Yet more heavy rain arrives in the afternoon. Need to check the rain gauge to see how many inches of rain in the Christmas week. Another major storm on its way.
Daphne bholua ‘Garden House Ghost’ now full out above the greenhouses. Is it really any different from our old friend Daphne bholua ‘Alba’?
First few sweetly scented flowers on Chimonanthus praecox which was only planted in 2021. Not a plant I ever remember growing here but David Knuckey planted a good one behind the house at Burncoose. It lived a short life of only 30 or 50 years. Lizzie not impressed with the bitter sweet smell!
Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ now nearly full out by the side door. Storm Gerrit has shaken it open rather quickly.
Daphne bholua ‘Limpsfield’ is even further out today and, with only half its leaves remaining, quite a sight.
Camellia japonica ‘Lady Clare’ on the castle wall almost at its best weeks earlier than usual.
Daphne bholua ‘Mary Rose’ still in tight bud in the Rookery and by the front gates. We have seen this in previous years.
The first Storm Gerrit damage. The top of a mature beech tree has split out and crashed down narrowly missing the borehole water tanks. It has smashed a few camellias but not too ghastly. Should the rest of the tree come down? Plenty of time to review and see if it would make any planting room? Lizzie and I heard this go down at about 9pm on 28th December but thought it much closer to the house than it actually was, as is often the case.
2022 – CHW
A very wet few days as nature catches up on the dry summer and our below average rainfall up to now. Leaf drop under the Trevanion holly as we have come to expect from many hollies in a mild autumn. A Phytophthora infection peculiar to some Ilex I suspect but they survive the leaf drop reasonably well.
The sappy new growth and leaves on the fallen Catalpa duclouxii have been frosted.
First flowers out on Camellia x williamsii ‘Debbie’.
Ehretia thyrsiflora still in full leaf but has caught the frost as well.
Major leaf drop under the ancient Illicium anisatum.
A young multi-stemmed Quercus greggii has blown over.
Worryingly, a young Illicium simonsii (BWJ 8024) has shed all its leaves. This is normally a totally hardy evergreen species (i.e. at Tregrehan) so is this cold or is it a phytophthora attack or just a reaction to the dry summer? Time will tell if it survives.
2021 – CHW
Another large Camellia x williamsii ‘George Blandford’ which we always forget up behind the camellia foliage planting.
First buds out on Paulownia tomentosa ‘Lilacina’.
The first good red flower on a pure Camellia japonica.
Jaimie’s new magnolia hybrid which showed great promise last year with six buds has many more for this spring which you can now see after the last leaves have dropped.
Camellia x williamsii ‘Beatrice Michael’ with its first flowers.
2020 – CHW
So now the first real frost of the year. Minus 5°C overnight with hail but bright and clear by day. The Echiums do not like it!
Neither did the arum lilies which were in full growth as we saw a few days ago.
But the Camellia saluenensis was untouched and only a few feet away on the other side of the drive.
I need to do a video of ‘fasciation’ or stem swelling and distorting. Here in Podocarpus acutifolis with fascicles. More commonly seen on Salix udensis ‘Sekka’ and a number of smaller growing Cryptomeria.
Camellia ‘Buttons and Bows’ a new one to me. Slightly frosted but attractive even if the flowers are a bit hidden away in the bush.
Then a big surprise. Contrary to what I wrote 10 days or so ago Magnolia ‘Todd’s Fortyniner’ has three large flowers with full colour. Other buds are still tiny. So Todd’s Fortyniner wins the magnolia season race again and even before New Year!
Magnolia zenii is usually not far behind but no sign of any movement yet here. Some buds may have been frosted and a few are lopsided and may well drop unopened.
2019 – CHW
The third overcast day in a row with no wind and, surprisingly, still no rain. Bucking the recent trend.First flowers on a young Camellia x williamsii ‘Caerhays’ in full shade. The flowers are not as large as they would be in the open on a larger, more mature plant.
Platycarya strobilacea still has a few leaves remaining at the tips of its branches but the seed cones are now ripe and blackish-purple but not yet shedding.
Camellia champetre ‘Cinnamon Candy’ is a cross between Camellia japonica ‘Kenyotae’ and Camellia lutchuensis. Just coming out and, as yet, no cinnamon scent to the flowers. Buds pinkish.
For a ‘horrible’ variegated leaf (as my father would have said) Camellia ‘Kerguelen’ takes quite some beating. Actually I find it pleasantly different with a few buds showing. The older yellowish leaves are rather ugly though.
2018 – CHW
I have worried for the last few years that our young Manglietia decidua (Magnolia decidua) was wrongly named as, even a month ago, it certainly did not look deciduous. I need not have worried! The plant has yet to flower as has the one at Burncoose.
An unusual event! A full flush of light pink buds and flowers on the elderly quince (Chaenomales speciosa?) while the large yellow fruits remain unblemished on the spreading shrub. Attractive today.
First flowers on what may be Camellia cuspidata or is it in fact Camellia lutchuensis? We played this game last spring but even though I now have the Chinese book on Species of the Genus Camellia (coedited by Dr Clifford Parks) it is still very hard to make sense of the descriptions. This plant was supposedly collected by Col Toots Williams while he was stationed in Hong Kong but neither species originate there. Tom Hudson needs a further look at this plant and I need to look at our other C. cuspidata and our Camellia tsaii as well perhaps as Camellia taliense (or what we think is C. taliense). I also need to reread the diary notes from last year from Tregrehan. There are 32 camellia species in the series Thea (ie tea) which are very similar in flower in the Chinese masterpiece.
2017 – CHW
Another filthy wet day with heavy rain in the afternoon but milder.The Rhododendron nobleanum clumps do not all flower at once and more nice undamaged flowers here just emerging by the drive.
Cornus capitata above Bond Street still in nearly full green leaf.
First couple of flowers on Camellia ‘Debbie’.
The first snowdrops break cover and show a little colour.
The wild daffodils by the Four in Hand are at about the same stage.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ is a really good thing. Wonderful dark red.
The big gingko has finally shed all its leaves.
2016 – CHW
Camellia ‘Cornish Snow’ full out below Slip Rail. Rather later out than last year. The other larger plants have yet to show.
The main clump of Rhododendron ‘Bo Peep’ – yellow form – has a few flowers on the Main Ride. Nothing much yet though. The pictures I took are completely out of focus!
2015 – CHW
A hurricane force start to the day followed by the rain in mountains before clearing in the afternoon.Surprisingly little damage for such an extreme roar of the wind which sounded like the January 1990 hurricane.
One 20 foot Camellia reticulata and a similar sized evergreen oak have gone over but no big trees can I find as yet anyway. Twigs, branches and debris on all the paths. Perhaps we were lucky.
The unnamed Camellia x williamsii and saluenensis hybrids below Tin Garden are nearly over or have blown away.
1993 – FJW
Wettest day here after a very wet year. Worst flooding seen in Portholland Valley. But they know where to build houses.
1963 – FJW
Mild weather returned after cold snap with ice on 3/4 of pond.
1912 – JCW
(Handwritten note attached to Garden Book page)H.A.C Algeanas, Spain,
‘Went riding as usual searching all the time in the hills for a white form of Australis; luck favoured me and I found a good plant of it. Naturally we shall take some home. Father has been mad keen to get it’.
(Bob’s entry in his diary of his finding the white Erica australis). 1911 – JCW
Clematis cirrhosa is good, some fair Camellia sasanqua left, ordinary camellias showing about. Iris stylosa coming out well and Iris alata. R nobleanum open well, a flower or two of Rho yunnanense. Snowdrops 2 or 3 just show colour. Many daffs up in Tin Garden. C coum over ⅓ open. Erica codonodes very good. 1900 – JCW
I picked the first flower of Minimus.
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