17th 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
The row at Portholland emerges from the canopy cover and scaffolding to reveal £200k of new roof.

new roof
new roof
Prunus nipponica ‘Brilliant’ full out today at the nursery.
Prunus nipponica ‘Brilliant’
Prunus nipponica ‘Brilliant’
Prunus nipponica ‘Brilliant’
Prunus nipponica ‘Brilliant’
The new Magnolia ‘Burgundy Star’ in bud.
Magnolia ‘Burgundy Star’
Magnolia ‘Burgundy Star’
Magnolia ‘Royal Crown’ nicely out in a tunnel.
Magnolia ‘Royal Crown’
Magnolia ‘Royal Crown’
Magnolia ‘Royal Crown’
Magnolia ‘Royal Crown’
Magnolia ‘Anticipation’ likewise.
Magnolia ‘Anticipation’
Magnolia ‘Anticipation’
Magnolia ‘Anticipation’
Magnolia ‘Anticipation’
Rhododendron russatum now full out and a striking blue.
Rhododendron russatum
Rhododendron russatum
Rhododendron russatum
Rhododendron russatum
Prunus mume ‘Beni-chidori’ – finally I manage to capture the missing pictures for the website.
Prunus mume ‘Beni-chidori’
Prunus mume ‘Beni-chidori’
Prunus mume ‘Beni-chidori’
Prunus mume ‘Beni-chidori’
Prunus mume ‘Beni-chidori’
Prunus mume ‘Beni-chidori’
Sycoparrotia semidecidua has such an odd and ugly flower.
Sycoparrotia semidecidua
Sycoparrotia semidecidua
Magnolia lilliflora ‘Holland Red’ in bud.
Magnolia lilliflora ‘Holland Red’
Magnolia lilliflora ‘Holland Red’
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.

Magnolia sprengeri ‘Burncoose’
Magnolia sprengeri ‘Burncoose’
Magnolia sprengeri ‘Burncoose’
Magnolia sprengeri ‘Burncoose’
The view across the lawn.
view across the lawn
view across the lawn
view across the lawn
view across the lawn
Magnolia ‘Kews Surprise’ in the paddock below the lawn.
Magnolia ‘Kews Surprise’
Magnolia ‘Kews Surprise’
Magnolia ‘Kews Surprise’
Magnolia ‘Kews Surprise’
Magnolia dawsoniana ‘Chyverton Red’ by the rockery.
Magnolia dawsoniana ‘Chyverton Red’
Magnolia dawsoniana ‘Chyverton Red’
Magnolia ‘Sir Harold Hillier’ by the old walled garden.
Magnolia ‘Sir Harold Hillier’
Magnolia ‘Sir Harold Hillier’
Rhododendron ‘Duke of Cornwall’ – a cutting from the Caerhays plant.
Rhododendron ‘Duke of Cornwall’
Rhododendron ‘Duke of Cornwall’
Rhododendron ‘Duke of Cornwall’
Rhododendron ‘Duke of Cornwall’
Magnolia ‘Shirraz’ was perfect!
Magnolia ‘Shirraz’
Magnolia ‘Shirraz’
Magnolia ‘Shirraz’
Magnolia ‘Shirraz’
Rhododendron calophytum on the drive.
Rhododendron calophytum
Rhododendron calophytum
Rhododendron calophytum
Rhododendron calophytum
Azalea ‘Kirin’ out already on the drive.
Azalea ‘Kirin’
Azalea ‘Kirin’
Azalea ‘Kirin’
Azalea ‘Kirin’

2016 – CHW
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 dasyanthus

Styrax formosanus

Styrax 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.

On the way I discover Magnolia nitida covered in flower above the Auklandii Garden. This large tree nestled away in thick cover has never, to my knowledge, flowered as profusely as this. Then again one could very easily miss it altogether.
Magnolia nitida
Magnolia nitida

A large Manchurian cock pheasant is very fine and shining black in the sun.

Manchurian cock pheasant
Manchurian cock pheasant
Magnolia ‘David Clulow’ is full out with some damage on the Main Ride.
Magnolia ‘David Clulow’
Magnolia ‘David Clulow’
Magnolia ‘David Clulow’
Magnolia ‘David Clulow’
Next to it is another white magnolia, Magnolia ‘Lotus’, with printed flowers that curve in on themselves.
Magnolia ‘Lotus’
Magnolia ‘Lotus’

Magnolia ‘Delia Williams’ is now full out beside Mr Rogers Quarry. No flowers low down yet.

Magnolia ‘Delia Williams’
Magnolia ‘Delia Williams’
Michelia martinii has just one yellowish flower bud on the path to Bramble Field Gate. Again I have never seen this youngish plant in flower before. The leaves are slightly silvery underneath. A cold spot so it is doing really well. There was another single flower full out last week which has now dropped but the petals on the ground are creamy yellow. Another michelia to add to the collection
Michelia martinii
Michelia martinii
2015 – CHW
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 perfectly decent siblings - FIRST
First sibling seedling of M. ‘Kew’s Surprise’
Two perfectly decent siblings - SECOND
Second sibling seedling of M. ‘Kew’s Surprise’

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.

MAGNOLIA sargentiana robusta Lanarth
M. sargentiana var robusta x ‘Lanarth’
MAGNOLIA campbellii molicomata Lanarth
M. campbellii var. molicomata x ‘Lanarth’

1991 – FJW
Tadpoles out.

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.)

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