28th June

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

2017 – CHW

Gentle rain all day which is just what the garden needed. It is about three weeks since we last had proper rain and everything will jump now as far as new growth and fodder crops are concerned.

The Hydrangea seemanii is now full out on the arch and looking as splendid as yesterday’s climbing rose on the other archway. It will however need its new growth clipping back from the battlements in the autumn as before. So Hydrangea petiolans varieties are over but Hydrangea aspera villosa and Hydrangea sargentiana have yet to show. Seemanii is a mid season flowering species. Very vigorous and ideal for growing up tall or dead trees.

Hydrangea seemanii
Hydrangea seemanii
Hydrangea seemanii
Hydrangea seemanii
Ross has just started on the large new tree clearance above the old Playhouse and back to the Hothead. Only a small machine but what he has cut down and the stumps grubbed out in only one full day is startling. We start to investigate some of the trees on the top side of the path which we were not sure whether to fell or not now that there is some space to look back. It will be a huge new area for replanting next spring and the soil does not look as thin or stony as I was expecting. I have devised a plant list of hardier shrubs and things which will tolerate wind in a hot and potentially very dry location for the nursery to assemble. Another major improvement to the garden but we will be letting in more east and northeast wind into the main garden so we must expect a few big trees to blow down above the clearing. Fortunately the laurel, beech and ilex oaks planted above the path 15 or so years ago have come on well. They will soon have more light to grow on even better.

2016 – CHW
The ancient orange ? Nakahari azalea outside the front door is plastered in flower unlike most years when the flower is sparse and spread over several weeks.
orange ? Nakahari azalea
orange ? Nakahari azalea
orange ? Nakahari azalea
orange ? Nakahari azalea
Hydrangea longipipes is looking first rate. Somewhere between Hydrangea villosa and Hydrangea sargentiana I suppose but certainly earlier than both this year.
Hydrangea longipipes
Hydrangea longipipes
Hydrangea longipipes
Hydrangea longipipes
Eucryphia lucida ‘Pink Cloud’ outside the front gate is full out and well worth its place in any garden. Earlier than other eucryphias and a long flowering season.
Eucryphia lucida ‘Pink Cloud’
Eucryphia lucida ‘Pink Cloud’
Eucryphia lucida ‘Pink Cloud’
Eucryphia lucida ‘Pink Cloud’
A new Styrax japonica to replace the two elderly specimens that have died up in the wood flowers for the first time down from the Four in Hand. Huge flowers and lots of them but only planted in 2013!
Styrax japonica
Styrax japonica
Styrax japonica
Styrax japonica
Honey fungus time of the year now and a recent casualty after flowering above the styrax. Dead roots from the nearby fir tree. I guess we will lose all the rhodos here.
Honey fungus
Honey fungus
I thought you might enjoy the Arum lilies outside the front door which the rain has battered today. This clump has now been pictured in flower several times since January. In flower for six months and still going strong. One hell of a mafia funeral!
Arum lilies
Arum lilies

2015 – CHW
The Isle of Wight party left at 7am today and I follow on 1st July so the blog will, I hope, continue sparsely from there and at Ventnor Botanic Gardens which I escape to when the sea air and ‘yachties’ get too much. Just a quick spin to the Rockery today where I find a second original centurion plant of Rhododendron weyrichii. This one is much more red rather than orange in flower unlike the plant above the Magnolia x veitchiis. Very old plant and very few flowers.

Rhododendron weyrichii
Rhododendron weyrichii
Rhododendron weyrichii
Rhododendron weyrichii
A Hydrangea longipipes from a Crug Farm collection is out earlier than Hydrangea villosa but the flowers are quite small and very similar. Stick with villosa for effect.
Hydrangea longipipes
Hydrangea longipipes
Hydrangea longipipes
Hydrangea longipipes
Hydrangea longipipes
Hydrangea longipipes

Amid the Camellia ‘Lady Clare’ by the front door there is a surprise. The first three rather well concealed flowers on Tropaeolum speciosum. This plant has grown here for decades with its roots in the damp shade. It can climb up to 10 feet each year to flower and self seeds. As the camellia has died back with old age so the numbers of tropaeolum have declined too. This it out at least a month earlier than ususal.

Tropaeolum speciosum
Tropaeolum speciosum
Tropaeolum speciosum
Tropaeolum speciosum

1941 – CW
Magnolias parviflora and watsoni still good. Harrow hybrids (Rhodo) good and a few whites. Some Styrax but Michelia by Engine House flowered for first time. Buds take long to open. Flower very white – 6 inches across, petals don’t overlap but very thick – smell like a refined Mag watsoni and flower not unlike. Flower flat only a few hours.

1935 – JCW
The fuschias are very good. Hard cut the care of Tin Garden daffs etc.

1934 – JCW
Moyesii is now very good. Some good Maddeni’s very little of the above is open.

1923 – JCW
The pink Moyesii is the best thing we have, something like 1922 in the whole but the cold and dry air has disposed of a lot of bloom.

1922 – JCW
Maddeni good in the big Grap, the Harrow hybrids have been and are the best things. Azaleas over except the Arborescens lot. The late white Obtusum near the Rookery is very good. Some decorum open.

1916 – JCW
Maddeni nice. E langleyense very good. R moyesi nice. P. helodoxa still good.

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