The Prime Minister announces at 8.30pm last night that ‘we all have to stay at home’. Lockdown finally so I rush down to Burncoose with Michael Gove’s announcement this morning that building sites could stay open (with social distancing). KPK have already decided to close completely and we ‘furlough’ our 13 fulltime staff and lay off a similar number of subcontractors who will have to fend for themselves with a government handout. All the builders merchants are shut so work on sites cannot continue and our customers on sites have asked us to leave. Not what I had expected from meetings only last Thursday.
Burncoose Nurseries is now shut to the public as of this morning. However mail order orders continue to arrive on the internet faster than we have ever experienced before. Some have gone home but most staff remain picking and packing orders. The couriers are adamant that home deliveries will carry on so we carry on for as long as we can to fulfil them. Internet mail order businesses are having a bonanza which will no doubt engender a public backlash soon. If we do have to shut down totally we will still have four staff doing the watering who live on site with Andrew supervising and Steve manning a phone from home if need be.
The end of ‘freedom’ but have we ended up with fascism or communism? Not much difference perhaps but state control is state control. Boris would argue he has, so far, avoided anything other than pleading with us to ‘obey’. The Chinese saw it rather differently with armed authority and the Italians are showing that dictatorial powers are alive and well in a former fascist state. Will ‘normality’ as we have known it ever completely return?
A few fleeting plants on show to nobody in the nursery sales point.
Prunus incisa ‘The Bride’
Chaenomeles ‘Geisha Girl’
Berberis linearifolia ‘Orange King’
Back at Caerhays a few more magnolias on the drive.
This Magnolia ‘Shirraz’ is perfect today while the other two big ones were destroyed by last week’s hailstorms.
A large Magnolia ‘Atlas’ above Red Linney.
And a small Magnolia ‘Felix Jury’ just below it.
This was another of Dad’s hybrids which he refused to name saying it was not good enough. Magnolia sargentiana robusta x Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’ by the look of it and therefore very similar to Magnolia ‘Mr Julian’ which we named recently. It is rather good here today and one of the last trees to come fully out. I can remember this first flowering 45 or so years ago.
2019 – CHW
Some nice things along Sinogrande Walk.
Acer x conspicuum ‘Red Flamingo’ with its new leaves emerging.
A garden tour with shooting friends and clients in the rain. The gator for the 89 year old who very much enjoyed it and had a proper Cornish accent! The cold damage which we saw is now sadly far more evident.Leaf drop from frost damage on the evergreen Hoheria populnea ‘Variegata’. The tree is almost completely defoliated although it looked fine 10 days ago. I had feared the worst for these variegated Hoherias.
2017 – CHW
A Burncoose day to decide how to cope with a 34% increase in internet order numbers over last March and to prepare emergency measures if the packing sheds do get swamped. Still time for a few more new website pictures though.
The purchases (mainly acers) from the Lees & Co closing down sale have arrived in good order.
One of the finest things in the garden today after a mild winter is the very tender Rhododendron stenaulum (now renamed Rhododendron moulmainense) from Moulmein in Burma. The plant with its very attractive peeling bark is about 15-20ft tall. We used to have a white form above the wall which once got Dr Davidian, the great rhodo expert and author from The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, into a huge state of excitement. We have grown this ourselves from seed but never from cuttings as yet.
2015 – CHW
Off to Monica Dance’s funeral in Camborne with a bad hangover. Monica’s husband, Arnold Dance, ran Burncoose Gardens for 42 years until his retirement in about 2002. Monica’s son, Steve Dance, was born at Burncoose Lodge and currently runs the Burncoose office.
Her coffin was covered with a huge spray of Camellia x williamsii ‘Monica Dance’ which Arnold bred at Burncoose.
1993 – FJW
Very little rain for 8 weeks – garden very early – most of the Magnolias are over. Visited Marwood Hill.
1980 – FJW
Flower still out on Lanarth seedling above crino hedge.
1979 – FJW
First flower spotted on Magnolia ‘Mr Garden’.
1978 – FJW
Still wet and windy Caerhays Belle excellent – best new USA Camellia Kramer’s Supreme. Poor flowers on Lanarth seedlings above crino hedge.
1976 – FJW
F/M Monygomery died. Frost knocked out Magnolias except in Rookery; the Diva, – Rogers Quarry – all above frosted.
1962 – FJW
Killed Moorhen marked by Copenhagen Zoo.
1960 – FJW
The east wind stopped after a week. The Diva at its best as is the Robusta above E.R’s Quarry. Calophytum sutchuenense hybrids best rhodo in the garden.
1952 – CW
Old Magnolia robusta no buds – 3 out of 5 young out, one fully (Donkey Shoe), Campbellii at best. Also old Mollicomata ¼ out, rest not including ten young with buds. Salicifolia one good. Diva a few flowers. Reticulatas and St Ewe at best. Saluenensis past best. Daffodils mid stream. Barbatum at best.
1941 – CW
Magnolia sargenteana fully out – Mollicomata beginning – Campbellii been out some days. Salicifolia below Engine House good. Denudata not ¼ out. Rhodo Blood Reds at their best also Sutchuenense hybrids, Daffs nearly at their best. Barbatum perfect – Cam reticulata species at their best – Reticulata not out.
1914 – JCW
Blackthorn well out under the drive, picked 3 buds of seedling Poet.