28th 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 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.

Magnolia cylindrica
Magnolia cylindrica
The first yellow magnolia is showing. Magnolia ‘Sunburst’ is quite a good yellowish green today but will quickly fade to cream.
Magnolia ‘Sunburst’
Magnolia ‘Sunburst’
Magnolia ‘Sunburst’
Magnolia ‘Sunburst’
The two mature pink forms of Magnolia x veitchii are gorgeous against a blue sky.
Magnolia x veitchii
Magnolia x veitchii
Magnolia x veitchii
Magnolia x veitchii
The best Rhododendron macabeanum is just starting. Slight wind damage.
Rhododendron macabeanum
Rhododendron macabeanum
Rhododendron macabeanum
Rhododendron macabeanum
Rhododendron bauhuiniiflorum is relatively little known but quite a show at its best. Compact growing and probably one to hybridise with.
Rhododendron bauhuiniiflorum
Rhododendron bauhuiniiflorum
Rhododendron bauhuiniiflorum
Rhododendron bauhuiniiflorum
The biggest of the old Michelias doltsopas is perfect today. Scenting the garden for 100 yards in each direction.
Michelias doltsopas
Michelias doltsopas
Michelias doltsopas
Michelias doltsopas
Alongside it is Michelia doltsopa ‘Silver Cloud’ with smaller flowers and, surprisingly, a very different scent to its parent. The smell is of cinnamon and Cinnamomum camphora grows nearby whose leaves smell as you would expect when crushed.
Michelia doltsopa ‘Silver Cloud’
Michelia doltsopa ‘Silver Cloud’
Michelia doltsopa ‘Silver Cloud’
Michelia doltsopa ‘Silver Cloud’
Rhododendron pseudochyrsanthemum is just out below Donkey Shoe. The leaf indumentum and new growth are better than the flower.
Rhododendron pseudochyrsanthemum
Rhododendron pseudochyrsanthemum
Rhododendron pseudochyrsanthemum
Rhododendron pseudochyrsanthemum
An aged Rhododendron impeditum ‘J C Williams’ is 6-8ft tall on Burns Bank and hardly a dwarf grower. Short lived though.
Rhododendron impeditum ‘J C Williams’
Rhododendron impeditum ‘J C Williams’
Rhododendron impeditum ‘J C Williams’
Rhododendron impeditum ‘J C Williams’

2016 – CHW
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.
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling

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.

Parrotia persica has a most extraordinary branch and stem structure in this small widely spreading tree. A few small dead flowers remain but I have again missed them this year; red and insignificant though they are.
Parrotia persica
Parrotia persica
Parrotia persica
Parrotia persica
A couple of smaller clumps of Rhododendron cilpinense have just come out. The pink edges will quickly fade but are good today. Not exactly early for this rhodo as I have said before.
Rhododendron cilpinense
Rhododendron cilpinense
Rhododendron cilpinense
Rhododendron cilpinense
Rhododendron cilpinense
Rhododendron cilpinense
Magnolia ‘Iolanthe’ is now full out after eight weeks of showing some colour. The shape and size of the flowers are similar to Magnolia ‘Atlas’ but the habit of the tree is not.
Magnolia ‘Iolanthe’
Magnolia ‘Iolanthe’
Rhododendron ‘Golden Oriole var Talavera’ is also just coming out. This is a Caerhays cross and its sister is ‘Golden Oriole’ var Busaco which has more of an orange tinge.
Rhododendron ‘Golden Oriole var Talavera’
Rhododendron ‘Golden Oriole var Talavera’
Rhododendron ‘Golden Oriole var Talavera’
Rhododendron ‘Golden Oriole var Talavera’
Beside it Cornus florida ‘Daybreak’ STILL has all its old variegated leaves intact after the mild winter. Very odd as it certainly is not an evergreen variety.
Cornus florida ‘Daybreak’
Cornus florida ‘Daybreak’
Cornus florida ‘Daybreak’
Cornus florida ‘Daybreak’
The view from the drive across to Giddle Orchard shows the second flush of magnolias. The first two were out a month ago and are now over. Not much sign of visitors taking the route across the field to see them properly.
view from the drive across to Giddle Orchard
view from the drive across to Giddle Orchard
The Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling now with a blue sky behind.
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
At Hardy and Berts Nursery between the two ferneries there are three magnolias full out and splendid despite hurricane Katie which has blown some petals 200 yards away. Two are clearly sargentiana robusta seedlings but the third has a bit of ‘Lanarth’ in it. You can miss them in a flash from the drive but quite a spectacle today.
three magnolias full out
three magnolias full out
three magnolias full out
three magnolias full out
Now full out too is the better of the two Magnolia dawsoniana seedlings outside the front gate although this one, on the higher side, has larger flowers and more dark pink than its true parent. Still it looks pretty good in a brief sunny period.
Magnolia dawsoniana seedlings
Magnolia dawsoniana seedlings
Magnolia dawsoniana seedlings
Magnolia dawsoniana seedlings

The bluebells beneath this tree are now full out too and quite a blue carpet.

bluebells
bluebells
The Asiatic magnolia season reached its zenith this week and will now fade out with a few New Zealanders still to go. Despite the early start in January the ‘zenith’ was more or less on time as normal. What was different was the extended season and the Lanarths all being over by the end of February. A few yellows are already out in tunnels in the nursery and we have these and many more to now look forward to.

2015 – CHW

TROCHODENDRON araliodes
TROCHODENDRON araliodes

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.

The lower branches were removed
Lower branches removed
MAGNOLIA Caerhays Splendour
M. ‘Caerhays Splendour’
Perhaps the best magnolia in the garden today is what we have criticised as the fourth, and previously worst, of Jaimie’s batch of seedlings the best of which is now named ‘Caerhays Splendour’.   This plant on the drive grew exponentially and is an excellent shape but, when it first flowered two years ago, the flowers were a muddy cream colour. The plant was destined for the chainsaw.  Last summer the lower branches were removed to envigorate the flowering part of the tree and it has. There were still two muddy coloured blooms but the performance of the rest has given the plant a reprieve. Not (yet) as large a flower as ‘Caerhays Splendour’ but well worth its place. The moral of the story is not to judge a seedling magnolia until its second or third flowering.

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.

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