2019 – CHW
I do not think I can ever remember such a dry, warm and vibrant February where the garden came to its absolute magnolia best. A year ago we were in the throes of The Beast and everything was doom and gloom. Not this year – so far at least. The Magnolia mollicomatas and sargentiana robustas may have had less flowers than usual but there are literally hundreds of 30 and 20 year old plants coming up to take their place to extend the flowering season and improve it immeasurably.
Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’ is just coming out and not as dark in bud as Magnolia ‘Genie’ from a day ago.
With some trepidation I venture out already depressed but prepared to become depressed even more. Too cold still to stick it for more than an hour. Everywhere there is evergreen leaf litter from leaves literally ripped off in the wind. Laurels, Michelias, camellias, lithorcarpus particularly. The worst I have seen since January 1990 after the hurricane struck from the west. Today it is the east side which has been pulverised and the ‘Beast from the East’ is still raging yet.The magnolias outside the back yard which we admired a week ago are more than gone! Totally fucked to put it mildly.
A garden tour with Jane Pruden and her mother. Jane was the real author of the last three books on Belvoir Castle/Estate.A drizzly and overcast day. An unnamed Rhododendron macabeanum hybrid full out. Pink buds opening to creamy white. Too far on for the early March Rosemoor Show where we exhibited it last year. David Millais said it was worth registering and naming then.
Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’ is living up to its name and now showing colour.
Using the RHS colour charts is not easy but with cut bud and flowers I have determined that for registration the colour codes are as follows:
In bud – Red Purple Group 70B – Strong Reddish Purple
Full out – inside of tepals Red Purple Group 73B – Strong Purplish Pink
Full out – outside of tepals
Purple Group 75C – Very Light Purple
We will now send off the full registration form with pictures from today and last week. The precise colour coding may be different in a day or two when the flowers go over.
Attached is a cutting from ‘Garden News’ which gets most of the facts about right I suppose.
1999 – FJW
Still the rain continues – ground on farms waterlogged. Campbellii and Mag Philip Tregunna good colour, not so Diva + seedlings.
1995 – FJW
Very mild and wet winter now interrupted by a cold snap. Fate of Magnolia back in the balance.
1985 – FJW
Crocus, cyclamen and daffodils + 1 flower Mag Mr Gove + Busaco magnificent brought in.
1932 – JCW
Camellia speciosa at about its best in all forms, some may touch April.
1929 – JCW
None of the above except R lutescens. Frost has abated and rooks have started to build. I saw one carrying a big stick.
1928 – JCW
Argenteums well open, Mag kobus early form ¾ open, M haleana not yet. R sulfureum is very good in all places and so Lutescens. Corylopsis parvifolia very nice.
1923 – JCW
Argenteums at their best, say 30 species showing flower and a lot of hybrids, some of the Sutchuenense have been nice.
1915 – JCW
R praecox has been badly frosted, say a week of mild weather behind the above.
1914 – JCW
R praecox ⅔ open, Arboreum x Thomsonii VG, daffs coming on now, 32 has a few flowers open, R lutescens good, R argenteum ⅔ open, Prunus pissardi more than half open.
1913 – JCW
Some Auklandii x Arboreum show colour, Arboreum x Thomsonii at its very best, some splendid trumpets but very scarce, Clematis indivisa at its best.
1898 – JCW
Heavy snow and some cold, excepting Rho praecox much as on the other side.
1897 – JCW
Great storms of hail and wind to beat down all the daffodils, did its work well.