2024 – CHW
Magnolia campbellii ‘Valentine’s Torch’ has blown open below Donkey Shoe.
A nursery visit and larger camellias look good by the sales point.
The Hellebores look good too beside the new 40 Year Anniversary sign.
The landscapers have rearranged and extended all the upraised herbaceous plant beds.
New garden entry signage.
Erica canaliculata looking good.
An efficient new system for bed labels in all the tunnels.
A very dark coloured Rhododendron mucronulatum by the till.
Very early for buds to be showing up on Crinodendron hookerianum at The Copper House.
One bit of a heavily pollarded Camellia ‘Donation’ outside the Coach House is covered in flowers while, lower down, lots of new growth and no flowers? A strange and unexplained situation.
2023 – CHW
Here are pictures of Camellia x williamsii ‘John Pickthorn’ and ‘Mary Pickthorn’. The latter has still to be registered this spring with the International Camellia Society.
The Pickthorn’s were lifelong friends of my father’s/ the family and Henry was a trustee of the Caerhays Estate for many years. Both sadly died in the last year or so. As ever plants provided a more lasting tribute for everyone to enjoy.
Tom Hudson’s gift of a layer from his Rhododendron kyawii presented a bit of a problem in fitting it into the van but it has now been planted in a well sheltered site at the top of the garden. Hopefully the cut back branches will reshoot vigorously.
2022 – CHW
A morning filming to advertise the opening of the gardens on Monday 14th February. Mainly for social media and the websites with a crew of three from Idenna.
We filmed in the library and then five specific plants in the garden. Magnolia ‘Todd’s Forty Niner’ of course as the early magnolia to entice visitors to come early.
The bark has now peeled and blown away on Betula utilis subsp. albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’ to expose the wonderful colours of the next crop of bark.
Magnolia ‘Todd’s Forty Niner’ and Camellia reticulata – Garden form.
Camellia grisjii nearly over but still strongly scented.
The crew film Camellia ‘Cornish Snow’ and Camellia reticulata ‘Mary Williams’.
The New Zealand form of Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ still in tight bud.
No flowers out yet on Osmanthus delavayi which is slightly surprising.
The secondary flowers on Rhododendron cinnarbarinum Concatenans Group are now over with seed heads developing.
2021 – CHW
A good clump of primroses now out rather than just single flowers dotted here and there.
A clump of rather taller growing and more vigorous snowdrops than the common wild ones (Galanthus nivalis). These eventually have 8-10in long, broad, flat, light blue-green leaves after flowering. Galanthus elwesii I assume planted 100 years or so ago under the cedar tree which grew here until the 1950s?
Proper flooding again on the lake and up through the water meadows. No surprise!
One of the circa 1907 pictures featured yesterday shows the young and fairly newly planted shelterbelt at the top of the park. This is how it looks in maturity today as the rain starts again. A positively evil grey sea in a strong SW wind.
The lower leaves on x Eriobotrya ‘Coppertone’ heavily pruned by deer.
More flowers on the peculiarly coloured Rhododendron arboreum subsp. cinnamomium but still not full out.
First flower fully out on Rhododendron ‘Bo-Peep’ (yellow) and bursting buds everywhere.
First flowers (in heavy rain) on Rhododendron moupinense.
The now dead canes (after flowering) on Chusqua gigantea are on the list to be dug out shortly.
The oak branch by Georges Hut has been cut up but more pruning needed on the evergreen Acer fabri and Cinnamomum camphora which were hit by the branch.
Magnolia floribunda ‘Furry Wok’ still has a full set of leaf. Only planted last year in full shelter.
2020 – CHW
The first Spanish bluebells are now 6-9in out of the ground.
First flower on Camellia ‘Adolphe Audusson’ by the Four-in-Hand.
Just the odd flower hidden away in Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’.
Another Prunus ‘Kursar’ coming nicely into flower below the tower.
Six-hundred 3L laurels have just been delivered for thickening up the shelterbelts above the rookery.
A batch of rhododendron hybrids have arrived from Burncoose for planting in the FJW memorial garden.
2019 – CHW
Starting to get to grips with replying to the hundreds of letters of condolence sent to my brother and I following Dad’s death last month. There simply is not time to write back individually to everyone so I have prepared a lengthy ‘thank you’ which will have to suffice for most of them.
For anyone who wants to read the tribute to my father as delivered in St Michael Caerhays church on 19th January it is attached here. Had I received all the letters of condolence in advance with yet more amusing and naughty anecdotes about his life I could probably have done a better job of it.
2018 – CHW
A flower on the arum lily by the front door in February!
Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ now at its best a little late this year so it has missed most of our shooting parties and no easy sales this time around.
Camellia x williamsii ‘Mary Jobson’ (scented) full out now by the side door.
Camellia ‘Lady Clare’ by the front door is finally out – a bit later than in recent years. Three to four weeks perhaps.
The large tall growing snowdrops on the lawn are up but not out. Interestingly they have naturalised with ordinary ones nearby to produce seedling offsets which are halfway between the two in size.
Rhododendron ‘Golden Oriole Talavera’ (formerly var ‘Talavera’) is very fine outside the front gate. Pale yellow. Golden Oriole var ‘Busaco’ has pink edging. Both are Caerhays bred.
Next to it the last flowers and first new growth on Rhododendron mucronulatum. This has shown colour for three months but was at its best three weeks or so ago.
2017 – CHW
Second magnolia for the year is beginning to be out. Again it is the old original and rather poor near white Magnolia campbellii near Tin Garden.
2016 – CHW
A fine example of what a roe buck can do with its horns to a camellia trunk. Bucks are not yet in season but time for the keepers to get cracking on the roe deer now that the season is over.
Since we are on garden problems today how is this for trying to kill a perfectly decent magnolia by failing to remove the plastic spiral. It should have come off five years ago but I suspect the plant will survive. Note the build up of soil and insects (woodlice) behind the plastic which can so often infect the graft and kill the plant.
1969 – FJW
First daffs picked – gales knocked over Pittosporum daphniphylloides and Ligustrum near St Ewe hedge.
1966 – FJW
First daffodils picked.
1959 – FJW
One or two Lapagerias. The weather quite cold with temperatures to freezing point also a strong easterly wind, however Ririei, Moupinense, Pink Golden Oriole, Bo Peep coming. Saw flower on Camellia Adelina Patti and also Adolphe Audusson.
1930 – JCW
Perhaps 20 species of Rhodo and 6-8 hybrids showing flower, the Camelia speciosa have been very good, there are some good Lapagerias yet, we have had a Roylei flowering nicely for about six weeks, I picked a Lent Lily yesterday, the mess of the great storm on Dec 5th is not away yet but we have finished our two screens 25 yards each and planted them.
1919 – JCW
Hard frost but we are planting where I cleared the laurels at the quarry ( they did well).
1911 – JCW
Praecox shows colour, snowdrops out, R nobleanum out well, some garden primroses, R argenteum starting, but fair lot of frost about, some roses, geraniums in the border not quite dead.
1905 – JCW
Several seedlings open, picked a nice H ? x min and max x C of c, Rhod praecox open, coums very good, heaths coming on well, snowdrops at their best. Made my first cross of the year (King A x min).
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