14th February

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

2018 – CHW

More labelling. It takes two hours for Karol and I to place out 50 to 60 record tree labels.

A good young plant of Quercus uvarifolius is getting away. This was grown from a cutting. An extraordinarily rare plant.

Quercus uvarifolius
Quercus uvarifolius
Quercus uvarifolius
Quercus uvarifolius
First flowers high up on Rhododendron moulmainense (we still call it Rhododendron stenaulum). Rather earlier than usual I believe.
Rhododendron moulmainense
Rhododendron moulmainense
Likewise on the semi-deciduous Rhododendron ‘Chink’.
Rhododendron ‘Chink’
Rhododendron ‘Chink’
Rhododendron ‘Chink’
Rhododendron ‘Chink’
This camellia was collected from seed in Hong Kong by Toots Williams in the 1960s. Tender, clearly, and probably a form of Camellia sinensis, the tea tree, I assume? Rather delicate. We must propagate this even if it is a conservatory plant really.
Camellia sinensis
Camellia sinensis
Camellia sinensis
Camellia sinensis
Camellia sinensis
Camellia sinensis
Berries still on Ilex dipyrena which is today labelled a Cornish record tree. I have never seen it set seed before myself but it is easy from cuttings. The seed improve an otherwise rather dull, rare and prickly species.
I photographed this spectacular but rather odd rhododendron hybrid in flower last year. Quite a clump of them and we need to do some layering here. No idea of its name but large trusses with red edging to each bell. Can anyone enlighten me please? Well worth a name and propagating as it flowers so early. On the path towards Rookery Gate. [Edit: please see Anthony Synott’s comment below – it is irrorata anthosphaerum!]
rhododendron hybrid
rhododendron hybrid
rhododendron hybrid
rhododendron hybrid
rhododendron hybrid
rhododendron hybrid
A good plant of Rhododendron rireii in full bloom in The Rookery. FJW planted this area in the early 1970s and a more ancient plant of this species survived here until quite recently. Quad bikes and pheasant feeding upset its root system near the path.
Rhododendron rireii
Rhododendron rireii
Jaimie’s Rhododendron ‘Maisie’ is out rather early above the Magnolia x veitchii and sadly a bit frosted. I forget the parentage but it is all registered properly. Named after Jaimie’s dog (or was it a dog?!)? No it was in fact his grandmother so a naughty remark. Its parentage is Rhododendron moupinense x Rhododendron chrysodoron.
Rhododendron ‘Maisie’
Rhododendron ‘Maisie’
First colour showing on Magnolia zenii although the light is fading now above the greenhouse. About as early as last year and very like Magnolia amoena but rather earlier into flower. Endangered in the wild I believe.
Magnolia zenii
Magnolia zenii

2017 – CHW
A batch of newly bought in Helleborus orientalis ‘Annas Red’ and new to the Burncoose catalogue too. Superb 2L plants from Javado in Holland. Quite the best Lenten lily I have yet seen although who Anna is or was I have no idea.
Helleborus orientalis ‘Annas Red’
Helleborus orientalis ‘Annas Red’
Helleborus orientalis ‘Annas Red’
Helleborus orientalis ‘Annas Red’
Helleborus orientalis ‘Annas Red’
Helleborus orientalis ‘Annas Red’
Helleborus orientalis ‘Annas Red’
Helleborus orientalis ‘Annas Red’

A nice showing of dwarf blue iris in pots too.

dwarf blue iris
dwarf blue iris

Despite the continuing cold the pace of spring’s arrival is massively speeding up at Caerhays. New things to see now every day which cheers everyone up a bit. Not a cascade as yet!Two 2003 (and one earlier) plants of Prunus x incam ‘Okame’ (‘Okame’ to us!), a Collingwood Ingram cherry hybrid, are just out by the tower. Hillier’s says it flowers in March. Each year these trees become more noticeable as they become yet more floriferous. Why is this not more widely grown and available from nurseries and garden centres?

Prunus x incam ‘Okame’
Prunus x incam ‘Okame’
Prunus x incam ‘Okame’
Prunus x incam ‘Okame’
Prunus x incam ‘Okame’
Prunus x incam ‘Okame’
Prunus x incam ‘Okame’
Prunus x incam ‘Okame’
The first clump of our huge new autumn planted daffodil clumps (10 to 12) is just about out below the tower as well. I have not caught up with the names again yet but this one is rather plain to put it mildly.
first clump of our huge new autumn planted daffodil clumps
first clump of our huge new autumn planted daffodil clumps
A rhododendron which is very probably Rhododendron brevinerve (Alan Clarke 4296 collection number) is nicely out and new to me. Planted in 2008 it definitely looks to be in the irrorata subsection rhododendron in terms of leaf shape and flowering time. Reminds me of Rhododendron ‘Endsleigh Pink’ in colour but the trusses are different in form and size.
Rhododendron brevinerve
Rhododendron brevinerve
Rhododendron brevinerve
Rhododendron brevinerve
Rhododendron brevinerve
Rhododendron brevinerve
Rhododendron siderophyllum is also just coming out near brevinerve. This plant has near white flowers with a flash of pink in the trumpet when full out. Some others are rather more pink. I had thought this to be a small growing (and relatively new species) but this plant is beginning to prove me wrong. Also a 2008 planting and there are a few other clumps in the garden which we raised from seed 15 plus years ago. Not a huge eye catcher for the public but a reliable flowerer over a long period.
Rhododendron siderophyllum
Rhododendron siderophyllum
Rhododendron siderophyllum
Rhododendron siderophyllum
Rhododendron siderophyllum
Rhododendron siderophyllum

Huge excitement today as the ‘Salvage Hunters’ (Drew and Tee) come to film at Caerhays and buy ‘junk’. We sell them eight 1960s toy cars for £920, a couple of outdoor steel chairs for £300, a gypsy table for £180 and two other arm chairs for £750. Even five seaside children’s tin buckets for £30! This all takes forever with many retakes in confined spaces in tiny rooms. Lizzie and Sian a bit tongue tied at the initial interviews but otherwise all fine. The filming team were six plus the two presenters. Drew’s antique/refurbishment business is based in Conway, North Wales. He certainly seems to know what he can sell but I think it may be him rather than us who was stitched up with the toy cars. He offers £4-5k for the two heavy white metal seats which came originally from The Rising Sun in St Mawes, and are now outside the front door, but we decline.The film crew arrived at 8.00am and left at 5.50pm with their ‘toys’ and the odd glass of wine. A profitably day which makes me think. What they bought was on Drew’s retail website before they left apart from the four chairs which will need work on before they are saleable.

Salvage Hunters camera crew
Salvage Hunters camera crew
Salvage Hunters camera crew
Salvage Hunters camera crew
Salvage Hunters camera crew
Salvage Hunters camera crew

2016 – CHW
More magnolias out on the drive though the Camellia x williamsii clump is already nearly over. I saw garlic in flower yesterday in Ponsanooth and Azalea ledifolia Alba (Azalea ledifolium now apparently) is showing colour.

Magnolia denudata ‘Forrest Pink’ has a few flowers out and so does Magnolia ‘Pickards Ruby’ which is especially dark this year.
Magnolia denudata ‘Forrest Pink’
Magnolia denudata ‘Forrest Pink’
Magnolia ‘Pickards Ruby’
Magnolia ‘Pickards Ruby’
Rhododendron ‘Bo-Peep’ (pink form) is full out unlike the original up in the garden.
Rhododendron ‘Bo-Peep’ (pink form)
Rhododendron ‘Bo-Peep’ (pink form)
Rhododendron ‘Bo-Peep’ (pink form)
Rhododendron ‘Bo-Peep’ (pink form)
Rhododendron ‘Bo-Peep’ (pink form)
Rhododendron ‘Bo-Peep’ (pink form)
A poor sister seedling to Magnolia ‘Caerhays Splendour’ is out on the track down to White Styles entrance. The worst of the four seedlings here but quite nice in its own way and much earlier than the others.
poor sister seedling to Magnolia ‘Caerhays Splendour’
poor sister seedling to Magnolia ‘Caerhays Splendour’

After rain all day Friday and Saturday the water meadows are properly flooded for the first time this year despite the very wet winter. The river Luney and the lake have merged into one.Magnolia ‘Red Lion’ from New Zealand is now full out on Bond Street; certainly it looks better today than Magnolia ‘Star Wars’, its sister seedling.

the water meadows
the water meadows
the water meadows
the water meadows
Magnolia ‘Red Lion’
Magnolia ‘Red Lion’
So is the second Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’ lookalike below the Four in Hand. Although from the same seed pod as the original and quite nice it is nothing like the original despite the translucent pink hue.
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’ lookalike
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’ lookalike
Magnolia ‘Delia Williams’ on the lawn here has three flowers out which seem darker than usual.

2015 – CHW
Magnolia zenii starting to come out above greenhouse. Another endangered in the wild species. Not all flowers seem to come out at once. Very similar to Magnolia amoena and just as dull!

MAGNOLIA zenii in 2015
MAGNOLIA zenii in Feburary just starting to flower.

Magnolia ‘Tina Durio’ and Magnolia ‘Todds Forty Niner’ showing a hint of colour nearby but caused by wind blow I suspect.

MAGNOLIA 'Todds Forty Niner' in flower at Caerhays 2015
MAGNOLIA ‘Todds Forty Niner’

2001 – FJW
Giddle Orchard Magnolia shows colour.

1959 – FJW
Two flower buds on Rho’ giganteum opening. Sutch hybrids good and Red Admiral on its way. Cyclamineus at front door showing colour.

1932 – JCW
Hard frost for three days no Rhodo’s left. Some daffs are opening.

1926 – JCW
Some daffs open, Cyclamineus for some days, 34 species of Rhodo of which the best are Sutchuenense and hybrids of the same. Strigillosum – Hookeri – Racemosum – Ririei – Barbatum – Irroratum – Lutescens – Scabrifolium – Argenteum – Thomsonii – Nobleanum hybrids. E darleyensis fine and so R praecox. Camellia speciosa is very nice.

1924 – JCW
We are far in front of 1897, I believe our earliest year. Cyclamineus has been open for a week, Camellia reticulata for several days, dismal small flowers from the lack of sun, Blood Red arboreums for over a week.

1919
The frost left and things like R scabrifolium began to come out, Prunus conradinae is open, one plant only. Nobleanums opening again but it has been quite a hard spell.

1918 – JCW
Barbatums very good. Oleifolium – Lutescens – Sutchuenense – Ciliatum – Thompsonii hybrids – Ririei and Nobleanum all oopening. Italian cherry and Wilson’s in bloom, also R hookeri.

1911 – JCW
Wilsons first batch of Conifer seed etc came.

1910 – JCW
No named daffs but citrinus open. Barbatum – Dahuricum – Lutescens – Blood Red Arbo’ and Argenteum all opening. Also Nobleanum, R praecox v good, hybrid Arboreum and Thom x Arboreum.

1903 – JCW
Picked and sent Pen a Campanelli. Fulgens good, Primula megasoefolia holding on and have done since October. Several Tenby open and a number of bad seedling Rho’.

1899 – JCW
Found Jacko up.

1898 – JCW
White hoops citrinus mostly out not all, nearly all the Maximus, Madam Plemp just through the ground, many of Engelhart’s things have failed to show yet.

1897 – JCW
One Golden Spur open, Cyclamineus out, Blood Arboreum opens, C reticulata shows colour, Minimus over, Lent Lilies out many, one double Telamonius, white hoops all out, and odd seedlings.

2 thoughts on “14th February

    1. Dear Mr Synott

      Thank you for your comment and apologies for the late reply.

      I have looked it up and you are spot on! Thank you so much – I will amend the diary accordingly.

      Best wishes

      Charles Williams

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