Storm Emma has produced the harshest east wind gale overnight and today that I have ever experienced at Caerhays in my lifetime. Stormforce 7 or more? It is less frozen underfoot but the wind chill factor is still about -9C (or so the dear old BBC says). The gardens remain shut to the public and very few staff have made it in to Burncoose or Caerhays. The first report of major roof damage at Caerhays Barton Farmhouse but nothing can be done in these conditions. More serious damage by close of play today.It is unsafe to go into the garden and the drive is certainly a battlefield of small twigs and branches. I am itching to see the extent of the cold damage to tender plants like michelias or much of the new stuff from China/Vietnam via Crug Farm and Tom Hudson. It may well be as bad as 1963 which I can just remember. Cold and still then rather than a week or more of freezing east winds.
The annual nursery auction sale tomorrow has been cancelled. Major frozen/burst pipe issues at Burncoose who seem not to have drained the system a week ago. (No comment!)
Snowdrifts remain but the wind has blown most of the snow off west facing fields. First lamb births imminent. I wonder if the nets over the pheasant laying pens have survived the snow and wind. Another major cost of all this disaster I expect.
More snow forecast this afternoon. Cornwall is gridlocked and at a standstill with rail links at Dawlish again broken. I believe the West Country may be worse off than the rest of the country. Edwina still hopes to fly to New Zealand on Saturday from Heathrow?
Thank heavens for open wood fires!
Karol has good pictures of the huge 4 feet high snow drifts below the church and at the Portholland turning.
Magnolia ‘F J Williams’. I rather doubt that anyone in the country is admiring such a display today!
Two hours filming a 1min 45sec piece on ‘Spring has Sprung’ (ie magnolias) for BBC Spotlight news. It was live at lunchtime and more will be on in the evening news. Hail and rain did not help but the Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ was fantastic. The Magnolia campbellii just going over and ‘F J Williams’ looking good too. The same BBC crew from Plymouth filmed the last of these last year too. Cut flowers of Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ will be in vases with the newsreaders tonight we hope!The worst rabbit damage I have ever seen on rhododendron bark and a mature plant too. This has all occurred in the last few days. Rabbits reacting to the cold weather a week ago by seeking nutrients from bark?
Finally an escape from the office to half a day’s planting this afternoon where we get out the 35 or so new camellias from France and the 11 new bamboo species also from France mainly into Kennel Close. No time to plant them all today and it will need several more days to complete this year’s big plant out. It is plenty wet enough underfoot to be planting but the season is rushing on.
2005 – FJW
Roy Lancaster sent seeds of [?] tuscularia sp ?? Lithocarpus sp.
2002 – FJW
3 flowers on Lapageria. Campbellii very good and all Lanarth type Rhodo’s.
1991 – FJW
Mild again – Michelia, Sasanqua and Rho macabeanum foliage all show bad signs of frost damage. No colour on the Magnolias. Best value Cam reticulata wild + cyclamen + snowdrops.
1965 – FJW
In the evening we had 14 degrees of frost.
1963 – FJW
First crocus picked by Charles.
1961 – FJW
Campbelli well open and Donkey Shoe Robusta splendid.
1960 – FJW
First Campbellii opened.
1918 – JCW
Nar cyclamineus has been open for a month and R moupinense in some cases, also lutescens and so Thomsonii x Arboreum. The Argenteums are bulging their buds well.
1917 – JCW
The first Nar cyclamineus opens. Moupinense at its best. Lutescens starting. Thomsonii x Arboreum shows colour.
1900 – JCW
Rho praecox has been open for some time. Narcissi G Spur shows colour, a fair lot of Caerhays and common double open, also a few Lent Lilies. Most of the Tenby open, crocus all out, half of the Maximus out, bits of Prunus triloba.