2018 – CHW
Finalising and checking the full list of the plants which will be used on our Chelsea stand as part of the press release and to give out to the public who ask for it as the show. A tedious job which will never be absolutely right as flowers go over and we always take more plants than we will need or use to be certain of only using the absolute best top quality ones. Anyway the RHS like us doing this. It has the added advantage of enabling Louisa and Christine, the stand designers, to prewrite the individual plant labels for each type of plant which we have to have clearly and neatly written with the correct spelling of the Latin names on everything. This is a major issue with the judges and ‘the odd mistake’ is no good and no gold medal!
More importantly, we select half a dozen new and unusual plants which are looking good in the show tunnel (today at least) to feature prominently on the website the weekend before Chelsea Flower Show opens and when the BBC Chelsea coverage also starts. We will substitute these with pictures of the same plants actually on the completed stand on Monday 21st May, the press review day. Not all the six we selected today will necessarily pass the test on the stand but at least we can start to entice new customers to new plants.
We have a brand new and superb acer for the stand which will also be entered for the RHS Plant of the Year competition. So secret is it that, until 21st May, I cannot even tell you its name. A couple of (rather bad) pictures are all I can share for now. You will say you are not impressed yet – but you will be!
2017 – CHW
A breakfast meeting at the Eden Project to see the new Western Australian Garden opened by the High Commissioner. Breakfast was kangaroo sausages (vile) and a boiled egg in half an avocado (odd). Lots of time to photograph new (to me) Australian plants.
A Chorizema cordatum with flowers that we recognise but this is not a climber like the one we stock – Chorizema illicifolia.
A morning with KPK inspecting various medium sized building work jobs on the estate over the next year. The worst problem was the delivery van driver who clonked into the arch at the Top Lodge damaging his van roof quite substantially and considerably moving one coping stone. On closer inspection the cracking and movement of the stones extends all across the arch. A structural engineer inspects tomorrow. It is not going to fall down tomorrow but it presents a risk to the public one day if ignored and will probably cost £10k to dismantle and re-embed in place in the correct alignment. Whether the white van company will pay up or their insurers remains to be seen. Quite a row to come I expect and a pity we do not have a picture of the wrecked roof.Welcome warm rain this afternoon as the leaf on the trees fills out.Karol’s picture of the leaf stipules (scars on the leaf petioles) on our three ‘different’ ancient michelias are looking good. On Michelia floribunda the scars/stipules extend half way up the petiole (or so the reference books say) but on Michelia doltsopa only one fifth of the way up the petiole according to Magnolias of China, the newish Chinese reference book. I will share these pictures with you shortly and do not feel we have proved whether we do have a M floribunda or not. The paper which I have written on michelia naming and identification is coming on nicely.Below is a list of new styracacae varieties which arrived today from Mark Bulk’s nursery in Holland to add to our growing collection. Pterostyrax psilophyllus is particularly rare and has an odd leaf with three points at the end of it. I saw this at Windsor on Monday and had coveted it then but forgotten it was on order anyway since I had never seen it before.Pterocarya pterocarpaPterocarya rehderianaPterostyrax leveillei
Styrax jap Columnar
Styrax jap Hyme
Styrax jap Snowcone
Styrax jap Jippei-Kawamure
2015 – CHW
Tom Hudson visits to view our growing enkianthus collection and to ponder the correct naming of some. We hear the first cuckoo of the year at 4.30pm in Old Park.
The four ‘V’s bred at or selected seedlings from Esvelt Nurseries in Holland are strutting their stuff but there is little doubt that ‘Vesta’ is the best today.
Enkianthus ‘Vesta’ has long racemens of bell-shaped red flowers. The four plants we looked at were laden to the brim with flowers and fully visible from a long way off.
E ‘Venus’ was out first and its much paler striped and tinged pink flowers show in circular clusters. They show up better as the plant comes into leaf and are half hidden when eventually the leaf is full out.
Enkianthus ‘Victoria’ – is again quite a sight. Its reddish striped bells are more elongated and not quite as far out as ‘Vesta’. Today is the second best of the four but might well take the top prize in a week.
Enkianthus ‘Virgo’ this is a much newer introduction to Caerhays flowering here (but not Burncoose) for the first time. Paler and more greenish than ’Venus’ but still plastered in flower at a young age.My vote had previously always gone to the earlier flowering ‘Venus’ but not this year or not today anyway. Venus is too far gone for Chelsea but ‘Victoria’ may well make a splash on the stand. All the enkianthus should go onto the lorry tomorrow or Wednesday for the trip. Last year they were shedding flowers and did not look that special on the stand.
One Enkianthys deflexus (which I could not find last year although I know we have at least three other mature-ish plants somewhere) is in the group of four different plants on the drive. It is still in tight bud but you can see the tinge of purple at the base of the bells. It looks true to name and Tom confirms the leaves have the correct hairy edges.
1994 – FJW
Still cool – one fine day out of 3 – flowers hanging on.1989 – FJW
10 days of dry hot weather due to end. New maples starting to grow.
1960 – FJW
First rain since April 17th.
1929 – JCW
Much later than 1929. Magnolia nicholsoniana shows colour, several Wilsonii flowers open. Double crimsons not yet open.
1927 – JCW
Roylii cinnabarinum are open and so Auklandii but [?] forms are over. Aureum is very good. Recurvas and daffs is all open. Iris germanica are open, R aureum is at its best and so Haematodes.
1914 – JCW
Daffs are all over – Auklandii’s nearly over. Hybrid Iris over, Yunnanense hybrids are right. Standish Devonshire seedlings right – Roylei and Cinnabar. are opening.
1904 – JCW
I picked three nice Recurvas seedlings not quite expanded. No roses except on the walls. I pavonia, R fortunei both open. Auklandii’s at their best. Recurvas all open.
1902 – JCW
Picked the first Fortunei yesterday, very few other roses, cold, picked I pavonia and one Lorteti.
1899 – JCW
R fortunei open. A good few roses.