Despite a week of coldish east winds and a little frost in the valley bottoms, very little damage to the camellias. At last it is dry.
Camellia x williamsii ‘Donation’ suddenly out by George’s Hut and unharmed as yet.
A week on and the 2 flowers on Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybing White’ are intact and have opened as you can just see on a drab day. Remarkable!
Leaf blowing on the main paths virtually complete a month before we open to the public.
The other Magnolia campbellii by Tin Garden now has a very few open flowers. Very pale pink and fairly unremarkable in one sense but absurd to see this in mid-January.
Only when leafless can you see how twisted the main stem on Ehretia dicksonii. A very gnarled habit.
The podocarps on a female Podocarpus matudae are suddenly ripe and now dropping as they turn from red to black.
2023 – CHW
Daphniphyllum teysmannii is doing well at Donkey Shoe.
The ancient Lindera communis is regenerating well from the base after being cut down completely. A rare tree which was once a Champion.
Camellia japonica ‘Takanini’ glowing red in front of the bare orange twigs of Tilia sordata ‘Winter Orange’.
Quince’s showing up well but no flowers out yet. Nothing wants to eat quinces. Small wonder when you smell them – revolting! Who would eat quince jam?
Liverwort and ivy on an old oak tree in Old Park. Remarkable how the liverwort has survived the summer drought.
2022 – CHW
Tom Hudson sends me this pictures of his Meliosma rigida which has started to exhibit its colourful bark splitting and resultant coloured patination. Not a species of Meliosma which we grow or know here.
Still unfrosted Echium pininana and Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’ in full flower.
Garrya elliptica flowers in their full tasselated glory. Very intricate when you look closely at individual flowers.
The large clump of narcissi are full out and scenting the cold air today in front of the Dining Room.
Clematis armandii now has its first true flowers out. What we saw in the autumn was the odd secondary or speculative one.
Camellia x vernalis ‘Dawn’ with Cytisus ‘Porlock’ (Genista ‘Porlock’).
Camellia x vernalis ‘Dawn’ at its very best.
Camellia x vernalis ‘Dawn’ with irregular chlorotic/variegated leaves, as is normal, nearer ground level.
2021 – CHW
The first snowdrops really are out.
The Trevanion holly on the drive is shedding a lot of green leaves. We have seen this before on common hollies in damp wet periods in winter. Another Phytophthora which seems to harm, but not kill, holly trees. They end up with dead lower branches. I have not seen much of this this year but it would be sad to lose this historic plant which must be 200 years old.
Then to Burncoose – facemasks now and the nursery is shut to the public to show pandemic solidarity but also to prepare for the spring rush and get the place tidy without customers.
The new lorry loading and EU plant quarantine shed by the main packing shed is now finished and the concrete dry. A great achievement by the landscape team and nursery staff.
Newly potted herbaceous plants outside now fill half the long bed to start the season off again in earnest.
The Musa basjoo (banana) has not enjoyed the recent cold.
A huge seedpod fell off a cycad during unloading and ripe seeds are starting to pop out. Not sure which species this was from.
Lots of Hamamelis looking splendid:Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Copper Beauty’ (syn. ‘Jelena’)
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Aphrodite’
Hamamelis japonica ‘Brentry’
Hamamelis mollis ‘Coombe Wood’
Hamamelis mollis ‘Jermyn’s Gold’
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Firecracker’ (syn. ‘Magic Fire’ or ‘Feuerzauber’)
The Northern Polytunnels lorry unloads our new multi span tunnel.
The Pittosporum tunnel all tidied and ready for spring.
Similarly the Yuccas, Cordyline and Phormium.
Acacia rhetinodes just coming out.
Ribes sanguineum ‘White Icicle’ just out but frosted.
2020 – CHW
The new bait in the squirrel traps is showing signs of working immediately! Sunflower seeds are working.
A large tree falls at the Green Gate blocking the drive and making quite a mess. The rotten beech tree had a nest of honey bees in it but they appear to have moved on.
This is what happens when you plant a Fraxinus excelsior ‘Jaspidea’ too close to a bonfire. I fear the tree may succumb to ash dieback disease soon anyway.
2019 – CHW
The last bit of leaf blowing up on the garden paths prior to opening in mid February. A few branches had fallen down onto some camellias beside the path below Burns Bank. These have now been pollarded and tidied up.
Camellia ‘Cornish Spring’ is one of those that did not need tidying up – with just a few early flowers.
John Anderson, the keeper of the gardens from The Crown Estate at Windsor, called this week with a few plants as gifts for us. Sadly I have been tied up with the funeral arrangements and have not yet even been able to see the plants or begin to look up what peculiar, rare, unusual and possibly tender introductions these might be. This will have to wait until after the funeral on 19th January. However, the list is as follows:
Cyclocurya paliuris (SICH 1784)
Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Silver King’
Acer tegmentosum ‘Valley Phantom’
Mahonia x savilliana Clone 7
2018 – CHW
Acer albopurpurascens (CWJ 12361) is another new one to us. Clearly evergreen here and not much like an acer in leaf at all. New growth has just hardened off – hopefully enough to survive a cold snap.
Self sown rhododendron seedlings near the stump of a dead plant. Clearly all sorts of pollination here.
Ucodendron whartonii (BJWJ 11706) is doing well in its deer shelter and there may even be flower buds forming. Older leaves have good white undersides. Younger leaves have a touch of purple indumentum underneath. Those in between nothing. The plant is again evergreen with us and still putting on growth in winter which may well prove to be a mistake in future cold spells.
As we saw earlier the base of the largest Daphniphyllum macropodum is now completely rotten and the plant is turning yellow. This is the second or third mature plant to have died from the base up. I do not think it was rabbits originally. Only one decent plant of this size left now on the drive.
2017 – CHW
First wild daffodil out at the Four in Hand.
Snowdrops around the daffodils.
A pheasant has half eaten this early daffodil flower.
More snowdrops are out properly. First individual flower a week ago.
2016 – CHW
Azalea ‘Hinomayo’ now nearing a full flush of flower.
Fuchsia flowers still in abundance and some leaves still on the plants.
1964 – FJW
Cold spell back after a fortnight of warm.
1931 – JCW
This varies hardly at all from the last few years, it is really the worst time in all the year, if the H mollis were taken away there would be nothing but Camellia speciosa.
1929 – JCW
Just as in 1923 and very little to be seen, it is cold for planting, the wind has been East for some time.
1924 – JCW
R lutescens the early form is vg and so is mucronulatum at its very best.
1923 – JCW
This follows a late cold and wet summer and not much is moving, but after the Hamamelis mollis and E darleyensis there is not very much else.
1919 – JCW
I saw a plant of Ordus mascula coming up. 10 species of Rhodoⁿ show flower of which Barbatum and moupinense at the best. Cyclamen coum is coming on. Hamamelis mollis has been out for a fortnight.
1912 – JCW
A seedling trumpet (poor) is in flower and 35 blooms of Narcissus clusii are open at once, a good few Soleil D’or open.
1909 – JCW
One third of the daffs show up. Several Camellias, C coum very good, R nobleanum is nice, Ericas good – very. Snowdrops are nice, one trumpet shows colour.
1898 – JCW
40 or 50 Crocus out. Picked several spikes of Iris germanica. Most of the tulips above ground. No sign of Madam de Graaf, about 100 of Engelhart’s seedlings show up.
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