2023 – CHW
A Brookland Travel tour today with Andy McIndoe, formally MD of Hilliers, and an elderly group.
Magnolia x veitchii ‘Peter Veitchii’ at its stunning best.
2022 – CHW
Colder with yet more east wind. It has been dry now for a fortnight.
First flowering here that I have seen of Rhodoleia aff. parvipetata (WWJ 11943) which is startlingly good. The tree has attractive bark and is now about 12-15ft tall with two main stems. Very glossy leaves and clearly tender so grown in a warm and very sheltered spot in dappled shade. I will photograph the flowers again when they are further out. Planted in 2014/5. Acquired from Crûg Farm as a 5-6ft tall specimen which has grown quickly.
2021 – CHW
Magnolia ‘Pickard’s Ruby’ x Magnolia ‘JC Williams’ with its first flower here in Tin Garden. Not named as yet as far as I know. Nothing especially good as yet.
At the start of the pandemic we had the unusual experience of being told to wash our hands by no less than the Prime Minister. Then social distancing and much talk of death, doom, and more death. Nobody in government or (especially) the media saw fit to circulate, publicise or talk about the disease itself and what you can really do to avoid it. The simple missive (attached) which Jaimie obtained from a nursing friend does all these things. Some of it is pretty obvious but much of it was new to me and very relevant to all of us. How could the media have missed this? Panic, newsworthy panic, BBC left wing blame panic of course. Panic before common sense or a cure.One day readers of this diary may be amazed to discover something as obvious as having a hot drink, or any drink, to move the virus from your mouth or tracheae to your stomach where enzymes will destroy it. But, by then, we will have a cure or at least an inoculation system we hope. Or will we? We all get the flu and old people have been dying in large numbers from flu related problems for generations. The miracle cure which Boris hopes our scientists will find may be as simple as the flu jab which many of us have every year when prompted or, as we wish, in a free society.[I am now told that the missive is entirely ‘fake news’ so here is a link to the relevant response for you to make your own minds up. Holding your breath for 10 seconds to see if you cough does not sound as fake as all that to me but probably I have been suckered!]A number of emails about the absurdity of self-isolating in a castle (but it has its upsides) and so off to Old Park Wood to see what has not been frosted last night. The sun is up so early that all signs of frost quickly vanish.The very last of the new Camellia sasanqua collection has flowers. This is Camellia sasanqua ‘Marshmallow’. Does not look much like a sasanqua leaf but I suppose the flower might be despite the timing. Quite pretty but a red marshmallow?
Ross is dragging his timber trunks out of Dry Walls on his own with a swing shovel. I guess the demand for his firewood is increasing and he could well be deemed as a ‘key worker’.
Lizzie put the rubbish out herself yesterday (new first!) at the top lodge and it seems it was collected by the council. Surprising perhaps that this is still happening.I meet a dog walker who works (now at home) organising lorries for a haulage business. She says that only animal feed lorries will be on the road from the business. The others hauling stone/concrete etc are packing up as building sites are all rapidly closing. I am however told that the council is doing night time major roadworks which seems sensible.
Now that Boris has ‘got it’ what drama next? I fear for the occupants of Windsor Castle who I suspect are not as isolated as us!
2019 – CHW
Brilliant sunshine continues. CLA AGM at The Vean plus lunch and garden tour for 60 people.
I think this may be new emerging shoots from Phyllostachys flexuosa although they look plump enough perhaps to be Phyllostachys edulis? Intricate hairs and leaflets at the tip of the new shoots and what colours! They are not identical to the P. flexuosa new shoots at Burncoose.
A second bush which is becoming a small upright single stemmed tree is identical. I have planted Staphylea holocarpa ‘Innocense’ which I think is paler in colour but I cannot at present locate it.
2018 – CHW
To Oxfordshire for the Hook Norton board meeting and AGM. A long day but no rows or upset. The new Malthouse Cellar restaurant was looking good and turnover here and in the shop was up 50% in February.
2017 – CHW
A large group tour lasting two and a quarter hours. They kept up well and were genuinely interested non gardeners. A rarity!
The wild origin Magnolia cylindrica is now full out a week after we first looked.
Easter Monday. After ‘Hurricane Katie’ which raged all last night short sharp heavy showers and another trip to Burncoose to bang more heads together to sort out the exports. Also long letters to the existing providers of our Burncoose admin computer system which is stable but only does half a job and the new company tendering to take over whose promises now all look paper thin. Neither seem to understand that we have an 18 year old website and online ordering system which they have to integrate into their programmes rather than the other way around. Bloody salesmen, do they not talk such bullshit when you pin them down. Then they want more money to adapt their system to accommodate us having promised it would all fit perfectly.The Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling on the drive still looks good amid the gloom.
Hidden away behind it is a rather nice but unexpected Camellia ‘Mary Phoebe Taylor’ which was raised in New Zealand. One of the best dozen x williamsii varieties I think and well up with Debbie, Brigadoon, Anticipation etc.
The bluebells beneath this tree are now full out too and quite a blue carpet.
2015 – CHW
Tour of Old Park and Bond Street with the garden party. Robert Vernon of BlueBell Nursery impressed by the Trochodendron araliodes of which there are two big specimens in Old Park.
Joined at lunch by Sir Richard Carew-Pole’s garden party including Robert Hillier and Kenneth Carlisle.Sir John Carew-Pole (Richard’s father) started these annual March magnolia trips to Caerhays with my father several decades ago and it is excellent to carry on. The magnolias were perhaps at their best a week ago for Serena’s wedding but still nothing to complain about.
2003 – FJW
First wet day THIS month. Magnolias have never flowered better. The pink Magnolia sea side of E P R’s quarry may be the best.
1950 – CW
Camellia and Magnolia conference came around after lunch. They saw Michelia doltsopa and floribunda at their best. Magnolias dawsoniana and mollicomata as well. Diva and Robusta good also white Campbellii – also young Robusta very good. Double Camellias and some Reticulatas flowering well. Saluenensis and hybrids going over. Professor [?] Mume excited about 25252TSA11, Also hybrids (double) below Tin Garden.
Daffodils going over. Auklandii hybrids good but sinogrande only just opening, also Krume.
1931 – JCW
The early Kobus is covered with bloom, a few blooms on the nursery Stellata seedling. Mag denudata purpurascens shows colour in the bud of a pale pink. Corylopsis are very nice.
1927 – JCW
Very much as in 1923 across the page it seems to be an average year now.
1903 – JCW
Picked some M de Graaf two days ago, Homer, Herrick, 215 all opening. Reticulata well out, say half, Lulworth open.
1897 – JCW
I found disease in all the Caerhays trumpet daffodils and also in the snowdrops, I consider that we have finished with them.