20th 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

A Great Gardens of Cornwall meeting to chair and then a quick trip around the garden at Trewithen with Gary Long and Tom Hudson. Crisp but sunny late pm.

A plant which Jennifer Trehane calls Camellia cuspidata var cuspidata (or C. cuspidata to mere mortals!). Very clearly one of the parents of Camellia ‘Cornish Snow’ – the other being Camellia saluenensis. C. cuspidata has flowers which open out flat as you can see although this is not quite how ‘Cornish Snow’ normally displays itself. A second old plant had slightly less impressive flowers. (The supposed C. cuspidata at Caerhays fell over but has reshot from the base and no flowers recently. Asia needs to propagate. Also Camellia taliensis.) Very pretty and worthwhile early camellia.

C. cuspidata
C. cuspidata
C. cuspidata
C. cuspidata
C. cuspidata
C. cuspidata
C. cuspidata
C. cuspidata
Camellia transnokoensis in full flower too. We lost this in the cold in March 2012 but probably have young plants coming on.
Camellia transnokoensis
Camellia transnokoensis
Camellia transnokoensis
Camellia transnokoensis
First few flowers on Trewithen’s Magnolia campbellii. Spring has not sprung here yet. They expect their Magnolia campbellii ‘Charles Raffil’ to be out before pure campbellii.
Magnolia campbellii
Magnolia campbellii
Likewise on their Magnolia ‘Lanarth’. Great colour.
Magnolia ‘Lanarth’
Magnolia ‘Lanarth’
A Magnolia mollicomata seedling with small flowers rather more fully out.
Magnolia mollicomata seedling
Magnolia mollicomata seedling
Magnolia mollicomata seedling
Magnolia mollicomata seedling
Camellia saluenensis ‘Isadora’ named and registered recently after one of Sam Galsworthy’s children is a really good thing. Different from the pure C. saluenensis (light or dark pink) which we know here. Much more pink in part of the petals when they first open and a pronounced centre. Opens fairly flat too and seeds itself profusely. It was of course a chance seedling originally anyway but none the worse for that.
Camellia saluenensis ‘Isadora’
Camellia saluenensis ‘Isadora’
Camellia saluenensis ‘Isadora’
Camellia saluenensis ‘Isadora’
Camellia saluenensis ‘Isadora’
Camellia saluenensis ‘Isadora’
Camellia saluenensis ‘Isadora’
Camellia saluenensis ‘Isadora’
Nearby I was intrigued by Rubus swinhoei which is an extremely vigorous climber growing all over a dormant host shrub. It clearly fruits profusely but horrid prickles. We have this to plant out this year.
Also Buddleia macrostachya which was 12-15ft tall and with pink flowers out already. Stems with lined shredding bark like a Heptacodium miconioides trunk. Some wind/frost damage to the huge blue-green leaves but the flower spikes in full flower up high.
Why does our Schima wallichii not set a crop of seed like this with us? Seedlings self-sown under this massive forest canopy tree? Seed all over the ground and still ripe on the tree. Asia needs to check our plant above Crinodendron Hedge to see if there is any ripe seed there? I think I photographed a single globular green seed pod in November. Tom says the botanists have now amalgamated the three species of autumn flowering schima which we grow here into just one species. Absurd!
Schima wallichii
Schima wallichii
Schima wallichii
Schima wallichii
Schima wallichii
Schima wallichii
An especially good dark form of Rhododendron spinuliferum which is out much earlier than usual. Tom thinks this came from Chyverton and Nigel Holman originally as it has much longer flower tubes than normal although, here, they are not yet fully out/extended. A far better red than the Caerhays plant but not so different from the Burncoose one. Asia to add this to the 2018 propagation list as our plant in the Rockery is very ancient and use the Burncoose one for cuttings.
Rhododendron spinuliferum
Rhododendron spinuliferum
Rhododendron spinuliferum
Rhododendron spinuliferum

2017 – CHW
Calm, warm and still conditions encourage more magnolias to start to open outside the back yard and elsewhere.Neither of these magnolias are named but quite nice, early flowering seedlings as they are and well worth their place. The tepals show some wind damage from last week and some are pale with a bit of green/white where they have been blown open too early.
unnamed magnolia
unnamed magnolia
unnamed magnolia
unnamed magnolia
The darker one was the 3rd January 2016 opener which we have now photographed three times in the last fortnight.
The darker one
The darker one
The darker one
The darker one
Camellia ‘Cornish Snow’ stands out today among the many unnamed x williamsii seedlings along the outside back yard wall. These probably date from the 1920s and may well be from the first japonica x saluenensis crosses which JCW made in 1923 and which produced ‘St Ewe’ and ‘J C Williams’. They are similar but poorish and have been pruned many times along with the ‘Cornish Snow’ over the years.
Camellia ‘Cornish Snow’
Camellia ‘Cornish Snow’
Camellia ‘Cornish Snow’
Camellia ‘Cornish Snow’
The flowers on Camellia ‘Lady Clare’ are enormous this year with quite a bit of white patterning and striping in the frilly open petals. A good red when just opening, fading to lighter pink. I do not remember seeing it look so good. Far removed from the insipid first flowers I photographed four to six weeks ago.
Camellia ‘Lady Clare’
Camellia ‘Lady Clare’
Camellia ‘Lady Clare’
Camellia ‘Lady Clare’
Camellia ‘Lady Clare’
Camellia ‘Lady Clare’
Camellia ‘Lady Clare’
Camellia ‘Lady Clare’
There used to be two clumps of these giant snowdrops on the bank. The flymo has got one but the other still thrives. A very dark green blotch on the tip of the corolla or trumpet. Interestingly they have crossed with the ‘ordinary’ snowdrops nearby and produced two clumps of half giants nearby. Any idea of the correct name anyone?
giant snowdrops
giant snowdrops
giant snowdrops
giant snowdrops
The seedling magnolia (unnamed) from the same seed pan as Magnolia ‘Philip Tregunna’ is out above the top wall. A good dark colour, very visible from the front door this year.
seedling magnolia (unnamed)
seedling magnolia (unnamed)
A couple of ‘through the arch’ and ‘over the arch’ shots of the magnolias (as above today) to mirror those taken in early January 2016 which you can look up and compare. These are seven weeks later!
through the arch
through the arch
through the arch
through the arch

2016 – CHW
Several lots of new plants have arrived today from Glendoick and Rezo nurseries in France. Rhodos and bamboos. Attached are the lists of what has come – Glendoick List & Rezo List.

several lots, not sure about this one
several lots, not sure about this one
Also attached are the lists of new plants sourced for planting out this year from all over via Burncoose Nurseries.
Quite a lot of planting work to do when it eventually dries up enough to plant.

2003 – FJW
First flower on Magnolia ‘Bishop Peter’.

1981 – FJW
First on Tin Garden Magnolia ‘Diva’ seedling.

1962 – FJW
East wind started.


1930 – JCW
Six days of frost have cut Rhodo’s and the Gordonia, but we have had no ice on the pond yet. Heath of 3 kinds are good.

1928 – JCW
Just as in 1927 say 25 species of Rhodo’s including Mackenzianum and 25 hybrids. No Magnolia as in 1913 but Gordonias, some flowers of the early Kobus ½ open.1927 – JCW
Heaths fairly good, Rhodo lutescens and moupinense very good. Blood Red hybrids well out, some Barbatum and Scabrifolium. Prunus pissardi and conradinae just coming out. [?] Dediconia is the next. Camellia speciosa is beautiful.

1924 – JCW
Cold NE wind and frost for a week and all Rhodo’s bloom is cut out for the time but the early stuff has hardly any buds in any case. The heaths are very nice.

1917 – JCW
About 4 days ago the frost broke, the hardest since 1895, nothing much is dead. Rhodo lutescens, mucronulatum and moupinense have begun to open.

1916 – JCW
Prunus pissardi over, several daffs open, Caerhays daff very good, Rhodo fargesi is very nice by the Barbatums. Blood Red hybrids remain good. Rhodo oleifolium very good, the first Camellia reticulata is open.

1914 – JCW
The Prunus pissardi just starting. Only Cyclamineus and its hybrids with Soleil d’Or are out of the daffs. A few Arboreum x Thomsonii open, none of the Mrs Butler x. The following species open Rhodo moupinense – lutescens – argenteum – mucronulatum – barbatum – pink arboreum – blood red arboreum – micranthum – dahuricum – racemosum – sutchuenense.

1913 – JCW
I found a small spray of Pyrus malus open. The Thomsonii x Arboreum lot are very good, and there are some Mrs Butler x Arboreum open.

1897 – JCW
Yellow crocus nearly over, blue and white at their best.

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