2024 – CHW (images to follow)
For some reason blobs of lichen have grown on one side of the gallery. It is not growing directly on the glass but on film of plastic material which filters UV light entering the building. The UV film has been in place for years and replaced fairly recently. Quite why it has started growing on the less exposed and less sunny side of the gallery roof this winter is a mystery. It has never occurred before. The suppliers of the UV film said we could wash off the lichen blobs with warm water which we did today in the rain. It looks much better from below.
An interesting article is attached from The Royal Cornwall Gazette dated 13th February 1868. A clear win in court for John Michael Williams.
Attached is a letter from the RHS with certificates for the awards showed at the Rosemoor Show in March and April 2023. By RHS standards a swift response!
The moment the Cornish magnolias flower, spring has arrived in England.
Spring has arrived in Cornwall, today 16 February 2024. The date was declared by The Nare, together with The Great Gardens of Cornwall, as part of Cornwall’s Spring Story – which marks the moment the Cornish magnolias flower, spring has arrived in England.
Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the county’s mild, sub-tropical climate ensures that Cornwall sees signs of spring much earlier than the rest of the country.
The first botanical day of spring is declared once six magnificent Magnolia Campbellii in each of the Great Gardens of Cornwall have flowered, with at least 50 blooms on each of the champion trees.
Cornwall’s Spring Story was founded by Toby Ashworth, proprietor of The Nare Hotel, in partnership with the Great Gardens of Cornwall in 2012 – to ensure garden lovers enjoy the splendid sight of the early spring Magnolia Campbellii.
The six champion Magnolia Campbellii trees are located within Cornwall’s Great Gardens of Caerhays, Trebah, Tregothnan, Trewidden, Trewithen, and The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Annually, each head gardener closely monitors the trees, signalling the start of spring the moment all six prized Magnolia trees flower with at least 50 blooms.
Mr Ashworth says: “Spring always arrives early in Cornwall, often an entire month before the other parts of Britain, and this year is no different. We were delighted to see the blooms flowering in the beautiful gardens across the Duchy and to welcome many friends to The Nare to celebrate Cornwall at its best.”
Charles Williams, owner of Caerhays Castle and Gardens and Chairman of the Great Gardens of Cornwall, adds: “There’s nowhere better to enjoy early spring than in Cornwall. Garden lovers should plan to come here in March to really see the gardens in all their spectacular and unique beauty. Flowering Magnolias are the true start of the Spring season”.
2023 – CHW
The form of Phytophthora which just kills Aucuba is striking hard get again on our windbreak below 4-in-Hand. Much evidence of impending death here as I have seen elsewhere here and in other gardens for several years now.
2022 – CHW
Zantedeschia aethiopica still in full normal growth and untouched by winter.
In researching an article on the true identity of several veteran holly trees here collected by George Forrest I discovered in Bean a reference to a group of seven Ilex cyrtura trees growing in Trewithen Gardens. I therefore wrote to Gary Long, the head gardener there, to see if the group still existed? His reply and photographs appear here in full.
Sent: 08 February 2021 09:50
To: Gary Long
Cc: Sam Galsworthy
Subject: Ilex puzzle
Good to hear you were opening at the Great Gardens meeting on Friday.
I am writing a (probably very dull) article on Ilex species here. I see that Bean mentions seven Ilex cyrtura (Forrest collected) growing at Trewithen as a clump. This holly species was originally called Ilex forrestii perhaps or then misidentified as Ilex ficoidea.
Are your plants still going and could you let me have a few pictures please of the leaf/trunk? Even a berry or a cutting? Bean says that there was an Ilex cyrtura here and this was identified by Susyn Andrews in 1984 but it may well have died.
As ever, Ilex have had name changes and muddles. We have five 1920s Forrest hollies which have been identified differently by different experts over the years which we are trying to pin down once and for all. Originally called I. insignis, sometimes I. forrestii, more recently I. cyrtura but are possibly now identified as I. dipyrena (four) and I. kingiana (one).
insignis = hookeri? nowadays we think.
forrestii = kingiana nowadays.
Hope you can enlighten or extend the puzzle!
CharlesFrom: Gary Long
Sent: 08 February 2021 16:20
To: Charles Williams PA
Subject: RE: Ilex puzzle
It was good to hear what others were doing, helps us feel we are not alone in the confusion!
George Johnstone day journal/lists/notebook has two Ilex entered. The book starts alphabetical then goes into lists of plants with a garden tag number on the left (we have no reference or map for these other than finding the occasional tag on plants in the garden), name in the middle then collection number on the right.
The first entry is:
R553 Ilex corallina F. (and no number)
A557 Ilex (forrestii) melanotricha (Added in later in different colour pen, I have attached an image) F.24061
Our large stand of the trees is on main lawn and self-seed quite readily around the garden. There is a champion tree among them measured in 1985 and 2004 where in Owen Johnson’s “Champion trees of Britain and Ireland” book he gives it the common name of “Trewithen Holly”. They are semi-deciduous, large trees. They fruit but I haven’t any photos.
Hope this goes some way to sorting the puzzle. Pop in, at a social distance!, and have a look at them if that would help?
Head of Trewithen Gardens and Parks
TR2 4DDIt would seem that the naming of these, possibly, Ilex cyrtura has gone through many evolutions over the years just as ours have here.What is clear from these photographs is that the Trewithen holly group is a completely different species to our own unidentified veterans. The Trewithen trees are semi evergreen and pretty much devoid of leaves today after the second Beast from the East. Our veterans are clearly fully evergreen and the leaf shape is totally different.Like our Ilex kingiana and Ilex perado ssp. azorica the Trewithen plants self-seed and via birds around the clump and through the garden.I am fairly sure that we do not have Ilex cyrtura growing here if that is what it actually is?My holly article is written but needs to be peer reviewed in time by Susyn Andrews and Tom Hudson.
As we suffer Storm Dennis and the predicted 5½in of rain time to reflect on a few drier events earlier this week. Actually the rain is perhaps an inch over the 30 hours it rained solidly here. The wind was SW but less strong than a week ago in Storm Ciara. Damage reports awaited.A quick film of the barn owl being disturbed from its roost in the Tin Garden shed. We will have to install an owl box nearby to give it peace and quiet in the visitor season.
Jaimie saw movement in a squirrel trap and assumed, incorrectly, that the squirrel was still alive. This has never happened with the Kania 2000 traps to date. On opening the trap a startled stoat sped off. The stoat had been having a free meal out of the squirrel as you can see here. The squirrel cull is now nearly 50 since mid-January which compares to twice that number a year ago. We may be getting on top of them a bit and are certainly saving damage to magnolias, newly planted native trees and birds nests. Few to be seen nowadays as one goes around the garden.
Variations in camellia flowers with mixed colours. Every flower is different. Often radically so. Camellia ‘Nagasaki’ is a perfect example but here are another couple.An ancient plant of Camellia ‘Doncklaeri’ exhibits this nicely above the Auklandii Garden.
More record tree labels going out today with Karol.Prunus x incam ‘Shosar’ is nicely out in the sun below the Tower. Another by the cash point is showing up well too. There are also a couple more to check in Kennel Close to see if they are out too. JCW’s diaries refer a lot to early cherries like these.First flower on Camellia ‘Kick Off’.First flowers on pink and white forms of Rhododendron irroratum.
I have walked under this very pale old original Magnolia campbellii by Tin Garden several times in recent days but forgot to look up on gloomy days. Here the first few flowers in the sun which are relatively undamaged but a far cry from the ‘real’ M. campbellii which we know.Surprisingly an early flower on Magnolia ‘Shirazz’. We used to think this was a late season flowerer but the plants here anyway have now changed their minds. Last year it was early too.
Camellia reticulata ‘William Hertrich’ full out in a sheltered spot. Huge flowers and early. Note how the flowers vary in shape and petal conformation.
JCW’s diary records Rhododendron sutchuenense as often being out in January. The first glimpse of it by Rogers Quarry today but no colour yet by the Auklandii Garden.
Our last year’s layers on the pink Rhododendron sinogrande look to have settled and are perhaps starting to root out.
This is a windbreak hedge near the sea of the tough Ilex platyphylla. This tree rotted off at the base but still lives on through its many now well rooted and self-made layers. Quite odd but entirely natural and untouched by man situation.Ilex platyphylla loves to bush out form the base. Where it is too dark for it to do so the trunk still ‘has a go’ at ground level.
Another clump of Rhododendron grande seedlings are now full out by the Auklandii Garden. They do not look quite pure from the leaves or flowers which are near white with a dark purple blotch and a faint pink edge to the trumpets at first. I wonder if this clump ever had a name? Rather nice.
The buds lower down still have their double casings intact.
I got Rhododendron irroratum confused with Rhododendron morrii the other day. Now it is full out there is no doubt. I had forgotten we still had old, original plants of this species and have been planting out new replacements.
Finally a night of some not very severe frost but enough to put paid to the two magnolias outside the yard. Further up in the garden they are still fine as you can see from the Magnolia campbellii which is untouched despite the raw south east wind today.The men are just finishing the second half of a huge ash tree by Tin Garden which we had to fell today. The other half fell in the gales a week ago and the remainder was certainly unsafe for visitors. The logs will be stored here until autumn and then into the castle wood stores.
1988 – FJW
7 Magnolias out … including Giddle, Bishop Peter, 2 by steep steps, crino hedge.1969 – FJW
A wintry assize. Heavy frost and 5 lots of snow – George Blandford has been excellent as well as St Ewe – they have taken 4° of frost well.1966 – FJW
Still very wet indeed – moors waterlogged and we have had a very wet six months. All Hamamelis flowered together again – Lower Quarry Nursery Hamamelis very early. Red Admiral fine.
1946 – CW
Both Mag campbellii have a flower out also a good bud still on Grandiflora. One or two Lapagerias. Reticulata spec. Camellia at its best and J.C.W crosses.
Rhodo – a lot of Sutchuenense hybrids out also Blood Red and hybrid, Lutescens, Barbatum and one or two Mrs Butler hybrids. Perhaps 20 different daffodils.
Camellia speciosa at Gun Room door has about 300 flowers on it.1924 – JCW
None of the above (1922) are open but Conradinae is over. It is now very cold.1922 – JCW
Prunus mume has been very good for a fortnight or more. P triflora seems to be the next in order with P conradinae, some fair Sutchuenense x Arboreum are open.1911 – JCW
Some Cyclamineus open. Went out after tea for the first time, some Arboreums opening and hybrids.1907 – JCW
Later than all of the above, C coum are yet very good, snowdrops and aconites at their best.1903 – JCW
Made my first indoors crop on M Plume and Mde de Graaff. Several H Irving open outside and in comp open in the Tin Garden.1902 – JCW
H Irving just shows colour, Minor not properly open, the fortnight of frost left us today, one Tenby shows colour.1897 – JCW
Gunneras on the move.