20th 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 part planting day amid the usual chaos of the house opening for the first time and 40 Italians on the first house tour! Wet and noisy they were too.

The young Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’ is not too bad but smaller flowers than the older plant which is more sheltered.

Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’
Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’
Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’
Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’
Magnolia ‘Crystal Chalice’ is just coming.
Magnolia ‘Crystal Chalice’
Magnolia ‘Crystal Chalice’
Magnolia ‘Crystal Chalice’
Magnolia ‘Crystal Chalice’
Magnolia ‘Crystal Chalice’
Magnolia ‘Crystal Chalice’
Magnolia ‘Cleopatra’ is a bit battered in the wind but promising.
Magnolia ‘Cleopatra’
Magnolia ‘Cleopatra’
Magnolia ‘Cleopatra’
Magnolia ‘Cleopatra’
Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’ x ‘Deep Purple Dream’ shows potential for the future but damaged today.
Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’ x ‘Deep Purple Dream’
Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’ x ‘Deep Purple Dream’

2016 – CHW
Off to Tregothnan with our gardening weekend guests where we are shown around by Evelyn Boscawen. Great and generational changes have been made to the gardens to replace windbreaks and to fell the huge Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’ in the garden to rejuvenate them from the base.The rather horrible (if you do not like variegation) Rhododendron ‘President Roosevelt’ is out beside the summerhouse and flowering well in full sun now that the dying tree canopy of ilex oak and scots pine has been removed.

Rhododendron ‘President Roosevelt’
Rhododendron ‘President Roosevelt’
Rhododendron ‘President Roosevelt’
Rhododendron ‘President Roosevelt’
Much evidence of badger digging and badger lavatories all over the lawns. Rabbits and deer also a major problem in the arboretum but loss of shelterbelts means more wind damage to flowers and evergreens.

Rhododendron praestans above the ponds is a fantastic colour.

Rhododendron praestans
Rhododendron praestans
A newish planting of Camellia reticulata hybrids is particularly good. These are such difficult and temperamental plants to grow. Grafted plants snap off easily, they have a leggy habit which makes staking difficult and are very fussy about soil and shelter not to mention their attraction to deer.
We see:
Camellia reticulata ‘Crimson Robe’

Camellia reticulata ‘Crimson Robe’
Camellia reticulata ‘Crimson Robe’

Camellia reticulata ‘Lasca Beauty’

Camellia reticulata ‘Crimson Robe’
Camellia reticulata ‘Crimson Robe’

Camellia reticulata ‘K O Hester’

Camellia reticulata ‘K O Hester’
Camellia reticulata ‘K O Hester’

Rhododendron arboreum, the blood red form, is the best thing in the garden today.

Rhododendron arboreum, the blood red form
Rhododendron arboreum, the blood red form
Just above it is a huge Camellia reticulata ‘Francie L’ is full out and excellent with a bit of wind damage and a branch split out.
Camellia reticulata ‘Francie L’
Camellia reticulata ‘Francie L’
A eucalyptus species has white flower forming below last year’s seed pots and is really quite nice in the sun. Not sure of the name.
eucalyptus
eucalyptus
Michelia foveolata (or perhaps Michelia platypetala) is flowering away nicely in a sheltered spot by a good Magnolia nitida. This species is doing well at Burncoose but no flowers as yet or at Caerhays.
Michelia foveolata (or perhaps Michelia platypetala)
Michelia foveolata (or perhaps Michelia platypetala)
Michelia foveolata (or perhaps Michelia platypetala)
Michelia foveolata (or perhaps Michelia platypetala)
Michelia foveolata (or perhaps Michelia platypetala)
Michelia foveolata (or perhaps Michelia platypetala)

What a pity there is not more time to look more closely at other rare plants (Maytenus boraria) or the huge number of other Camellia reticulatas in their national collection.

2015 – CHW
‘Magnolia Mania’ continues with yet another still day. We may be lucky tomorrow for the wedding. David and Jenny Knuckey (my long since retired partners from Burncoose) are doing Serena’s flowers. The nursery have failed to send up the bowls or oasis with the stockplants for the tent. Not a good start so I am keeping a low profile.

Magnolia 'Lanarth'
Magnolia ‘Lanarth’
True LANARTH
A true M. ‘Lanarth’

It is interesting to compare what the New Zealander’s sell as Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ against the true original Magnolia ‘Lanarths’ that still grow today at Lanarth near St Keverne on the Lizard Peninsula. True ‘Lanarth’ is a small growing and spreading magnolia of probably no more than 15 to 20 feet in height. The flowers are mollicomata shaped (ie lightbulb and cup as they open). It is a shy flowerer and one true plant took 50 years to flower here. The New Zealand form is much more erect and vigorous. The flowers are larger and more campbellii (ie erect) shaped in bud. If one had to choose which to grow yourself the New Zealander would win but that does not mean it is true to name!Exactly the same is true of the New Zealand Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba’ which is a very poor imitation of the real thing in every respect.

The true campbellii alba has not a hint of pink, at the base, and is a far larger and more upright pure white.
New Zeland Magnolia campbellii ALBA
A New Zealand Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba’
True CAMPBELLII_Alba
True M. campbellii ‘Alba’
CAMELLIA 'Anticipation Variagated'
CAMELLIA ‘Anticipation Variagated’
Camellia ‘Anticipation Variegated’ towers over the main ride and is well worth being more widely grown. It is the large flowers not the leaves which are ‘variegated’.Questing further to photograph more ‘Endangered in the Wild’ plants for Chelsea 2015 we locate three species of ‘yew-like’ Torreya above Hovel Court Road. Torreya nucifera and Torreya taxiflora are labelled. Planting records suggest the third is Torreya grandis. Despite rabbit damage shortly after planting all three are making into decent small trees now.
TORREYA nucifera
TORREYA nucifera
TORREYA nucifera
TORREYA nucifera

1972 – FJW
Magnolias nearly at their best – Donkey Shoe Robusta, Philip T, Campbellii and Caerhays Belle = first

1959 – FJW
Magnolias coming to their best. The prize must go to the Donkey Shoe Robusta. Campbellii excellent – no Michelia yet – Red Admirals in Beech Walk superb. Best Rho sutchuenense hyb above crino hedge – best show of Camellias on St Ewe hedge.

1943 – CW
Many daffodils over – part mild season – Magnolia campbelli mollicomata, Sargentiana, Campbellii over or nearly over – Michelia wonderful, some branches weighed down with flowers. Large lot of Rho Royal flush in 40 Acres. Blood red at its best. Auklandii arboreum beginning. Still some fuschias. Very dry.

1931 – JCW
Kobus is the first magnolia as in 1929. The blood red hybrids are good and so is Cam speciosa.

1929 – JCW
150 flowers on the early Kobus show white.

1926 – JCW
Isceuticum, Roxieanum, a new Irroratum and Martinianum all should flower for the first time this week.

1915 – JCW
Bob came in from France for two days. Frost last night hit the Thomsoni hybrids hard, Mrs Butler hybrids just coming on. Princep Mary not open, not much colour yet.

1911 – JCW
We are far from Princep Mary or Mag halleana. Argenteum and Arboreum nice, most of the Arboreums are over. Some Ciliatums over, some very nice, some double C reticulata.

1907 – JCW
We are now close to 1902. Caerhays trumpet is at its best. Anenome alpinina open, and Sir Watkin.

1904 – JCW
Some days behind the above but I picked some very nice P in seedlings, Horsfieldii out.

1902 – JCW
Several Princep Mary, North S, some C J Backhouse, an old Emperor, most of the Sir Watkin, a few M Humes, two King A, a fair lot of Magnolia halleana, saw the Tregothnan Rho argeteum with 300 flowers.

1901 – JCW
Snow which melts and none of the above open.

1898 – JCW
A few Princep Mary open and most of the Kate Spurrell.

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