6th 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
A rhododendron planting day from three nursery beds – approximately 80 plants – mainly species.

Azalea ‘Hana-asobi’ in full flower. Hose in hose flowers. Behind it is one of the last surviving Azalea ‘Shin-sekai’.

Azalea ‘Hana-asobi’
Azalea ‘Hana-asobi’
Azalea ‘Hana-asobi’
Azalea ‘Hana-asobi’
Lifting root balled rhododendrons from the Orchid House Nursery bed. We have cleared this bed now and will re-fence it in the summer.
rhododendrons from the Orchid House Nursery
rhododendrons from the Orchid House Nursery
We saw Rhododendron concatenans in flower before Christmas but these were odd secondary flowers. Here is the proper job!
Rhododendron concatenans
Rhododendron concatenans
Rhododendron concatenans
Rhododendron concatenans
Another plant of Rhododendron kiyosumense full out but a month later than the one on the drive of a similar size. This is a sub species of Rhododendron reticulatum from Japan and the reference books say that there are several forms.
Rhododendron kiyosumense
Rhododendron kiyosumense
Rhododendron kiyosumense
Rhododendron kiyosumense
The elderly but huge clump of Rhododendron loderi ‘King George’ is just coming out. Smaller plants are full out already as we have seen.
Rhododendron loderi ‘King George’
Rhododendron loderi ‘King George’
Rhododendron veitchianum just coming out in Donkey Shoe.
Rhododendron veitchianum
Rhododendron veitchianum
Rhododendron veitchianum
Rhododendron veitchianum
Rhododendron veitchianum
Rhododendron veitchianum
Schefflera alpina is hidden away in a glade but doing quite well. Does not look that ‘alpina’ to me!
Schefflera alpina
Schefflera alpina
Schefflera alpina
Schefflera alpina
FJW’s cross of Rhododendron moorii x Rhododendron euchates just out by Georges Hut. This is not the best form.
Rhododendron moorii x Rhododendron euchates
Rhododendron moorii x Rhododendron euchates
Rhododendron moorii x Rhododendron euchates
Rhododendron moorii x Rhododendron euchates
At last we have a Magnolia stellata ‘Jane Platt’ which is actually true to name and pink! Several times Burncoose have been supplied with non pink forms in the past leading to hassle and replacements.
Magnolia stellata ‘Jane Platt’
Magnolia stellata ‘Jane Platt’
Rhododendron sinogrande ‘Lord Rudolph’ just breaking bud. Judges at shows do not like us entering this one as we (and nobody else) seems to know its origins. The old plant here grew in a crater just inside the corner of Bramble Field gate.
Rhododendron sinogrande ‘Lord Rudolph’
Rhododendron sinogrande ‘Lord Rudolph’
Rhododendron sinogrande ‘Lord Rudolph’
Rhododendron sinogrande ‘Lord Rudolph’

2016 – CHW
A mad rush to clear up after yesterday’s invasion and prepare the rhododendron archive for viewing by the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia & Magnolia Group members who visit us tomorrow for lunch/tour/archive in this their centenary year.The magnolias and other flower arrangements outside the front door have survived from yesterday in good order but the wind is strengthening now. The glass vases are not vases at all but were part of the electricity generating equipment in the Engine House at the Pound which was built pre WWI to supply two plugs per house and electricity to the estate.
flower arrangements
flower arrangements
flower arrangements
flower arrangements
Outside the front door the arum lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica), which has not turned a hair all winter, now has five flowers out.
Zantedeschia aethiopica
Zantedeschia aethiopica

Beside it is a clump of dwarf narcissi which are just going over but have a superb scent.

dwarf narcissi
dwarf narcissi
A pot of double flowered daffodils with a reddish orange centre are looking good by the door but the label has vanished.
double flowered daffodils
double flowered daffodils

2015 – CHW

PRIMROSES
PRIMROSES

If ever there was a competition for the most irritating visitor comment on the garden it would have to be on completion of their garden tour: ‘aren’t the primroses lovely’.  Yes, of course they are, but how could you not gaze up in wonder at a magnolia or a bunch of rhododendrons!  So many visitors never look up!  Perhaps we should sell Easter tickets just for primroses just as the snowdrop gardens do in January/February.  Then everyone could just look at their feet.

I wonder why the three Vaccinium floribundum above the greenhouse which were doing so well have suddenly all died?

MAGNOLIA 'Big Dude' 03
MAGNOLIA ‘Big Dude’
MAGNOLIA 'Big Dude'
MAGNOLIA ‘Big Dude’
MAGNOLIA 'Tino Durio'
MAGNOLIA ‘Tino Durio’

Magnolia ‘Tina Durio’, a pure white, is the best plant in the clearing above the greenhouse.   There is a larger and more impressive plant in 40 Acres.  Perhaps a better shape than Magnolia ‘David Clulow’. The next plant to it is labelled Magnolia ‘Big Dude’ but it is not a very big flower and the correct plant is probably next to the big new Sequoiadendron giganteum.

RHODODENDRON arboreum (white)
RHODODENDRON arboreum (white)
RHODODENDRON 'Endslegh Pink'
RHODODENDRON ‘Endslegh Pink’
RHODODENDRON Edgeworthii
RHODODENDRON edgeworthii

The rhododendrons are starting to rush out after a mild and mainly sunny Easter weekend.  Rhododendron edgeworthii has sprung from nowhere and the huge Rhododendron arboretum (white) which is nearing the end of its life is having one last triumphant display on Burns Bank.  Rhododendron ‘Endsleigh Pink’ is an old hybrid but well worth its place.

BETULA albosinensis
BETULA albosinensis

Betula albosinensis above the greenhouse just large enough to start its bark peeling.  Two older specimens in Penvergate are much better and now 20 years old.  Very different at present from the Werrington ‘Chinese Garden’ and ‘Bowling Green’ (now called ‘ChinaRuby’) forms of Betula albosinensis which I remember growing at Donkey Shoe as a child.  The Werrington Forrest collected form (1910) had creamy white peeling bark flushed pink and maturing to coppery red.  Too early to say if any of these three will be ex Werrington but I did buy both forms from Thornhayes Nursery 15 to 20 years ago.  ‘China Ruby’ is now listed by Burncoose and probably qualifies as the ‘must have’ betula. Time to check the computerised planting records again.

A simply gorgeous day with 428 garden visitors and a coach load on top.  Much the same numbers as we used to get on our pre 1992 one (charity) day a year of opening.  340 on Easter Sunday so the marketing of the garden is working.

1980 – FJW
5000 came for the Open Day – traffic problems.

1958 – FJW
Savill and Findlay came + 1250 for open day.

1934 – JCW
Prunus sargentiana may have 70 blooms on and all that lot have flowered.

1932 – JCW
Mag sargenti has two blooms open. Camellias at the Gun room are very good. Pink Cherry wants a day more, not an early year.

1931 – JCW
Very nearly as in 1924 two of Wilson’s denudata are showing flowers, one is pink like the mother and the other is a pinkish white. Lutescens is good again after one knock out by the frost and then another by the wind. Pink pendulous cherry is at its best.

1924 – JCW
Poets just starting, yellow trumpets fair. Been cold and dry for a long while without rain. No cherry in drive yet. Subhirtellas nice also incisa. Mag denudata not open. Not much behind 1921.

1921 – JCW
Poet’s open and daffs on the wane. No yellow trumpets left but nice Leiden and a little colour. Rho amoena at their best. Cherries in Drive very good. Magnolia conspicua, denudata and stellata are all good. The red and white Auklandii types never so good. Bob’s heath in flower and has been for a month or more.

1916 – JCW
Just as the above (1915). R fastigatum is very good at Werrington, it has been cold since February 26th.

1915 – JCW
Many daffs open but no Poets, not the M de Graaf in the drive, all the trumpets and incomps are at their best. Prunus pendula just opening. R racemosum in the drive very good but not all out.

1911 – JCW
M de Graaf is opening, a fairly good lot of Reticulatas open, sharp frost last night which cut rhodo bloom. R fargesii stood it better than others.

1899 – JCW
Lovelace, Chanas, Sir Walter Scott, White Lady etc picked for Birmingham Show. Bob saw the first swallow.

1897 – JCW
I made my first visit to Appleshaw with PDW and bought my first lot of daff seedlings.

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