4th 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
Twenty five magnolias placed out for planting in Forty Acres. Deer protection essential.

On the trip we discover a good clump of FJW’s last rhododendron hybrids. They look Rhododendron griffithianum x Rhododendron arboreum. Planted out in 2002/3.

FJW’s last rhododendron hybrids
FJW’s last rhododendron hybrids
FJW’s last rhododendron hybrids
FJW’s last rhododendron hybrids
Also an ancient old white Rhododendron arboreum which has survived here since before WWI. Nicely pink in bud, opening white but not as pure white as the equally old clumps on Burns Bank which are now on their last legs. There is still our last blood red arboreum in the pheasant pen nearby but a tree has just hit it.
white Rhododendron arboreum
white Rhododendron arboreum
white Rhododendron arboreum
white Rhododendron arboreum
white Rhododendron arboreum
white Rhododendron arboreum
white Rhododendron arboreum
white Rhododendron arboreum
Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’ in Penvergate has enormous catkins of tiny flowers. This Werrington plant is starting to have a nice peeling stem but I have never noticed the catkins before. We now have several of these superb plants growing away at various ages.
Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’
Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’
Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’
Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’
Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’
Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’
Outside my study window the Arum lillies have at least half a dozen flower stems appearing with one showing colour. Not quite as early as last year but another product of a mild winter.
Arum lillies
Arum lillies
And now on to the annual Basic Payment Scheme computer quiz. The Rural Payments Agency have still to agree our entitlements (ie land we actually farm) from the 2015 returns. We know the 2017 forms are bollocks too. They have lost 70 entitlements (hectares) this year rather than just 20 last year and awarded us two fields which we do not own and never have. This is why we voted Brexit to rid us of this bureaucratic nightmare of wasted time and incompetence. We do actually know the land we farm but when dealing with eurotrash bureaucrats, who never answer or respond to letters, their assumption is that we are all liars and cheats. Even the minister’s direct intervention has not yet worked!

2016 – CHW
The first flowering of any new magnolia is always a moment of excitement but usually disappoints. This was planted as Magnolia J C Williams in 2008 and it might yet turn out to be a dark purple as it should be but not as yet here. The shape looks wrong for JCW but early rogue flowers do not yet condemn it to the chainsaw.
Magnolia J C Williams
Magnolia J C Williams
In the same year we planted a few Magnolia sargentiana robusta and a few Magnolia mollicomata seedlings along Bond Street in the windbreak planting. Most died or were crowded out but a couple are now flowering and this one is not a bad backdrop.
Magnolia sargentiana robusta
Magnolia sargentiana robusta
Magnolia stellata ‘Rose King’ below the fernery is just out. Pink in bud, opening white which is nice when you catch it properly. Strangely it is much later into flower than straight Magnolia stellata. The earliest M stellata on the lawn was planted in 1895.
Magnolia stellata ‘Rose King’
Magnolia stellata ‘Rose King’
Back to Magnolia ‘Caerhays Splendour’ without the rain on the lens and a hint of sun amid the showers. Absolutely outstanding in colour, shape and floriferousness. This hybrid will take quite some bettering and will be a top Burncoose seller for decades.
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Splendour’
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Splendour’
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Splendour’
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Splendour’
The Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling on the drive is also at its best today.
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Below the small fernery the daffodils I photographed as emerging shoots in December are now full out. Clearly once a well known variety but not to me today! Any ideas?
daffodils
daffodils
Another 2010 magnolia flowering for the first time and clearly recorded and labelled as Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ (top walled garden). So it was from a batch of scions from the six original plants at Lanarth (near St Kevern) which we sent to Eisenhut in Switzerland for grafting. Is it conceivable this will flower true in the years to come or is it a Swiss labelling cock up? Very probably the latter when one looks at its growth habit and leaf buds but we have been astounded before by the transformation of M ‘Lanarth’s.
Magnolia ‘Lanarth’
Magnolia ‘Lanarth’
Three Rhododendron arboreum ‘Tony Shilling’ planted in 2007 are looking good today at the end of Bond Street. Presumably collected in the wild by Tony and a nice translucent pink.
Rhododendron arboreum ‘Tony Shilling’
Rhododendron arboreum ‘Tony Shilling’
Magnolia stellata ‘Centennial’ has the faintest of pink tinges but is really an exceptionally large flowered stellata hybrid also just coming out beside the tower.
Magnolia stellata ‘Centennial’
Magnolia stellata ‘Centennial’
Magnolia stellata ‘Centennial’
Magnolia stellata ‘Centennial’
The afternoon is spent with the architect and contractor restoring the old dog kennels and the kitchen garden walls. We get caught in a massive hailstorm which wrecks the magnolias in Giddle Orchard before our eyes. Not a good start to the Garden of the Year celebrations.
2015 – CHW
The Rhododendron grande are now making a huge statement as a backdrop to the castle. Rhododendron grande is about a month later than usual and also late out at Burncoose. Normally this species flowers very early and, as there are normally no winged pollinators in February, its seedlings come true.  These appear in a covered cold frame below the plants from time to time in profusion.So to the centre of 40 Acres Wood to see how the American Gresham and Pickard magnolias are getting on here.  Some casualties due to deer damage but many are getting away nicely.  The trouble with these breeders is that they named far too many seedlings which are broadly similar rather than picking and naming the very best.  Just have a look and these and make your own mind up!  Even the names are an exaggeration:
MAGNOLIA Candy Cane
MAGNOLIA ‘Candy Cane’
MAGNOLIA Pink Diamond
MAGNOLIA ‘Pink Diamond’
MAGNOLIA Pickards Opal
MAGNOLIA ‘Pickards Opal’
MAGNOLIA Delicatissima
MAGNOLIA ‘Delicatissima’
MAGNOLIA Eleanor May
MAGNOLIA ‘Eleanor May’
MAGNOLIA Frank Gladney
MAGNOLIA ‘Frank Gladney’

The best thing today in this 15 year old planting is Magnolia x loebneri ‘Mags Pirouette’ which is entirely properly in many people’s top 10 magnolias and a better x loebneri than ‘Wildcat’.

MAGNOLIA loebneri 'Mags Pirouette'
M. x loebneri ‘Mags Pirouette’
MAGNOLIA loebneri 'Mags Pirouette' 02
M. x loebneri ‘Mags Pirouette’ close-up

1990 – FJW
Snow and frost came.

1931 – JCW
Magnolia sargentiana came into flower. It is the finest magnolia bloom of any here.

1930 – JCW
No Augustinii or Triflorum excepting Lutescens. Some of this has shown bloom since Nov 20th.

1917 – JCW
The hardest winter since 1895, frost on most nights. Now almost all the Rhodo’s cut but the Oreodoxa, Fargesii, Fortunei lines of blood have tougher blooms.

1912 – JCW
The show is this day next week.

1911 – JCW
The Show day rather too early as daff flowers rather small, hardwood stuff good, Rhodo’s other than branches moderate.

1908 – JCW
Truro show 3 days hence, de Graaf is far off, a late cold year after a ditto. Sunless summer gives us few Rhodo buds and a lot of small rough daffodils. A few Reticulatas open.

1905 – JCW
Truro show, many de Graaf’s there, also Homer in several places. Prince good, Auklandii there all of 4 things open, the show was about the best we have ever had. Picked some pot minimus seed.

1904 – JCW
Weardale, Monarch a few Frian ???, a few Jonquil ???, many P M de G, also out Siren, Torch, Incognita, Homespun, 336, M P, Cardinal, Moonbeam etc etc, go to the Drill Hall.

1902 – JCW
All of the above have some flowers well out. I have picked most of the Lulworth seedlings and saucer eyes for the Show on the 15th. A very bad season for Poets, picked a rose Clamoise.

1901 – JCW
C indivisa been out a full week, Glory of Leiden bursting, also G Bell and 223, Weardale and 999 show colour etc etc.

1899 – JCW
Picked a Madam de Graaf and a [?].

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