8th 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

Judging camellias with Jennifer Trehane at the show. More classes than I expected but four judges was overkill. Trewithen deservedly won the main class for 12 different blooms plus the cup.

Sorbus caloneura in full flower on the show bench.

Sorbus caloneura
Sorbus caloneura
Sorbus caloneura
Sorbus caloneura

Magnolia soulangeana ‘Alexandrina’

Magnolia soulangeana ‘Alexandrina’
Magnolia soulangeana ‘Alexandrina’

Malus ‘Katherine’

Malus ‘Katherine’
Malus ‘Katherine’
Then some exhibits from the International Camellia Society.

Camellia japonica ‘Aitonia’

Camellia japonica ‘Aitonia’
Camellia japonica ‘Aitonia’

Camellia japonica ‘Elegans’

Camellia japonica ‘Elegans’
Camellia japonica ‘Elegans’

Camellia japonica ‘Sacco Vera’

Camellia japonica ‘Sacco Vera’
Camellia japonica ‘Sacco Vera’

Camellia japonica ‘Woodsii’

Camellia japonica ‘Woodsii’
Camellia japonica ‘Woodsii’
Magnolia ‘Dark Shadow’ on a Crown Estates exhibit.
Magnolia ‘Dark Shadow’
Magnolia ‘Dark Shadow’
Camellia japonica ‘Matterhorn’ is one we need to obtain.
Camellia japonica ‘Matterhorn’
Camellia japonica ‘Matterhorn’
Camellia japonica ‘Matterhorn’
Camellia japonica ‘Matterhorn’
Staphylea elegans won its class.
Staphylea elegans
Staphylea elegans
Staphylea elegans
Staphylea elegans
Malus ‘Everest’ was good too.
Malus ‘Everest’
Malus ‘Everest’
Malus ‘Everest’
Malus ‘Everest’

Rhododendron ‘Cowslip’ – a williamsianum hybrid.

Rhododendron ‘Cowslip’
Rhododendron ‘Cowslip’
Rhododendron primuliflorum
Rhododendron primuliflorum
Rhododendron primuliflorum
Rhododendron primuliflorum
Rhododendron primuliflorum
Rhododendron arizelum – you will see many of the big leafed species from here on and also in the garden. An interesting comparison.
Rhododendron arizelum
Rhododendron arizelum
Rhododendron sinofalconeri – superb too in the Valley Gardens.
Rhododendron sinofalconeri
Rhododendron sinofalconeri
Rhododendron letouchae (stenaulum) quite different from ours.
Rhododendron letouchae
Rhododendron letouchae
Prunus tenella ‘Firehill’ as a vase with more flower on its stems than I have seen.
Prunus tenella ‘Firehill’
Prunus tenella ‘Firehill’
Prunus tenella ‘Firehill’
Prunus tenella ‘Firehill’

Rhododendron hodgsonii

Rhododendron hodgsonii
Rhododendron hodgsonii

Rhododendron huianum

Rhododendron huianum
Rhododendron huianum

Rhododendron glaucophyllum

Rhododendron glaucophyllum
Rhododendron glaucophyllum
Staphylea x coulombieri – quite nice but not hugely different.
Staphylea x coulombieri
Staphylea x coulombieri
Amelanchier lamarkii full out in a vase and with very different new growth to Amelanchier laevis photographed last week.
Amelanchier lamarkii
Amelanchier lamarkii
Amelanchier lamarkii
Amelanchier lamarkii
Syringa pinnatifolia out much earlier than ours.
Syringa pinnatifolia
Syringa pinnatifolia
Syringa pinnatifolia
Syringa pinnatifolia
Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’ – a shy flowerer with us in the nursery.
Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’
Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’
Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’
Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’
Kerria japonica ‘Golden Guinea’ – foliage and flowers a nice contrast.
Kerria japonica ‘Golden Guinea’
Kerria japonica ‘Golden Guinea’
Kerria japonica ‘Golden Guinea’
Kerria japonica ‘Golden Guinea’
Aesculus x neglecta ‘Erythroblastos’ – superb new growth.
Aesculus x neglecta ‘Erythroblastos’
Aesculus x neglecta ‘Erythroblastos’

Rhododendron kesangiae – another form.

Rhododendron kesangiae
Rhododendron kesangiae

Camellia x williamsii ‘Les Jury’ – a must to add to our collection.

Camellia x williamsii ‘Les Jury’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Les Jury’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Sweet Jane’ – likewise.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Sweet Jane’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Sweet Jane’

Camellia ‘Spring Festival’ – ditto.

Camellia ‘Spring Festival’
Camellia ‘Spring Festival’

Camellia ‘Spring Mist’

Camellia ‘Spring Mist’
Camellia ‘Spring Mist’
Prunus maakii ‘Amber Beauty’ – glorious in full flower. Ours has not yet.
Prunus maakii ‘Amber Beauty’
Prunus maakii ‘Amber Beauty’
Prunus maakii ‘Amber Beauty’
Prunus maakii ‘Amber Beauty’

Darmera peltata in flower with no leaf.

Darmera peltata
Darmera peltata
Taxus baccata ‘Rushmore’ – tiny leaves.
Taxus baccata ‘Rushmore’
Taxus baccata ‘Rushmore’
Michael receives the cup for the best rhododendron truss in the show for ‘Countess of Haddington’. Then off around the Savill Garden with John Anderson and Harvey Stephens.
Michael receives the cup
Michael receives the cup
Michael receives the cup
Michael receives the cup
Rhododendron ‘Countess of Haddington’
Rhododendron ‘Countess of Haddington’
Pruning wisteria to achieve more flowers – care article pictures.
wisteria clump
wisteria clump
wisteria clump
wisteria clump
wisteria clump
wisteria clump
Mahonia nervosa – young plantings.
Mahonia nervosa
Mahonia nervosa
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Greyswood Ghost’ with bark and catkins.
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Greyswood Ghost’
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Greyswood Ghost’
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Greyswood Ghost’
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Greyswood Ghost’
The unknown to us Mahonia ‘Bokrafoot’ in full flower at the Savill Garden entrance. Well worth stocking by Burncoose.
Mahonia ‘Bokrafoot’
Mahonia ‘Bokrafoot’
Mahonia ‘Bokrafoot’
Mahonia ‘Bokrafoot’
Mahonia ‘Bokrafoot’
Mahonia ‘Bokrafoot’
An impressive trunk on an ancient Nothofagus dombeyi.
Nothofagus dombeyi
Nothofagus dombeyi
Nothofagus dombeyi
Nothofagus dombeyi
A superb glade of Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’ glowing in the sunlight. One for the acer care article.
Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’
Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’
Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’
Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’
Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’ similarly effective for the care article.
Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’
Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’
Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’
Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’
Prunus incisa ‘Omoinoyama’
Prunus incisa ‘Omoinoyama’
Prunus incisa ‘Omoinoyama’

Lindera triloba just in flower.

Lindera triloba
Lindera triloba
Rhododendron ‘Princess Anne’ (lanceanum x keiskei)
Rhododendron ‘Princess Anne’
Rhododendron ‘Princess Anne’
Rhododendron ‘Princess Anne’
Rhododendron ‘Princess Anne’

Lysichiton camschaticum

Lysichiton camschaticum
Lysichiton camschaticum

Sorbaria sorbifolia ‘Sem’ – superb double new coloured growth.

Prunus ‘Royal Burgundy’ – well worth stocking.
Prunus ‘Royal Burgundy’
Prunus ‘Royal Burgundy’
Prunus ‘Royal Burgundy’
Prunus ‘Royal Burgundy’
Xanthorhiza simplicissima – the huge spreading clump which I first saw 40 years ago and identified as a must for the Burncoose catalogue.
Xanthorhiza simplicissima
Xanthorhiza simplicissima
Xanthorhiza simplicissima
Xanthorhiza simplicissima
Prunus avium ‘Plena’ – in maturity quite a sight today.
Prunus avium ‘Plena’
Prunus avium ‘Plena’
Prunus avium ‘Plena’
Prunus avium ‘Plena’
Magnolia ‘Phelan Bright’ very fine in the garden as well as on the show bench.
Magnolia ‘Phelan Bright’
Magnolia ‘Phelan Bright’
Magnolia ‘Phelan Bright’
Magnolia ‘Phelan Bright’
Malus hupehensis which has died out at Caerhays.
Malus hupehensis
Malus hupehensis
Malus hupehensis
Malus hupehensis
Cornus nuttallii ‘Pink Blush’ with little pink but a choice plant which we ought to stock.
Cornus nuttallii ‘Pink Blush’
Cornus nuttallii ‘Pink Blush’
Cornus nuttallii ‘Pink Blush’
Cornus nuttallii ‘Pink Blush’
Acer sterculiaceum ssp franchettii – an original plant of this survives at Caerhays.
Acer sterculiaceum ssp franchettii
Acer sterculiaceum ssp franchettii
Acer sterculiaceum ssp franchettii
Acer sterculiaceum ssp franchettii
Rubus spectabilis ‘Olympic Double’ – even better this year than last.
Rubus spectabilis ‘Olympic Double’
Rubus spectabilis ‘Olympic Double’
Magnolia soulangeana ‘Rubriflora’ (denudata x lilliflora) – nothing special.
Magnolia soulangeana ‘Rubriflora’
Magnolia soulangeana ‘Rubriflora’
Abies forrestii – well worth trying at home.
Abies forrestii
Abies forrestii
Tilia endochrysea with half sized leaf.
Tilia endochrysea
Tilia endochrysea
Tilia endochrysea
Tilia endochrysea
Sassafras albidum – this extraordinary spreading/suckering clump in full flower. Why does ours not produce suckers like this?
Sassafras albidum
Sassafras albidum
Sassafras albidum
Sassafras albidum
Sassafras albidum
Sassafras albidum
Podocarpus nivalis ‘Ruapehu’ on a rockery bed.
Podocarpus nivalis ‘Ruapehu’
Podocarpus nivalis ‘Ruapehu’
The rare Ceanothus cuneatus var ramulosus which we should stock.
Ceanothus cuneatus var ramulosus
Ceanothus cuneatus var ramulosus
Ceanothus cuneatus var ramulosus
Ceanothus cuneatus var ramulosus
A fine Juniperus communis ‘Compressa’.
Juniperus communis ‘Compressa’
Juniperus communis ‘Compressa’
This 90 year old freestanding wisteria clump has been created gradually by severe pruning. Just look at the flower about to come. The queen was unimpressed when Harvey Stephens told her it was ‘ancient’!
All good stuff for the new wisteria care article.
wisteria clump
wisteria clump
wisteria clump
wisteria clump
wisteria clump
wisteria clump
Hemerocallis dumortieri – out early with peculiar flowers.
Hemerocallis dumortieri
Hemerocallis dumortieri
This Epimedium ‘Pink Champagne’ is a MUST for us to stock at Burncoose. What a display! Easy selling name too.
Epimedium ‘Pink Champagne’
Epimedium ‘Pink Champagne’
Epimedium ‘Pink Champagne’
Epimedium ‘Pink Champagne’
Epimedium ‘Pink Champagne’
Epimedium ‘Pink Champagne’

2016 – CHW
The two hectare plantation of camellias in the Portholland valley is being ripped out after some 25 years. Originally these camellias were planted as part of a European grant project for Cornish growers promoting traditional and new foliage production. The belief was that there was a European/German market for eucalyptus, pittosporum and other foliage plants if they could be grown in bulk as Tregothnan were then doing on a field scale size with a huge range of potential foliage plants form phormium, rubus, eleagnus and camellia. Caerhays had always sold sprays of Camellia japonica foliage to the Covent Garden market and still does today. The hope was that by growing more named varieties of camellia a new market could be opened up for the sale of camellia buds and sprays of flowering camellia.Although Tregothnan did indeed go on to develop a thriving foliage business which has adapted into tea production as well as supplying the floristry market the supposed German foliage buyers sent only one lorry to Cornwall and this was not a success.
plantation of camellias in the Portholland valley
plantation of camellias in the Portholland valley
plantation of camellias in the Portholland valley
plantation of camellias in the Portholland valley
plantation of camellias in the Portholland valley
plantation of camellias in the Portholland valley

We did eventually manage to interest Dutch buyers in the camellia product some five years ago but it proved impossible to provide week on week the consistency of product in a limited range of named varieties and the costs of cutting and bunching camellia sprays in different sizes hardly covered the costs achieved in the market. Transport costs to Holland were horrendous and the Dutch never understood that the product was grown outdoors and therefore subject to frost, wind damage and hailstorms week on week. In warmer weather the flowers came out too quickly during shipment.We managed only one successful load which was shipped on the Moscow, Vladivostok and the Gulf States. The buyers wanted more next week but we had a frost. We were not geared up staff wise to cope and the skills needed to package thousands of identical bunches of uniform quality of the same variety as the Dutch (rightly) demanded were beyond us. Camellias do not, in the main, grow in a manner which easily allows the cutting of 30, 60 and 90cm identical sprays in very large quantities.

So the Dutch gave up on us, we could not see a realistic profit in the future and the plants grew so big that you could not get through them although the brambles did.

So, slightly reluctantly, we decided to destroy the plantation and return the land to normal agricultural use. Not a success story but one which cost us very little as the original grant covered the full cost of the plants and the original planting while some ongoing agricultural support from Europe paid for maintenance of the crop (today called BPS) on an annual basis.

Meanwhile the Higher Rockery was getting a ‘haircut’. Several azaleas and rhododendrons needed cutting down to reshoot and rejuvenate as they had again grown too large and were shading out other plants. This was last done at least 30 years ago.
Higher Rockery
Higher Rockery
Rhododendron ‘Ginny Gee’, planted in a newer bed, was just coming into flower helped by the removal of a few brambles.
Rhododendron ‘Ginny Gee’
Rhododendron ‘Ginny Gee’
Rhododendron ‘Ginny Gee’
Rhododendron ‘Ginny Gee’
In the main the Rockery is in part either too shady and damp for many rhododendrons and, in part, too hot and dry with poorish soil. Few of my more recent plantings have done well (‘Ginny Gee’ and ‘Wee Bee’ being the exceptions) and the last of the original clump of Rhododendron russatum is on the way out. Rhododendron spinuliferum and Rhododendron weyrichii still thrive however as does Vaccinum urceolatum.

2015 – CHW

Completed the planting out CHW
Starting the planting out.
completed planting out 02
Completed.

Completed the planting out of some 200 rhododendrons in the centre of Old Park.  These were mainly new species to Caerhays and some are replacements for species which have died of old age.  All were grown from wild collected Chinese seed by Alan Clark formerly of Muncaster Gardens in Cumbria.  The frames by the greenhouse which had our own excellent crop of rhododendron seedlings were also planted out some in Old Park and some above Rogers Quarry.  These included Rhododendron excellens, lindleyi, ririei, arboretum, royalei (yellow and pink) and ‘Penvose’ (Caerhays hybrid).  Higher Quarry Nursery and Orchid House Nursery are now virtually empty for the first time for years and ready to be dug over ready for Jeremy Peter-Hoblyn’s Chinese rhododendron seedlings which he kindly gave us last year just before he sadly died.  We have planted out now at least 100 new magnolias, 300 plus rhododendrons and at least 150 other camellias and assorted shrubs in seven days . A bigger planting out programme than Jaimie had ever undertaken in his 21 years here.  Now we need some rain to bed them all in but none in prospect this week it seems.

Looking exceptional in the garden today are:
RHODODENDRON monstroseanum
RHODODENDRON monstroseanum – below Burns Bank
MAGNOLIA cylindrica – a wild collected form which is not pure white but has an initial blueish-purple stripe at the base which then turns reddish.
MAGNOLIA cylindrica

2004 – FJW
Mag stellata by nursery excellent.

1966 – FJW
Mrs Blandford died – 60 years they were married.

1933 – JCW
Just as on this day 10 years ago, but no Auklandii. Magnolias are all good.

1923 – JCW
Bob’s White Australis is splendid, the Auklandii starting the early one is well out, the hybrid white Auklandii have been very beautiful. The cherries in the drive are at their best but Subhirtella in the Beech Walk is better.

1918 – JCW
One of the best days of one of the best springs, the first of the Auklandii are opening. Bob’s White Australis is in flower well for the first time. All the heaths are open and a great mass of rhodo’s with very pleasant light for things like the Augustinii’s.

1914 – JCW
Daffs are near their best. Clematis alpina is lovely. Mrs Butler x at its best. R fargesii at its very best. R lutescens going back. The Auklandii x Arboreum white and red come on well. A few R broughtonii moving.

1912 – JCW
Reticulata half fallen, de Graaf going back, cherries are out bar one, the later poets are open, some montana open, rhododendrons are near about their best.

1907 – JCW
Plymouth Show. De Graaf ⅓ open, Weardale well out, all x poets not properly open, no Auklandii yet.

1904 – JCW
Truro Show. De Graaf open and Weardale, but not grown, and I did not take the former Dante, and 137 were our poets, flowers below the average.

1903 – JCW
We have nearly the last de Graaf buds open, all the Lulworths or nearly all are out, the cherries are half out. I returned from Dinton and the Drill Hall today, there were very few Poets at the Drill Hall except from the west.

1900 – JCW
Bob saw the first swallow.

1898 – JCW
Sir W Scott, Homer, 37, Dante, Firebrand, Griflamme are open also Mrs Langtry (one or two), M Cowen, M de Graaf, M Plemp, G of Leiden and G mundi.

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