2021 – CHW
I should not really have bothered to visit the sauna that was Butterfly World with its associated garden centre. A quick glance at the size of the brambles in the hedges around the car park should have been enough!
Again I was asked if I was an OAP. I assume the ticket lady was trying to give the business money away rather than being rude. Anyway the adult price was £8.49 which was approximately a pound a minute. Not many butterflies and the Japanese section laughable. Only one other visitor in the sauna seriously photographing elusive butterflies.
The garden centre deserted except for a very large man removing the many weeds in the brick paving with a pressure water jet. Not ideal as he was discovering. Quite the worst display of plants I have seen for ages. Some may have been survivors of my last visit here three or four years ago. Hanging onto life – just. The bedding was tired, rotting and underwatered. The spring cabbage and veg seedlings had run up into flower as had the tomatoes in 9cm pots at 15-18”. Still on display though!
A few (unknown) butterflies – some feeding on sliced oranges.
Rhododendron viscosum in shade by Tin Garden with a hint of pink in the buds. Rather later into flower than the others we have seen over the last month.
Off to the island’s main tomato grower in a 37 hectare site. We cannot actually look at any tomatoes because a new European disease is infecting tomato plants in Holland, Spain and Portugal which is highly contagious and wipes out the whole crop. Instead we see the PA to the MD who organises the marketing to retail outlets of new and unusual types of tomato as pictured here. The business turns over £8m and started in farmers markets. They now supply Harrods. They are also manufacturing a new tomato juice which is about to go on sale in one of the supermarkets. It tasted delicious and far nicer than ‘Big Tom’. A picture of the bottle is here. Campbell Clarke brought one of the creators of this new juice to Caerhays recently.
Then on to a 12 acre farm where they grow organic vegetables for hotels and boxes of veg for customers at circa £14.00 a box. The business employs eight people and shows what a farm tenant with only three or four fields could achieve. Weeds everywhere exactly as they used to be 50 years ago when many farmers used a small field to grow their own veg for local shops before the era of supermarkets. You can order a box online but the site is so small that collection is impossible. The business delivers all orders itself with all the costs of that. Hard manual field work and little profit I fear from this interesting concept.The packing shed is featured here with boxes in preparation. Not exactly state of the art!
At Ventnor again to see nice things in flower.Olearia megalophylla in full flower with odd leaves which remind me of carpenteria.
Still recovering from the Lions drawing the third and final test match yesterday against the All Blacks 15-15. The series was therefore tied. The first time the All Blacks have not won since 1971.Magnolia grandiflora in its original form is looking a picture over the top of the wall. These plants are due a haircut soon as the view is getting rather obscured from the lawn.
A day of drizzle and thick sea fog which sadly never lifted for the wedding party in the tent below the lawn. You could not even see the sea for most of the day. No hassle with the wedding and no noise unlike the previous weekend when the wedding goers repeatedly rang the front door bell. Thankfully we were away.The Roy Lancaster Chinese collected climbing specie rose on the front arch is just coming out. I must try and identify what it actually is. No hips last year but these can be as good as the flower. The closest to it I can find a picture of is Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’ but it is the hips which are so unusual and no mention of this in the reference book.
2015 – CHW
Unpleasantly hot but a trip to Thompson’s Garden Centre near Sandown. About the same size as yesterday’s Buzy Bee but rather more sold out. Hardly a rose or dianthus left in stock so bugger all to photograph really.
1984 – FJW
First rain fell at 8.30 am after longest dry spell yet seen by us. It beats 1975 I would think.
1975 – FJW
First rain fell at 7am.
1924 – JCW
Just back from Eton and Harrow match and seeing Bulstrode, the things here have had enough sun without rain though the ground is not really dry the air is empty of moisture.
1916 – JCW
No Romneya out. No R ingersii open. R fortunei Wilson wanes, P poissonii good. Mitraria good. L giganteums nice. Papa Gontier good.
1901 – JCW
Romneya just starting five or six flowers. I have finished moving the best seedlings down to the home garden, started taking them out of the pans.
1899 – JCW
Romneya coulteri open, about the first of it