1st January

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 (photos to follow)

Sorbus japonica (10 years from planting) still has plenty of orange to orange-red fruits in evidence. Worth collecting too.

Carpinus japonica still holds some leaves which have rolled up into spirals. From a distance they look like catkins. An attractive feature.

Quercus laurifolia still in full leaf as one would expect. This tree struggled at first but is now getting established quite well at 10-12ft tall.

Deer have eaten a couple of lower buds on Magnolia mollicomata ‘Werrington’. Could be a squirrel I suppose but quite low down and higher buds are fine.

The secondary outer casings on the buds of Magnolia ‘Apollo’ have been literally blown away in the gales. In consequence some flowers have been damaged beyond repair while others remain intact. Not much hope for the smaller buds with their outer coverings gone – sad!

2017 – CHW
Noticeably colder today and a bit wet so a check on the rhododendrons out before the frost gets them later in the week perhaps? My fingers are almost too cold to write this after the trip around which is a novelty for this winter.Rhododendron concatenans has many flowers by Donkey Shoe but I think these are a secondary autumn effort as the main buds are still intact.

Rhododendron concatenans
Rhododendron concatenans
Rhododendron concatenans
Rhododendron concatenans
Rhododendron concatenans
Rhododendron concatenans
There is nearly always a flower on Rhododendron keysii at any time of the year and today is no exception.
Rhododendron keysii
Rhododendron keysii
Rhododendron keysii
Rhododendron keysii
First odd flowers on Rhododendron ‘Crossbill’ but they have yet to show the reddish-orange tinting and are plain yellow.
Rhododendron ‘Crossbill’
Rhododendron ‘Crossbill’
Magnolia ‘Star Wars’ has about five flowers showing colour which is perhaps not that unusual but they do seem to be fresh spring buds. Perhaps the first magnolia of the season? However when I check ‘Todds Fortyniner’ and Magnolia zenii which were the first batch out in early January last year no sign of swollen buds. The magnolias seem to know cold is coming since this autumn has been just as mild here as last. No colour on those out on 2nd January last year outside the back yard either.
Magnolia ‘Star Wars’
Magnolia ‘Star Wars’
The old Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’ clump by Rookery Gate still has a few poor secondary flowers showing. The proper flush of spring buds yet to come is evident.
Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’
Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’
A good dark form of Rhododendron mucronulatum above the two Magnolia veitchii shows up nicely. A darker and larger flower, I think, than the other two clumps photographed here recently. We now have five separate groups from various sources which are all slightly different.
Rhododendron mucronulatum
Rhododendron mucronulatum
Rhododendron mucronulatum
Rhododendron mucronulatum
Rhododendron mucronulatum
Rhododendron mucronulatum

2016 – CHW
New Years Day – Another howling gale with torrential rain until lunchtime. For 10 days or so I have meant to picture the first ‘wild’ daffodils out in the garden by the Four in Hand. By today they have been blown to smithereens in the southerly gale. By wild I mean I think native and certainly self sown and, as a guess, nothing to do with JCW’s hybridisation programme of 100 years ago. There are more in the Auklandii Garden below the nerine bed. Very plain and very early although not by the standards of what one sees field grown today at Fentongollan.The rare and unusual Tilia henryana which flowers in early autumn still has most of its leaves on despite the gales.
the first ‘wild’ daffodils
the first ‘wild’ daffodils
Tillia henryana
Tilia henryana
Tillia henryana
Tilia henryana

And still a perfect flower on Hydrangea Madame Mouilliere. Absolutely unbelievable but there it is for all to see.

Hydrangea Madame Mouilliere
Hydrangea Madame Mouilliere
The Battery Walk Arch has lost most of its cladding on the scaffolding and covering the newly repointed walls. Salt spray is absolutely ‘ideal’ for new pointing. Shall we make them do it again? Probably not as it is Natural England’s fault they were stupidly working in such an exposed site in December. The portaloo has overturned too. That will be nice when the builders return on Monday!
The Battery Walk Arch
The Battery Walk Arch

The tide is out but the sea and wind rage. I can hardly stand to take this poorish picture. The car park now has enormous potholes where the wind and spray have washed in. More cost to put right for the spring.

The Sea
The Sea

2004 – FJW

Mild and rain.

2003 – FJW

Very wet start to the year – the moors flooded as badly as I have seen.

2000 – FJW

A very beautiful day. Calm and warm and sunny. Camellias look magnificent.

1997 – FJW

Garden completely different from 100 years ago. Very cold – a little flower on Tree Heath on the bank. Very few Camellias, a bit of Nobleanum. Narcissi very far behind.

1994 – FJW

Primroses out on bank. Very early year. Very wet December and continues mild.

1975 – FJW

David killed first woodcock.

1974 – FJW

David killed first pheasant.

1968 – FJW

CHW killed first Sparrow.

1967 – FJW

Rh mucronulatum well out

1962 – FJW

David John born

1914 – JCW

German War.

1913 – JCW

We have had 2 days of hard frost and don’t know what flowers are alive.

1912 – JCW

In Spain.

1911 – JCW

No Aconite. Coums good (¾), odd bits of Erica, Erica hybrida good, some roses, some Lapagerias and Primroses.

1910 – JCW

No Aconite, Coums fair, Ericas slowly coming. Rhodos – some, Solanum – none, Roses – a few. Nothing else, a lot of frost in the Dec and Nov. A few Lapagerias.

1909 – JCW

No Aconite, coums good, Ericas very nice, Rhodo nobleanum plenty, Solanum nice, some roses, bedding geraniums in flower, a few Lapagerias.

1908 – JCW

No Aconite, coums good, Ericas not out, Rh nobleanum a few, some roses now, a fair vase in the house.

1907 – JCW

No Aconite, coums fair, Ericas just coming, Rh nobleanum moderate, frost a little but a lot of snow.

1906 – JCW

Several aconite, snowdrops open, Cyclamen coums good very, Ericas nice some of them, Rh nobleanum nice, no frost for a month, Cro imperati open.

1905 – JCW

I saw Aconite open, the rest much as in 1904.

1904 – JCW

C Imperati open, coum half open, one or two Stylosa, several Nobleanum, Erica is open, Aconite open, many blue primroses, a few daffodils, P megasoefolia very good, Lapagerias fair.

1903 – JCW

C Imperati hardly open, coum half out, a very few styloza, a few Nobleanum, Erica hardly open, a few blue prims, some daffs up say a tenth.

1902 – JCW

Crocus Imperati at its best, coum nearly so, Iris stylosa nearly over, Rh nobleanum open, Erica out, blue primroses bad, fair lot of daff up (unmoved ones, moved hardly show) no Cyclamineus minimus, I saw the first snowdrop.

1901 – JCW

Crocus Imp at its best and also Cyclamen coums, open bits of Camellia, Solanum, roses, Iris stylosa at its best, more than half the daffs are through, minimus is open, Rh nobleanum good, Erica in flower, Blue Primroses good.

1900 – JCW

C Imperati, C Coum, two species of Camellia, Solanum, out, several roses, Iris stylosa, Emperors just breaking the ground, less than half the daffs started, plenty of Blue Primroses.

1899 – JCW

Lilly White, C Imperati, C Coum, Habrothammus, 1 snowdrop, not half the daffs show a sign, Solanum well out, Iris stylosa good.

1898 – JCW

Narcissus, C Coum, Snowdrops in flower, not so many daffodils showing above ground.

1897 – JCW

Var minimus, Crocus, C coum, Aconites, Snowdrops in flower, most of the daffodils showing above ground.

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