Drizzle, showers and a poor day to photograph magnolias.
A leafless Buddleia farreri already coming into flower on the drive. A winter(ish) flowering species.
First flowers at the very top of an unnamed (but good) Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ seedling in Old Park. Nothing else out yet in Old Park on the magnolia front which is good.
In Forty Acres a mature seedling which looks more like a Magnolia mollicomata seedling than a campbellii seedling. I have never seen this properly in flower before. Perhaps 6/10.
Windblown flowers on Magnolia campbellii ‘Ethel Hillier’ which is always early. Alba Group but from Hilliers wild collected seed and named after Sir Harold’s mother.
Views across the magnolia planting area at the centre of Forty Acres Wood. Nothing out yet except Ethel and the mollicomata seedling above.
Magnolia campbellii ‘Sidbury’ in Penvergate. Many flowers totally destroyed by Storm Ciara. Lizzie and five dogs also look on.
Magnolia ‘Peter Smithers’ (we have queried the label in previous years) looking better and with more flowers than I have ever seen. Having been critical previously I think it is well worth its place today even if it is not nearly as pink as the reference books say it should be.
On the day we open outside the back yard is looking good!
2019 – CHW
The garden is rushing out and we can seldom have had more to see at the start of public opening (tomorrow) in February.Narcissus cyclamineus full out on the top bank.
Magnolia ‘F J Williams’ coming out in the Auklandii Garden. How do you describe this colour in words?
Magnolia ‘Red Lion’ is now full out in Kennel Close.
Prunus conradinae just showing its first flowers.
Although it is nearly dusk Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’ is just showing colour on two buds at the apex of the small tree.
Magnolia ‘Plum Pudding’ now worthy of its name a fortnight after the first two flowers were blown open.
The gigantic flowers of Camellia ‘Mrs D W Davis’ are just appearing.
2018 – CHW The three young cherry trees by the Green Gate are at their best despite this week’s frost which has not touched them or the common garlic which is coming up in strength near the entrance.
This is Prunus incisa ‘The Bride’ with delicate white flowers and a fairly rounded or compact habit (rather than upright and erect). Shrubby in fact!
The taller growing Prunus x incam ‘Okame’ is also plastered in flower from top to bottom and visible 100 yards away.
Prunus x incam ‘Shosar’ is a more recent planting and with more stunted growth. The flower trusses are even larger than on ‘Okame’. Splendid!
Rhododendron cilpinense is just showing colour by the cash point and will probably pop open on the day that the gardens formally do.
2017 – CHW
The Rubus tricolor bank has had its annual haircut ready for opening. It will soon grow out again.
Through the arch the magnolia has been blown into a little more colour by the east wind.
The large clump of Sarcocca hookeriana var digyna by the cash point is full out and looking good. This used to be a single plant in ‘Georges Garden’ before the area was covered in tarmac as car parking for disabled visitors. A good suckering and spreading plant for a cold, shady and trampled area.
A big tidy up for opening. Half the pyrus tree was dead and has now gone. The hydrangeas have had a ‘proper’ prune as has the Lonicera nitida. All the ivy gone too but two bags of chippings now look ugly in full view and must go too from the lower staff car park.
Another white very early flowering prunus which I cannot find in the planting plans and had not registered with me before. No label has survived of course. Quite nice and flowering next to another Prunus ‘Okame’. Anyone any ideas?
A fourth Prunus ‘Okame’ right next to the Green Gate is also showing up well and in a good place for early visitors to see. This is an outstanding variety which the nursery ought to sell.
Despite the recent cold the hydrangeas by Green Gate are reshooting already. The dead heading and pruning has yet to happen but it is pretty clear where to snip on the stems.
The new lapageria planted outside my study window has made excellent new growth in its first year and is still growing now. The value of dung in the planting pit is clear but some slug damage too sadly on the oldest and larger leaves.
2016 – CHW
Yesterday evening a trip to inspect a few squirrel drays for activity but there was none!
On the way above Orchid House Nursery I discover a smallish Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ (top of lawn) which is clearly an original scion from the lawn at Lanarth propagated by Eisenhut in Switzerland. There are five perfect Lanarth flowers now sadly frosted and over but a major acquisition for the Caerhays collection and a true original which is so very different (again) from the New Zealand form.
Above the greenhouse the supposedly ‘yellow’ Magnolia campbellii is flowering for only the second time with six to eight flowers. This scion came as one of three from Mount Congreve gardens near Cork where the original I saw did have pale yellow buds as this plant does although ours opens white. Such was the scarcity and value of these three plants that they were the ‘unlabelled treasures’ in the greenhouse. I am not absolutely sure this is the correct plant planted in 2008 but it is reasonable to assume it is in such a prime position. (We planted another below Donkey Shoe two years ago and must now propagate this 2008 plant too. The third grafted plant I think died in the Auklandii Garden a year after planting and hence the slight confusion.)
There is a yellowish/green tinge to the buds on Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybling White’ as we have seen but this is a different yellow (with no green tinge) and a much bigger/better flower. The shape of the flower, while Magnolia campbellii in shape generally, is radically different from our original Magnolia campbellii Alba’s from China which have much larger flowers with a tall triangular centre as the flower begins to open. It is well worth its place nevertheless.
Along the track in the same clearing Magnolia ‘Mossmans Giant’ is beginning to open a huge plant planted only in 2007. In nine years it has grown to about 20 feet fully exposed to the wind. It will be a real ‘eye catcher’ in 40 years’ time. Magnolia ‘Todds Forty Niner’, the first pre Christmas magnolia, is now over but with leaf coming.
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’ is starting to show colour all over – record early of course this year as normally out late March or early April.
1969 – FJW
8° of frost outside Red Room at 8 am.1963 – FJW
Fairly cold spell returned. Still no Camellias. Big clear out of Rookery by Hemsleyana. This is a remarkably lengthy time of cold in an already late year.
1933 – JCW
As in 1931.1931 – JCW
Camellia speciosa is good, the Hamamelis are over, Sutchuenense x are all good here and in the Beech Walk. Moupinense has been good for three weeks.1929 – JCW
A long spell of cold, a fair lot of Barbatum open, Lutescens has had some flower ever since the autumn, Moupinense opening and frosted any bits of colour on anything but Barbatum. Camellia speciosa in the bed are very nice.1908 – JCW
Sent some Cyc hybrids to Dinton.1900 – JCW
The first H Irving is opening, no other named trumpets are near it.