2024 – CHW
Magnolias rush out after a night of wind and rain showers.
The view from the front door over the arch by the back yard.
The garden season started today; our first day of opening this year. Around 100 visitors in the sun.
Well budded camellias at the sales point.
2022 – CHW
Frankie and his mighty machine have cleared the two fallen beech trees below Old Park and Brownberry.
Another storm casualty which I also missed earlier has been a large chunk of the elderly Rhododendron arboreum (white) on the path up to the Isla Rose Plantation. The same rhododendron we saw in the 1907 or 1921? pictures a week or two ago. Asia collected seed from this plant last autumn ‘just in case’. Another mess to clear up in the rush before opening as it was on Thursday in the freezing cold and alarmingly strong gusts of beastly east wind.
It now looks as though we will not open tomorrow after all. Heavy rain and 40mph winds are forecast so it will be too dangerous to risk the public. The forecast for next week looks pretty horrid as well. Jaimie has made the right call but it muddles the publicity surrounding our reopening.
Frankie and his digger have helped clear the Lower Rockery Path and the turkey oak trunk has been sectioned up and moved out of the way. The mess and crown will have to wait a few days to sort out.
Frankie has moved on to widen a couple of bridges with additional telegraph poles for supports. One is of course the one that I tipped the mule off into a flooded River Luney on 16th November last year with a heavily pregnant Serena on board. She called today to tell us her husband now has COVID in Juba in South Sudan where he is a British army colonel attached to the UN peacekeeping mission there. COVID in that sort of heat cannot be pleasant and on vacuum packed army rations with no proper fresh fruit. Thankfully he stocked up on vitamins and medicines when he was briefly back in the UK in early January. Quite how he will now get back to the UK for the birth in April remains a worry to us all.Saw some golden plover today near Nancor Farm above Grampound struggling in the wind and probably also struggling to feed anywhere. The woodcock have been seen recently in the garden more and more (and at Burncoose) where I guess they will have, by now, departed into France or a mid-Atlantic death. The GWCT farm bird count will be interesting this year as most migratory birds will have been blown way off course or snuggled down to wait out the ‘Beast’. I saw in the papers an extremely rare sighting of a US bird on Exmoor. It would get home quickly on this easterly storm!
The sister seedling to Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’ which is unnamed is looking good outside the front gate in the sun. The flowers are smaller and darker than ‘Caerhays Belle’ but this is not bad for February. The other sister seedling is not yet out in Bond Street but a similar size.
Rhododendron ‘Ostara’ is just starting. A semi-deciduous cross between Rhododendron dauricum and Rhododendron mucronulatum is always a good early show.
2018 – CHW
A day out with Clare (the nursery buyer) and Asia (the Caerhays propagator) to visit a couple of wholesale nurseries from whom we buy a lot and have propagation agreements with. A bitterly cold day!
First to E B Champernowne in Devon and its owner, Peter Argles. Historically this was a daffodil nursery and, despite my father’s alzheimers, he did remember his father and grandfather dealing with them when they were also growing daffodil bulbs seriously at Werrington and Caerhays. Today Burncoose are Peter’s largest customers from his traditional wholesale nursery. 20 to 25 tunnels of plants with a large propagation area. He grows lapageria from cuttings. Cor!
The joy of nursery visits is to see new plants:
Is this really a form of Pittosporum tobira or some other species? I think it is Pittosporum truncatum?
Then on to Roundabarrow Nursery who are growing many varieties for us now from seeds, as cuttings and as grafted plants all from Caerhays material. A newish site near Gunnislake on the Devon/Cornwall border but just in Cornwall. Exciting to see how many things have rooted already from last season but it will be a year or two before they are large enough to add to our rarities website catalogue.It was a day for looking at Daphne bholua varieties in full scent and bloom. Paul used to have a nursery at Pound House near Buckland Monachorum and has retained many of the best varieties from the old Garden House collection at Buckland Monachorum.
Daphne rupina la (may not be the full name) – SUPERB
I have never seen such an array of Daphne bholua and the stock plants were mainly growing outside in the teeth of the wind on top of the Round Barrow Hill beside a huge multi-span tunnel. 700 bholua grafts done for spring 2019 by Paul.Also growing outside in full exposure were half a dozen schefflera species. Schefflera rhododontifolia was doing particularly well.
A Burncoose day of paperwork and a nursery tour to help select the plants for the Caerhays sales point. The gardens at Caerhays open on the 20th February.Camellia ‘Memphis Belle’ is a particularly vulgar blotched colour mixture but a big and bold flower which is catching the eye in the cash point by the till.
2016 – CHW
A newly bought in batch of camellias from a French nursery are flowering away by the greenhouses ready for planting out.
Camellia champetre ‘Fairy Blush’ – looks rather tender
Camellia ‘Silver Chalice’
Camellia ‘Black Magic’ – I think we have had this before
Camellia champetre ‘Christmas Daffodil’ – hardly daffodil like!
Camellia ‘Memphis Belle’ – a rather blowsier version of Camellia ‘Nagasaki’
2015 – CHW
Gamekeepers catching up laying hens in Rookery. Bit of a mess on Rookery path! Hold onto your hats as we open to the public in three days’ time.
(Note added to Garden Diary page) [Out presumably on this day]
Rhodo’s – Sulfureum, Lutescens, Bayleyi, Davidsonianum, Irroratum, Dahuricum semp’s, Mucronulatum, Racemosum, Scabrifolium, Ririei, Quinquefolium, Moupinense, Thomsonii, Barbatum, Obtusum, Parvifolium, Rubiginosum.1915 – JCW
Only Cyclamineus and one or two Cyc x are open with Soleil d’or., six or eight Camellias show flower, Rhodo’ moupinense – lutescens – argenteum – sutchuenense – racemosum – mucronulatum – barbatum – keysii – keiskei – sutchuenense x arboreum – and various hybrids. Primula megasoefolia is well open.1907 – JCW
Hardly any of the 99 things open.1902 – JCW
Hard frost for a week, ice all over the pond, nothing moves.1899 – JCW
Open many Telamonius (6028), a few H Irving, Caerhays, and colour only for Tenby, Maximus many, Cyclamineus many, Minor many, several seedlings also P pissardi by the Kitchen Garden, Azalea Dutch oriole and white crocus.