15th March

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

A rest from magnolias!

Some tiny flowered narcissi by the side door – nice scent.

tiny flowered narcissi
tiny flowered narcissi
The ancient bergenia clumps touching the castle drive are waking up and into flower.
bergenia clumps
bergenia clumps
Primroses galore now on the bank.
Primroses
Primroses
Apologies; I could not resist yet more of ‘Caerhays Belle’ in the sun.
‘Caerhays Belle’
‘Caerhays Belle’
‘Caerhays Belle’
‘Caerhays Belle’
‘Caerhays Belle’
‘Caerhays Belle’
‘Caerhays Belle’
‘Caerhays Belle’
‘Caerhays Belle’
‘Caerhays Belle’
‘Caerhays Belle’
‘Caerhays Belle’
‘Caerhays Belle’
‘Caerhays Belle’

2016 – CHW
The bluebells are coming on well outside the front gate.

bluebells
bluebells
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Wildcat’ has two flowers. Its second flowering. ‘Wildcat’ is a huge advance on x loebneri ‘Donna’ which now looks dull by comparison but a larger and floppier flower than Magnolia x loebneri ‘Mags Pirouette’ which is, I think, the best selection from a very good bunch to grace any smaller garden.

Magnolia x loebneri ‘Wildcat’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Wildcat’
Nothing quite beats Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’ for size and scale. We have seen odd branches out since November but this is now the ‘real deal’ by Four in Hand.
Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’
Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’
The best (and truest) of the two Magnolia dawsoniana seedlings is just out at the very top of the tree outside the front gate. The birds have really started their spring chorus and the swans are fighting off the Canada geese on the lake. I will give them a little help with the battle later this week.
Magnolia dawsoniana
Magnolia dawsoniana
A distance shot from the front door of the magnolia above the wall (see yesterday).

magnolia above the wall
magnolia above the wall
A hectic week ahead. Speech at the Cornwall Red Squirrel Project dinner at Boconnoc on Thursday, RHS lecture here on magnolias on Friday, then guests for the gardening weekend (three from Holland).
2015 – CHW
The story of Magnolia sargentiana (pure) is an odd one. The original plant at Caerhays has flowered only once, in 2012, when it had narrow extremely floppy tepals which hung down from the flower. It flowered on just one branch. It had not flowered before in my father’s or my lifetime but, when it did, the flowers were exactly as depicted in the watercolour in George Johnstone’s 1950s book on magnolias. We purchased from Eisenhut Magnolia sargentiana pure thinking it was from scions we had supplied and planted it in pride of place where the original Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’ had died. Hillier Manual (2014 edition) continues to describe the flowers of Magnolia sargentiana as upright, cup shaped and like ‘large water lilies’. John Hillier observed the new plant in 2013 at an early flowering and confirmed the flower was exactly like the plants in the Hillier arboretum of Magnolia sargentiana pure. Clearly this can now be demonstrated to be a huge and enduring case of mistaken identity. The real flowers of Magnolia sargentiana pure are not even faintly like a water lily although the ‘rogue’ is very nice indeed and well worth a name in its own right which should probably be ‘Caerhays Water Lily’ to amuse future generations. However Jaimie says it is actually Philip Tregunna.
Magnolia 'Philip Tregunna'
Magnolia ‘Philip Tregunna’ named after an old head gardener at Caerhays.

1988 – FJW
Gales after 6 dry warm weeks – Magnolias first class but ruined today.

1919 – JCW
Rhodo’s much as in 1917 it may be a bit further on, daffodils well ahead with a good bulge on the bud of our early poets (red and white). Prunus conradinae is over. Subhirtella not yet open.

1917 – JCW
Not a yellow bud in the Tin Garden, the first Caerhays opened yesterday. The following Rhodo’n species open or show colour – barbatum, davidii, sutchuenense, moupinense, scabrifolium, lutescens, argeteum, arboreum, irroratum (only just), mucronulatum. Cerasus conradinae just opening.

1914 – JCW
One Cam reticulata on wall by Library. R argenteum and most arboreums at their best. Some trumpets but a few incomps open. The best white Arboreum is hardly open. Barbatums well on, a few P Mary.

1913 – JCW
A few reticulata, and bad ones, open. We have nearly reached the poets in daffodils. Ciliatums going over, the best white Arboreum is well out, some Barbatums over some partly out – half the Tin Garden P Mary open.

1908 – JCW
We are just as in 1902 bar the Reticulata.

1906 – JCW
We are distinctly ahead of 1903. R shilsoni on the wane, White Queen fit to force for pollen. Many reticulatas open.

1904 – JCW
Rather later, say five days, than in 1903.

1903 – JCW
Sir Watkins, Emperor, Horsfieldii, 116, Artemis all out and Princep Mary, Albatross, Seagull, Caerhays, G Spur, H Irving, Maximus and Victoria at their best, King A, Sirius, G Bell and RRB well out. [?] at their best and so are R wilsonii, barbatum and most of the arboreums.

1902 – JCW
Sir Watkin open, some Artemis (23), Maximus nearly all, Caerhays nearly all also G Spur, some few Reticulata and Ciliatum. Picked the first Southern Star, many Victoria out.

1901 – JCW
An odd Victoria open, 23 nearly open, one Ciliatum early seedling, but hardly any of the above are even near opening.

1899 – JCW
Very few Sir Watkins open, a few K Spurrell, Horsfieldii, Emperor, 116, several 23, maximus going over. Caerhays at its best, also G Spur, no ciliatum or reticulata properly open.

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