (Werrington) two days ago were wonderful. Red and white Auklandii’s are very good.
1916 – JCW
Yellow stuff well open, no real poets. Hot sun by day, cold wind. R fargesii has been very nice, a lovely shrub but not a wonderful flower. R fastigiatum of kinds open here and at W (Werrington) varies very much indeed. The first bit of colour in the drive Cherries.
1912 – JCW
M de Graaf going back, a bit of colour on Auklandii. Adenopodum and Fargesii at their best.
1906 – JCW
Truro show. De Graaf in plenty, some but not the best poets, 10 days dry east wind before, no good Auklandii’s.
1899 – JCW
The first Poet arum and M de Graaf, colour shows on the double cherries.