Seed heads have formed very quickly after flowering on Styrax wilsonii.
Huge seed heads on Magnolia ‘Kew’s Surprise’ to gather in a month.
Lomatia fraseri in flower in the frames.
Brassaiopsis dumicola (KWJ 12217) with a flower cluster. We lost this in the garden last winter.
The aptly named Fuchsia ‘Blacky’ which I bought at Treseders Nursery. I rather suspect this may sell well in BLM times. Some flowers black at first then fading to red while others stay black?
Strobilanthes wallichii has grown now to a decent size and its flowers are much larger than a year ago.
A lunch party for retirees from Burncoose Nurseries following a successful year which we all wanted them to share in. Judi kindly brought me plants of Tritonia disticha formerly known as Crocosmia rosea.
A couple of female flower cones for the first time on the Australian Araucaria bidwillii. Lowdown on the tree which is now circa 25ft tall. I can, as yet, see no male flowers.
2020 – CHW
Lillium superbum just out.
Calycanthus floridus ‘Athens’ still in full flower which is odd. Secondary flowers held back in the dry spell I assume as the flowers normally appear with the leaves in late May.
Another flower on the 1998 planted Magnolia delavayi which Jaimie thinks was from Clive Shilton. It is different to the normal delavayi.
The outer casing has now shed on the second bud on Magnolia tamaulipana.
Here is the seed head from the first flower.
The big Eucryphia nymansensis ‘Nymansay’ which reshot with multiple stems after the 1990 hurricane is just out.
Just a very few seed heads are setting on Euonymus lucidus after the dry spell.
Still a good show of flowers on Magnolia virginiana ‘Satellite’ long after the first ones showed high up on the tree four to six weeks ago.
Tender new growth on Quercus fleuryi. Orange indumentum. It has not enjoyed the heat.
A disaster with Schefflera megaphylla which has moved in the wind and half broken its root system. Will the flower still come out?
Mr Norton suggests that our misnamed Michelia compressa might be Cleyera japonica? The flowers are just showing colour now but not out. I suspect not but will have a look at our Cleyera japonica ‘Fortunei’ shortly although I did photograph this in flower last year.
Deer damage (and recent) to the trunk of a young Quercus crassifolia. Infuriating and always the rarest things.
A nice show of Rhododendron ‘Polar Bear’ in the Ririei Opening.
The two original and once record Osmanthus yunnanensis (Forrest 1923). One fell over and we pollarded and uprighted it and it has now reshot a bit. The other was pollarded and started reshooting vigorously last year but has now completely died and needs to come out. We have a few new young plants on the go.
2019 – CHW
To complete our review of Taxodium distichum varieties from the day before yesterday here is ‘Falling Waters’ growing beside a camellia. A trailing leader and trailing branches.
Also the last gingko variety: Gingko biloba ‘Variegata’ with irregular variegations here and there which are by no means all over the small tree.
Rhododendron parishii (CWT 6346) with its first ever flower with us. A totally new species to us which looks similar but not identical to the picture in the pocket guide to rhododendron species.
Seed pods aplenty on Magnolia rostrata but they have not, in recent years, had any ripe seeds in them eventually.
Flowers on an elderly Rhododendron prunifolium. Several plants at the top of the garden and one to propagate. Not to be confused with Rhododendron prinophyllum!
The first time I have seen flowers on Hoheria sextylosa ‘Snow White’ planted as a group of three large plants in Kennel Close this spring. An excellent upright growing and bushy form.
Likewise the first flowers actually seen on Callicarpa shirasawana. We saw the similarly coloured berries last winter and they were far better than these flowers which are, admittedly, nearly over now.
Also new to us and in flower today is the evergreen Vaccinium megaphyllum. Quite pretty and now the prospect I hope of fruits for Asia to sow later.
2018 – CHW
The joys of rain at last at the weekend! Hopefully the drought of 2018 is over just in time to save the big leaved rhododendrons and the new plantings in the garden.This bank outside the front door was brown only 48 hours ago.
A large snail emerges from a wall crevice to enjoy its first feed for six to eight weeks and it is able to wander about by day in the drizzle.
Asia’s new greenhouse is now erected and already she is starting to fill it with newly potted cuttings and magnolia seedlings. The bench in the middle was supposed to go at the end but, I fear, we need to double the width of both side benches and perhaps get another bench for the centre. Do we gravel or slab or sand the base or just perhaps cover it with mypex? All to decide but a big leap forward in our space for growing on rare plants propagated here.
Cornus controversa seedlings emerging from the drought under the record tree. Strange how the drought has allowed several sets of seedlings to appear where they never have before. Spraying around trees and plants in late spring creates bare earth which allows this?
2017 – CHW
A garden centre trip with heavy rain threatening. I just get to Arreton in time to beat it. First up is the rather impressive, well laid out and well tended Thompsons GC. They are rather keen on helenium and rudbeckia but I wonder how many of the ones here are really hardy? Clare will know. Here is my ‘new’ plant offering anyway.Pride of place at the entrance went to Rudbeckia lac. ‘Goldquelle’.
Penstemon ‘Laura’ was attractive.
Penstemon ‘Czar’ was not bad either.
Penstemon ‘Blackbird’ less so in the wind. We stock this one but this looks a bit different?
Spiraea japonica ‘Anthony Waterer’ before the older flowers fade in colour.
Lophomyrtus x ralphii ‘Magic Dragon’ was attractive and new.
Gaura ‘Rosyjane’ – I pictured last year as a nice bicolour.
Rudbeckia ‘Maya’ looked tenderish but is fairly low growing compared to some.
Pear ‘Doyenne du Comice’ with a pear.
Polemonium ‘Bambino Blue’ was pretty. Hardy?
Helenium ‘Sombrero’ in the rain.
Lonicera x americana
Lonicera perc ‘Graham Thomas’
Lonicear x heckrotii ‘Gold Flame’ – if true to name?
Now a series of roses! None were the ones we wanted for new plants for next year but some may be better than we have or we may sell them one day.Rosa ‘Birthday Girl’
Rosa ‘Happy Anniversary’
Rosa ‘Many Happy Returns’
Rosa ‘Ruby Wedding’
Rosa ‘Deep Secret’
Rosa ‘Ruby Wedding’ as a climber.
Then to Simpson GC which is slightly less tatty than last year but no customers at all. Their signboard said ‘roses on flower now’ but most were, of course, over.Rosa ‘The New Dawn’
Rosa ‘Special Grandad’
Rosa ‘Your Wedding Day’
Rosa ‘Ruby 40th Anniversary’
Leucothoe fontanesiana ‘Rainbow’ with seeds.
Then to Springwood GC which had closed down. All stock gone. No surprises here!
2016 – CHW
At last a really decent rose on the front of Backstay. Mrs Williams appears to be claiming the credit but this one has been here for decades!
Off to Will Caws’ amazing chalk down field where we are too late this year for orchids but the displays of wild flowers and butterflies are as impressive as ever. Half a dozen adders under a sheet of galvanised iron.
This is the herb wild marjoram in a variety of colours.
Then two prevalent tiny wild flowers which I need to look up to identify.
Back to Will’s garden where he has layered his sweet peas but they are not exactly over flowering this year.
Pear ‘Merton Pride’ was producing a big crop and Will had covered the tree to keep the birds away.
Pear ‘Conference’ has only a sparse showing next to it.
Apple ‘Coxs Orange Pippin’ was starting to colour up nicely.
Plum ‘Victoria’ was also loaded with fruit.
Escallonia ‘Compacta Coccinea’ was looking good and makes a nice shrub.
Sadly this is not quite a Dianthus ‘Mrs Sinkins’ which we are missing pictures of but hugely scented and had already been out for weeks.
2015 – CHW
Our best pure Magnolia virginiana is full out in New Planting. As noted before its clonal forms and hybrids have bigger and showier flowers. These are rather sparse but a nice ‘lightbulb’ shape. My memory of the original Magnolia virgiana smashed in the 1990 hurricane was that it was rather better in flower. Variable species!
What I think is Acer cappadocicum has very unusual seed pods which I have never noticed before. Beside Cornus bretschneidei. Quite possibly a record tree but not measured recently. [Update 2020: this is actually a Liquidambar from Asia – see comments at bottom of page!]
Hidden away in the Rirei Opening is a very rare oak (now apparently a lithocarpus) – Lithocarpus variolosus. I had not looked at it for 10 years or so but it is quick growing and now 20ft at least in a very sheltered spot. Easy from cuttings says ‘New Trees’ so we must try. The plant is plastered in flower (although not obviously separate male and female flowers) so we must see if seed trusses or acorns form. Nigel Holman gave us this plant from a Chinese collecting trip. The label said Quercus verruculosa which implied something nasty on your foot but it is a fine and very rare specimen today! Vintage Nigel!
More plants have come out in the Main Quarry of the centurion Rhododendron fortunei subsp discolor. Attractive and can be smelt today from 70 yards away. Grows alongside Rhododendron stamineum. I found a flower of this on a young plant on the main ride today.
How well the two Rhododendron ovatums look in the Main Quarry having been cut right down to reshoot some 10 years ago. I guess the discolor and ovatum were planted at the same time. Most of the rhodos here are from Forrest’s last collecting trip ending with his death in 1932.
2002 – FJW
Delia had trip in new car and approved of it and the hydrangeas on the drive. Good weather, very very wet in central England.
1949 – CW
Rho – Auriculatum, Rabdotum, several white and pink Auriculatum hybrids, Eucryphia pinnatifolia very good, one lapageria and a few cyclamen. Been very dry. Hydrangeas very small.
1921 – JCW
No Auriculatum bud on the place. Fog and heavy air with half hearted rain after heat and drought for over three months. We go to Scotland on the fourth. Hydrangeas good colour but small.
1918 – JCW
Buddleias late ones are nice. Bulbs not yet shifted, no labour. No Auriculatums yet.
1916 – JCW
The Romneya at its top best say 200 flowers.