25th 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 visit to the greenhouse but no opportunity to compliment Asia on her work as I am late. Amazing new seedlings and recently potted cuttings – many very rare – on display. More photos to come!

Stauntonia hexaphylla growing on and over the wall is nearly open. Flowers only on last year’s new growth.

Stauntonia hexaphylla
Stauntonia hexaphylla
Stauntonia hexaphylla
Stauntonia hexaphylla
Tom Hudson’s Camellia chekiangoleosa with its very first ever flower with us. Grown from seed. Leaves look a bit chlorotic but indeed a ‘sumptuous red’ as described in ‘New Trees’. We need to catch up with more of these new camellia species.
Camellia chekiangoleosa
Camellia chekiangoleosa

Then off to Forty Acres in the sun to view the American magnolia plantings now 15 plus years on. Plenty of room to plant more here this year though.Magnolia ‘Frank Gladney’ is nice enough but nothing special really.

Magnolia ‘Frank Gladney’
Magnolia ‘Frank Gladney’
Magnolia ‘Frank Gladney’
Magnolia ‘Frank Gladney’
Magnolia ‘Crimson Stipple’ has only the odd hint of crimson in the inner tepals and on the outer tepals only in bud. It seems to fade as they open.
Magnolia ‘Crimson Stipple’
Magnolia ‘Crimson Stipple’
Magnolia ‘Crimson Stipple’
Magnolia ‘Crimson Stipple’
Magnolia ‘Crimson Stipple’
Magnolia ‘Crimson Stipple’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Powder Puff’ is exceptional and easily the best magnolia here today. One of Jim Gardiner’s favourites too.
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Powder Puff’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Powder Puff’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Powder Puff’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Powder Puff’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Powder Puff’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Powder Puff’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Powder Puff’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Powder Puff’
Young Rhododendron calophytums in the distance – one pink, one white.
Young Rhododendron calophytums
Young Rhododendron calophytums
Magnolia ‘Delicatissima’ is not bad with a nice habit for smaller gardens.
Magnolia ‘Delicatissima’
Magnolia ‘Delicatissima’
Magnolia ‘Delicatissima’
Magnolia ‘Delicatissima’
Views across the whole huge clearing as the magnolias achieve a reasonable deer proof size.
Views across the whole huge clearing
Views across the whole huge clearing
Views across the whole huge clearing
Views across the whole huge clearing
Magnolia ‘Big Dude’ a bit weather beaten but a better colour than photographed a month or so ago elsewhere.
Magnolia ‘Big Dude’
Magnolia ‘Big Dude’
A giant schefflera which we always forget and I forget the species name! Schefflera delavayi?
giant schefflera
giant schefflera

2016 – CHW
After a day of gentle warm rain Good Friday brings blue skies and a perfect day to admire the magnolias at their very best.Strangely the Quercus x hispanica ‘Lucombeana’ has no leaves at all despite the mildest of winters. This normally at least semi evergreen tree was a gift from Cornwall County Council on my father’s retirement as chairman in 1989. The plaque seems to have vanished.
Quercus x hispanica ‘Lucombeana’
Quercus x hispanica ‘Lucombeana’

First flower on Magnolia ‘Treve Holman’ is not bad bud, I guess, will get better.

Magnolia ‘Treve Holman’
Magnolia ‘Treve Holman’
We have known this magnolia was wrongly named as ‘Randy’ since it first flowered and had meant to move it. I think it is probably Magnolia ‘Fireglow’ (cylindrica x denudata ‘Sawadas Pink’) as the description fits.
Magnolia ‘Fireglow’
Magnolia ‘Fireglow’
Magnolia ‘Fireglow’
Magnolia ‘Fireglow’
Camellia ‘Midnight Magic’ is looking fantastic below the path towards Rookery Gate. What a red! This will be a bestseller for many years for Burncoose Nurseries.
Camellia ‘Midnight Magic’
Camellia ‘Midnight Magic’
Camellia ‘Midnight Magic’
Camellia ‘Midnight Magic’

Pinus patula has not enjoyed the salt winds and its needles are browned up.

Pinus patula
Pinus patula
The small plant of Magnolia ‘Philip Tregunna’ below The Pound is just past its best. Its parent is perhaps the best magnolia in the garden this week.
Magnolia ‘Philip Tregunna’
Magnolia ‘Philip Tregunna’
Magnolia ‘Philip Tregunna’
Magnolia ‘Philip Tregunna’
Then the second wrongly labelled magnolia. It is labelled ‘Joe McDaniel’ but is nothing like it. Another white with a hint of pink at the base but rather larger than ‘Fireglow’ above. From the reference books and its shape reckon it is Magnolia ‘Pickards Coral’ which is white with pink undertones. We need to change the label but, looking today, I am glad we did not ditch or move either of these quite good plants.
Magnolia ‘Pickards Coral’
Magnolia ‘Pickards Coral’
Magnolia ‘Pickards Coral’
Magnolia ‘Pickards Coral’
Magnolia ‘Pickards Coral’
Magnolia ‘Pickards Coral’
These Rhododendron ririei came from a Tom Hudson collection. The three plants are all a bit different but a great colour if you like mauves.
Rhododendron ririei
Rhododendron ririei
Rhododendron ririei
Rhododendron ririei
Rhododendron ririei
Rhododendron ririei
The first of the old Magnolia sargentiana var robustas on the Main Ride is suddenly out.
Magnolia sargentiana var robusta
Magnolia sargentiana var robusta
Magnolia sargentiana var robusta
Magnolia sargentiana var robusta
Magnolia sargentiana var robusta
Magnolia sargentiana var robusta
Rhododendron ‘Crossbill’ has had a hint of colour for a few weeks but is now fully out exactly on time.
Rhododendron ‘Crossbill’
Rhododendron ‘Crossbill’
Rhododendron ‘Crossbill’
Rhododendron ‘Crossbill’
A quick look at Gordonia axillaris which has come through the winter unscathed apart from deer nibbling at the base.
Gordonia axillaris
Gordonia axillaris
Gordonia axillaris
Gordonia axillaris
Magnolia ‘Moondance’ looks only a bit different to ‘Pickards Coral’ or ‘Fireglow’ FAR too many similar ones have been named in the USA. Not far off Magnolia soulangeana ‘Sundew’ either.
Magnolia ‘Moondance’
Magnolia ‘Moondance’
One of those amazing garden views that only March, Magnolias and a Magnificent day can bring! A Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling (left), Magnolia ‘Philip Tregunna’ (centre) and Magnolia sargentiana robusta (far right).
amazing garden views
One of those amazing garden views that only March, Magnolias and a Magnificent day can bring!

A young Rhododendron grande has its first flowering.

Rhododendron grande
Rhododendron grande
Now a slightly battered Magnolia ‘Pickards Firefly’ which just adds to the confusion with ‘Fireglow’ and other named Pickards magnolias. I doubt anyone will ever definitively sort it out but any magnolia looks ok today.
Magnolia ‘Pickards Firefly’
Magnolia ‘Pickards Firefly’
Magnolia ‘Sayonara’ has a much smaller whiter flower than I remember.
This plant was originally Magnolia denudata var purpurascens otherwise known in the 1920s as Magnolia sprengeri var elongata. However since sprengeri elongata is white and the plant beside it is clearly a pinkish purple sprengeri form as well dating back to pre 1920 I guess we have both whatever the botanists have reclassified them as now.
Magnolia sprengeri var elongata
Magnolia sprengeri var elongata
Lindera umbellate membranacae (BSWJ10837) planted in 2011 is doing well and now flowering. New Trees says it is a form of Lindera sericea.
Lindera umbellate membranacae
Lindera umbellate membranacae
Lindera umbellate membranacae
Lindera umbellate membranacae
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Philip’ is simply splendid. You sit and look at this in simple amazement. The best thing in the garden today.
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Philip’
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Philip’
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Philip’
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Philip’
Another stunner against a blue sky is Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’.
Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’
Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’
Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’
Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’
Magnolia ‘Atlas’ is full out but still here in the shade. The flowers are truly enormous.
Magnolia ‘Atlas’
Magnolia ‘Atlas’
Magnolia ‘Atlas’
Magnolia ‘Atlas’
This is the Queen Mother’s magnolia planted by her in the 1970s. Not particularly unique but nice enough.
Queen Mother’s magnolia
Queen Mother’s magnolia
Queen Mother’s magnolia
Queen Mother’s magnolia
Another towering Magnolia sargentiana var robusta which you get a perfect view of from the churchyard and village.
Magnolia sargentiana var robusta
Magnolia sargentiana var robusta
Magnolia sargentiana var robusta
Magnolia sargentiana var robusta
Magnolia sargentiana var robusta
Magnolia sargentiana var robusta
In the ririei opening we have Magnolia mollicomata (left) and Magnolia sargentiana robusta (right) and Magnolia campbellii Alba (back) all growing together side by side and all at their best today.
ririei opening
ririei opening
Rhododendron morii has had the odd flower out for six weeks or so but has now decided to come out properly. I planted this clump 35 years ago and another clump on the drive. Both are now starting to die off from old age. Overflowering and overseeding I suspect.
Rhododendron morii
Rhododendron morii
Rhododendron morii
Rhododendron morii

2015 – CHW

MAGNOLIA New Zeland form Lanarth
MAGNOLIA ‘Lanarth’  New Zealand form

The question often gets asked by visitors as to what is your favourite plant or what is your favourite magnolia?  The only answer possible is that on any particular day there is something flowering in the garden which is absolutely at its best, nearly perfect and quite the best thing in the garden on that particular day.  In March and April there may well be more than one. Today it is the New Zealand form of Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ and nobody could realistically argue.

1930 – JCW
Magnolia kobus open, no stellata.

1925 – JCW
Mag denudata opening, kobus and halleana as in last year perhaps 50-60 species of Rho show flower more or less.

1923 – JCW
No frost as yet for the winter i.e real frost, M de Graaf opening. The first Magnolia denudata bud opens, the early Kobus is in full flower, some Magnolia soulangeana, some halleana, Prunus subhirtella in Old Park is open, the tall form.

1916 – JCW
Cold and some frost. Several R reticulata open, a few Auklandii x Blood Red, some [?] carlesi. Erica hybrida is good and has been since Christmas.

1913 – JCW
R ciliatum nearly over, C reticulata half out, much as in 1897.

1904 – JCW
Just about 1899 to the day.

1903 – JCW
Very near 1897 in point of time.Narcissi Weardale, Monarch, [?] all more or less out. Have picked most of the flowers for the show on the 31st. Princep Mary nearing the turn to go back, very nearly mid season for daffs.

1901 – JCW
Say a week of mild weather behind 1899. Magnolia halleana open for a day or two.

1900 – JCW
Have been away for a week, but little movement in the daffs, we are about five days behind 1899.

1899 – JCW
Two or three Reticulata, a few Ciliatum, a few Emperor and Empress, most of the Sir Watkin, a few 116, one Princep Mary, several Commodore, all 23, most of 122.

1898 – JCW
North east gale and sleet. Commodore opening and the big Sir Watkin seedling. Queen of Spain open, double peaches in the drive, and the scarlet crabs.

1897 – JCW
F Wilson out, Mrs Vincent, half the de Graafs. Scarlet tulips and Reticulata at their best. Queen of Spain out. I find the Aureas have been throwing up for a long time.

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