25th July

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

2020 – CHW (photos to follow)

Whatever it was yesterday it was not Ptelea nitens which I should have spotted at once as all Ptelea have three lobed leaves. It clearly died after planting in 2005. This leaves not just this small shrub, but another small tree near it, unidentified and not listed on the plans.

Buddleia lindleyana looking as lovely as ever on the drive despite its pruning two years ago which has increased the flower size. Earlier out than usual.

My research locates a Cotoneaster glomeratus which Roy Lancaster gave us in 2004. No flowers and we saw sparse flowering on the older plant on the drive.

Quercus monimotricha planted in 2013 is doing well. A good evergreen.

The last flower on Rhododendron excellans (KR 3095) planted in 2002 below Tin Garden. (See my earlier comments on excellans vs nuttallii now being considered one and the same.)

Then two Sorbus species planted in 2005 which are now decent trees but I had not ‘clocked’ them properly before for the diary.

Sorbus cyclophylla (2002/116) has whitebeam characteristics but I have yet to locate it in a reference book? No fruits and no flowers this year.

Sorbus tianschanica. Hillier’s says flowers and fruits are rare in the UK and I have never seen any on this tree.

In Tin Garden Verbascum nigrum or Dark Mullein has appeared here and there in what was bare earth a year ago. It survived the grass cut five to six weeks ago and has emerged since. Found in Cornwall (as a native species) mainly on the Roseland Peninsula according to the Flora of Cornwall. Quite a rare wildflower seed of which has been undisturbed for decades in the ground. Well worth Asia collecting the seed – very pretty!

Sorbus yuana just getting going in Tin Garden with secondary new growth.

We have just layered this very late flowering rhododendron on Rookery Path which I remember being more orange-red than this when I have seen it before. No idea of a name.

Steve Dance photographed Mallotus japonicus in flower in the nursery after the heatwave.

2019 – CHW

To Trelowarren for an update on the Cornwall Red Squirrel Project and a visit to the two red squirrel enclosures hidden in the woods. Both contain breeding pairs and it is possible that one pair have kits as only one of the pair has been seen for a few weeks. Although the unrelated squirrels came from enclosures in Paradise Park in Hayle and Norfolk where they were used to the public they have become very timid in their new woodland homes. Buzzards and owls sit and watch them in the cage and they do not like it. A third enclosure will go up soon when we have more youngsters. The release will only come when we have the necessary Natural England approvals and a captive stock of about 20 young reds from the breeding pens at Paradise Park, Trewithen and Trelowarren. Paradise Park already have one litter this year. These pictures of Ross and Demelza were not taken by me but show how the captive pens look prior to the release. All very exciting!

These pictures of Ross and Demelza were not taken by me but show how the captive pens look prior to the release
These pictures of Ross and Demelza were not taken by me but show how the captive pens look prior to the release
These pictures of Ross and Demelza were not taken by me but show how the captive pens look prior to the release
These pictures of Ross and Demelza were not taken by me but show how the captive pens look prior to the release

2018 – CHW
An invitation to view ‘the tallest ever flowering Agave americana in the UK’ at The Nare hotel. I have seen similar agave in flower on Tresco and at Ventnor botanics in the Isle of Wight over the years but of course did not have a clinometer with me at the time to measure the overall height of the flower spikes! It is certainly a huge performance especially after the emerging spike was covered in snow during the March ‘Beast’. Whether it is genuinely a record is more doubtful. Perhaps a record for 2018?
Agave americana
Agave americana
The flowers were full out today and covered in bees, flies and wasps. There will soon be a huge crop of seed and the lower leaves on the plant are already crinkling and starting to die as the whole plant very soon will. I had assumed that agaves take 40 to 50 years to flower but this one has been here for only 21 years. The plant right beside it is of a similar age and shows no sign yet of flowering.
Agave americana
Agave americana
Agave americana
Agave americana
Agave americana
Agave americana
Agave americana
Agave americana
Agave americana
Agave americana
Pimm’s and some alcoholic Mexican concoction made from the juice of agave leaves was served in the evening sun. The latter quite revolting.

2017 – CHW
More from Eddington’s Nursery.Thalictrum ‘Elin’ – may not have ever caught the flowers as well as this.
Thalictrum ‘Elin’
Thalictrum ‘Elin’
Thalictrum ‘Elin’
Thalictrum ‘Elin’
Thalictrum ‘Elin’
Thalictrum ‘Elin’
Thalictrum ‘Elin’
Thalictrum ‘Elin’
Geraniuma wallichianum ‘Crystal Lake’ – nice veining in the flower.
Geraniuma wallichianum ‘Crystal Lake’
Geraniuma wallichianum ‘Crystal Lake’
Geraniuma wallichianum ‘Crystal Lake’
Geraniuma wallichianum ‘Crystal Lake’
Rudbeckia maxima – grows to 6ft. Light green leaves and yellow flowers on tall stalks.
Rudbeckia maxima
Rudbeckia maxima
Rudbeckia maxima
Rudbeckia maxima
Rudbeckia maxima
Rudbeckia maxima
Rudbeckia? – good red.
Rudbeckia?
Rudbeckia?
Rudbeckia?
Rudbeckia?
Rudbeckia ‘Peking’ – huge flower heads.
Rudbeckia ‘Peking’
Rudbeckia ‘Peking’
Rudbeckia ‘Peking’
Rudbeckia ‘Peking’
Crocosmia ‘Okavango’ – big flower and quite unusual.
Crocosmia ‘Okavango’
Crocosmia ‘Okavango’
Crocosmia ‘Okavango’
Crocosmia ‘Okavango’
Geranium ‘Eureka Blue’ – another nice blue but the name might sell it.
Geranium ‘Eureka Blue’
Geranium ‘Eureka Blue’
Geranium ‘Eureka Blue’
Geranium ‘Eureka Blue’
Geranium ‘Dusky Rose’ – groundcover with dark leaves.
Geranium ‘Dusky Rose’
Geranium ‘Dusky Rose’
Geranium ‘Dusky Rose’
Geranium ‘Dusky Rose’
Geranium ‘Blue Sunrise’ – blue at first fading quickly.
Geranium ‘Blue Sunrise’
Geranium ‘Blue Sunrise’
Geranium ‘Blue Sunrise’
Geranium ‘Blue Sunrise’
Lots of new things to review here perhaps for our 2018 catalogue? Outstanding small herbaceous nursery but I fear they will struggle to make a living. Lots of stock still here from a year ago although half the agapanthus have sold and all of some new varieties (eg A. ‘Queen Mum’).

2016 – CHW
A long letter to George Eustice, Redruth MP and now confirmed (again) as minister of agriculture. George came to the Burncoose stand at Chelsea on press day and we had a chat about the shocking maladministration and non-performance of the Rural Payments Agency. His family farm and run a farm shop so he is one of the few MPs who actually know something about farming and what I am so furious about as regards Caerhays and the non-payment of the contractual management and other BPS payments due from last year.Off in another heatwave to Busy Bee Garden Centre. More of a shopping centre really with plants a rather poor fifth. Many plants had not moved at all from where I saw them shelved a year ago but they now look un-watered and unloved. Vastly overstocked for a short summer season.

A few new plants to consider for our 2017 catalogue seen here:Leucanthemum ‘Real Charmer’ is perhaps better than Leucanthemum ‘Freak’ and Leucanthemum ‘Goldfinch’ but not by miles.

Leucanthemum ‘Real Charmer’
Leucanthemum ‘Real Charmer’
Leucanthemum ‘Real Charmer’
Leucanthemum ‘Real Charmer’
What was very good but possibly too tender to winter outside were two superb brand new cordylines. Seemed to be UK grown rather than overseas sourced and a fair price (£30.00) for a 7.5 litre pot-full of this quality.
Cordyline australis ‘Pink Passion’ with lovely light pink edges to the leaves and pink stripes.
Cordyline australis ‘Pink Passion’
Cordyline australis ‘Pink Passion’
Cordyline australis ‘Pink Passion’
Cordyline australis ‘Pink Passion’
Cordyline australis ‘Salsa’ with red stripes and red edging.
Cordyline australis ‘Salsa’
Cordyline australis ‘Salsa’
Cordyline australis ‘Salsa’
Cordyline australis ‘Salsa’
Olearia x oleifera ‘Waikariensis’ – not that different but a compact New Zealand introduction. Might make a nice unusual compact slow growing hedge.
Olearia x oleifera ‘Waikariensis’
Olearia x oleifera ‘Waikariensis’
Olearia x oleifera ‘Waikariensis’
Olearia x oleifera ‘Waikariensis’
Olearia x oleifera ‘Waikariensis’
Olearia x oleifera ‘Waikariensis’
Podocarpus lawrencei ‘Red Tip’ – a Dutch raised dwarfish hybrid with attractive blue-green foliage and striking red new growth just emerging here.
Podocarpus lawrencei ‘Red Tip’
Podocarpus lawrencei ‘Red Tip’
Podocarpus lawrencei ‘Red Tip’
Podocarpus lawrencei ‘Red Tip’
Teucrium hir ‘Purple Tails’ – going over here but quite nice none the less at this stage in late July.
Teucrium hir ‘Purple Tails’
Teucrium hir ‘Purple Tails’
Teucrium hir ‘Purple Tails’
Teucrium hir ‘Purple Tails’

Phlox ‘Pettermint Twist’ – although largely over still quite eye-catching.

Phlox ‘Pettermint Twist’
Phlox ‘Pettermint Twist’
Gaura ‘Rose Bicolor’ – this is definitely a nicer gaura variety than any we currently stock and grows about the same size as Gaura ‘The Bride’.
Gaura ‘Rose Bicolor’
Gaura ‘Rose Bicolor’
Gaura ‘Rose Bicolor’
Gaura ‘Rose Bicolor’

Gaura ‘Belleza’ is smaller growing with reddish new growth but not that different.

Gaura ‘Belleza’
Gaura ‘Belleza’
Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ – tall growing with bronzy foliage.
Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’
Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’
Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’
Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’
Alstroemeria ‘Summer Breeze’ – same applies. Nice colour mix close up but not so eye-catching. Looks pretty straggly even in a large pot as here.
Alstroemeria ‘Summer Breeze’
Alstroemeria ‘Summer Breeze’
Alstroemeria ‘Summer Breeze’
Alstroemeria ‘Summer Breeze’

2015 – CHW
Yesterday we got our first proper rain for months but today is set fine and everything in the garden (except the keepers and pheasant poults) rejoices in the growth. The Park (or Downs) has gone from brownish to green overnight.

It is doubtful that we will get the grass cut a week ago on the banks above the front door raked up and burnt as normal as it will now rot. I am always in two minds about whether it is worth the effort and time involved in raking it up by hand. Years ago the tenant farmer (Rowse) at Penvergate used to come and bale it up as extra fodder for his smallholding but this just left seed allover the gravel. The banks have to be cut late to protect the primroses and bluebells but cutting the flowering weeds and grasses deprives the butterflies of feed. There are usually plenty of small blue ones to be seen but not this year nor in the Isle of Wight. Raking up grass does spread flower and weed seed around I suppose and makes the place look tidy for visitors but I would prefer to see it cut in August and the bank below the lawn to be left to grow rather than flymown to death as has become the norm.

flymown to death
flymown to death

1933 – JCW
Auriculatum is opening well in several places. Romneya is good, the bed wants renewing.

1926 – JCW
Plagianthus lyali nearly over. Decorum x Auriculatum coming on. Violas good. Rambler good. Romneya is very remarkable. Styrax just over as a family. Some rain but very little for 5 weeks.

1911 – JCW
Buddleia var Veitchii and Magnifica at about their best. Very very dry, several things dead.

1909 – JCW
Buddleia variabilis shows colour. Mitraria fair. Cyclamen none. Half the daff seed sown. Most of the transplanting finished. R decorum not open yet.

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