2020 – CHW
The country enters lockdown and we all wonder how to carry on. £400-500k in tourist income probably down the drain with the group tours, weddings, holiday lets and The Vean. Do we keep the gardens open but stop the house tours? Do we put all the staff associated with tourism on temporary leave as the law allows in extreme circumstances or can some of them work from home for a bit doing something useful and productive? Those with children and elderly relatives at home are already voting with their feet and who can blame them. My busy March and April diary reduces to nothing. The garden staff, farm staff and keepers can, and have to, carry on. Lambing ewes cannot wait and the first pheasant egg was gathered yesterday. The mail order orders continue to flow at Burncoose at the moment so I suppose we carry on there if we have the staff and couriers to do so? Two isolated and separate teams of packing shed staff perhaps? I see no reason why the building teams cannot carry on in rural areas at least. Panic in all directions but decisions have to be made on the basis of common sense and government guidelines. Trying to create a ‘policy’ requires thought and will evolve.
Anyway back to the plants which will remain to be enjoyed; if only by a few.
Euphorbia mellifera is in full flower on the lawn. I do not think I have ever caught it quite as well as this at this time of the year.
For those who want to click here for the highlights of the visit to Tregrehan on Friday.Seedling from Camellia reticulata ‘Nuccios Ruby’
2018 – CHW
The gardening weekend with the threat of serious snow again. We carry on regardless with the all day garden tour joined by Richard Carew Pole’s party and Tom Hudson for lunch (22 attendees).Rhododendron ‘Golden Oriole’ just coming out amid the first snowflakes.
The row at Portholland emerges from the canopy cover and scaffolding to reveal £200k of new roof.
Then onto a planting spree in the Burncoose garden.Magnolia sprengeri ‘Burncoose’ is at its peak with the flowers opening a reddish purple before they fade. Particularly good this year.
New planting completed in the large cleared area above the greenhouses. This planting is concentrated on expanding our collection of styrax and stewartia species and hybrids to complement the 10 or so semi mature plants growing well above Crinodendron Hedge. There are several completely new species here from Tom Hudson, Esvelt and Mark Bulk’s nurseries in Holland. Combined with our elderly plants we probably now have around 15 species and 10 named hybrids. Hopefully lots of fun checking their identities in the future and checking on misnaming or plants with different names which turn out to be the same thing.The key new varieties include:Stewartia henryaeStyrax shiriainusStyrax dasyanthusStyrax formosanusStyrax japonicus ‘Fargesii’Styrax japonicus ‘Evening Light’Styrax japonicus ‘Emerald Pagoda’
Styrax japonicus ‘Fragrant Fountain’
Styrax japonicus ‘Crystal’
Included in the planting were several more additions to the enkianthus collection:
In particular a group of five Enkianthus serrulatus (as seen at Tregrehan)
One Enkianthus ‘Sinsetu’
One Enkianthus ‘Miyama-beni’
Two Enkianthus ‘Showy Lantern’
Two Enkianthus cernus recurvuus
It will not be a planting to excite anyone but a serious plantsman even though we have included a few magnolias for long term effect.
A large Manchurian cock pheasant is very fine and shining black in the sun.
Magnolia ‘Delia Williams’ is now full out beside Mr Rogers Quarry. No flowers low down yet.
From the same seed pod as Magnolia ‘Kew’s Surprise’ in 1951 are two perfectly decent but nowhere near as good siblings. The better of the two is outside the front gate and the third behind the JCW camellia clump on Bond Street. Was it not fortunate that the best plant ended up in the best place or was it that the most sturdy seedling of the three at the time got the best spot. We will never know if it was luck or judgement.
Two of Philip Tregunna’s hybrids to assess again as they start to open:Planted 1985 Magnolia sargentiana robusta x ‘Lanarth’ – by the best Rhododendron macabeanum
Planted 1995 Magnolia campbellii var mollicomata ‘Lanarth’ seedling – towards Rookery Gate
Neither of these trees are easy to see close up or at a distance as they rise above the neighbouring plants. However both are becoming dominant parts of the garden landscape and will wow visitors for decades to come.
And one of Charles Michaels’ from 1958 – Magnolia sargentiana var robusta x sprengeri ‘Diva’ above the Auklandii garden next to the record Magnolia campbellii.
We have debated this for years as being worthy of a name but my father always refused partly because taking it to Vincent Square to try to get an award was a lot of hassle. Others, including Roy Lancaster, John Hillier and John Gallagher, have disagreed. The best ‘reddish’ pink colour is in its first couple of days in flower. After that it fades to a plainer drooping more ordinary pink.
1991 – FJW
1990 – FJW
Garden past its best !! Very stricken by storms. Magnolias, Camellias, Rhodo’s, Evergreen Azaleas full out, never so early in my time.
1969 – FJW
Packed first Magnolia (Mr Gore) well out but small and weak colour. Donkey Shoe robusta ditto a few on.
1967 – FJW
Torrey Canyon went on to the Seven Stones.
1965 – FJW
The Arboreum hybs badly frosted in the Beech Walk, but the same varieties in Castle Wood seem to have buds unscathed. Frogs in the moor. Warm wet spell.
1933 – JCW
Seedling Magnolia denudata shows colour i.e Wilsons big plant it has had its top smashed. Forrests Camellias have been and are very good. Nothing very good as to daffs.1921 – JCW
A long way behind 1920. The Mrs Butler hybrids are good and the white Auklandii hybrids are just starting. The Berberis hedges have never been better and yellow trumpets are out as to ¾ of them, the first poets just starting. Prunus subhirtella and sargentii show the first flowers.1920 – JCW
Well in front of 1897, our earliest year. Poetasum and other poets are open, Auklandii is in some cases nearly open. The yellow trumpets wane.
1916 – JCW
Ciliatums and Thomsonii x cut out by the frost, Fargesii takes it better and is nice by the Barbatum group, the Mrs Butler x lot is fairly good. Daffs are opening but hang back in opening, from the cold.
1915 – JCW
Cilatums coming on and so Mrs Butler x Thomsonii wanes. Trumpet seedlings opening, Prunus pissardi very good.
1910 – JCW
Cilatums have waned, ⅓ Alfreds open, many Parois with colour. Could fill a 50 daff cup with ease.
1902 – JCW
Sent E Southern Star, Sirius, 221, and 224 from the open. Horsfieldii shows colour, nearly all the Victoria are open, picked several Reticulata.
1897 – JCW
One third of the flowers open on Reticulata, Ciliatums at their best, Doronicums a few out, Emperor half, [?] a few, Weardale burst bud, Alpernina well out, Magnolia halleana well out. (Sirius came out 1898.)