2023 – CHW
An extraordinary communication from someone growing an Embothrium in Tromso, Norway. Inside the Arctic Circle! They has asked Burncoose for advice last May. Here are pictures of the plant last summer, then wrapping it in woolen socks and packing it with birch leaves, and the unpacking of the plant recently. As you can see the plants isn’t quite dead but I wouldn’t be holding my breath!
2022 – CHW
Why are hen pheasants so random and inept at making nests?
Following Elizabeth’s 95th birthday tour here in April her son, Alverne Bolitho, has sent this picture of the tree planting at Trewidden of Magnolia ‘F J Williams’ which was her birthday gift from Caerhays. My great aunt, Mary Williams, moved to Trewidden following the death of her husband, Rt Hon Charles Williams, in 1955. Elizabeth Bolitho worked at Caerhays for Mary and met her future husband, Simon Bolitho, here in the early 1950s. A little bit of Williams-Bolitho family history.
As we and many tens of thousands like us struggle through the government’s advice for employers on reopening the workplace and other missives one is tempted to agree with Starmer and Sturgeon that this all lacks clarity. They of course miss the point.Boris is trying, gently, to encourage the country back to work and to get out of the mindset of doing nothing. It is an attempt to change our mental approach and attitude. Of course the new ‘rules’ are confusing, a bit rushed and full of unwitting contradictions which enables the political opportunists to get the knives out.So a gentle push to normality without a stampede for the moment. Boris clearly hopes that with common sense and ‘awareness’ we can gradually recover the will to live and that the snowball will gather pace as it rolls down the hill.Does Boris think that, in time, we will all accept some more COVID deaths as a price worth paying for our freedom? When the stampede occurs, as it will, whatever advice we are given along the way, it may well be impossible to reverse successfully.I would have to say that this is all common sense and logical.We will reopen the beach café from this weekend with a limited takeaway service only, rigid new protocols for staff and customers alike and new risk assessments etc. Likewise the nursery.So a hell of a lot to think about and do today! What a joy to be doing something positive and now we await the announcement on changes to the ‘furlough’ regime from Rishi Sunak later today.This is another elderly late flowering red evergreen azalea clump below The Hovel. Some flowers are semi-double. No idea of the name but worth propagating simply to preserve it. If Asia grew 10 this would do the trick as with the one already rooted from beside Rogers Quarry. No name here either but that one is a much darker red.
Exciting news! Meliosma oldhamii (formerly Meliosma pinnata var. oldhamii) has produced a number of flower heads at the apex of its stems. It has never flowered before here but looks as though it will in seven to ten days. If it performs in Chelsea week we need photographs even if this means cutting a flower to view and photograph it properly. I suspect Tregrehan and Borde Hill especially will be interested. A Wilson introduction in 1900 but I know of no existing mature plants in the UK.
2018 – CHW
Jaimie and the garden team have given a ‘light’ pruning (as we discussed a week or so ago) and a heavy mulch of dung to Rhododendron stenaulum (now renamed Rhododendron moulmainense) which was defoliated in ‘The Beast’ and had its early new growth killed then too. The smaller, original, wild collected and 100 year old plant behind it is still fine but we hope that the main larger plant will now reshoot from the stem perhaps lower down and recover. Few rhododendron species with smooth peeling bark respond well or at all to pruning but this same thing happened nearly 30 years ago after the 1990 hurricane and we gave it then a similar treatment which proved successful. This is a very tender species in an extremely warm and sheltered spot but ‘The Beast’ still ‘got’ it.
I will report on progress in future months but the peeling bark proves that the main stems are still alive and still look amazing.
Another visit to Burncoose to catch up with and complete the Chelsea programme. Loading Monday. Press releases sorted and finalised today.Slug damage on magnolia leaves in one of the tunnels. You can see the slimy trails. You can also see from these pictures how easily a slug can eat all the new leaves as they emerge and kill or greatly stunt the growth of individual or newly planted plants. Beware and get the slug traps or bait out. Look for the culprits on wet days or in the damp early mornings.
The surround for the central pool on the Chelsea stand has now been painted.
Another fabulous acer.
A wasted day at an appalling Cornwall Farmers AGM where the members present displayed unbelievable ingratitude to the board for the successful sale of the business (but not the stores themselves) to Countrywide which saved the business from certain bankruptcy.The new camellias from France are superb and we will have to plant them straight out on Monday. I had hoped to make a special clearing and plant them all together next spring but they are too large to sit in pots until then.
This is the list:Camellia champetre Alpen GloCamellia espèce Amplexicaulis
Camellia ss Bettys Beauty
Camellia champetre Cinnamon Cindy
Camellia champ Cinnamon Scentsation
Camellia reticulata Debut
Camellia champetre Gay Baby
Camellia champetre High Fragrance
Camellia ss Kerguelen®
Camellia ss Kicho
Camellia classique Manuroad Road
Camellia ss Memphis Belle
Camellia classique Mimosa Jury
Camellia reticulata Miss Tulare
Camellia classique Sanpei Tsubaki
Camellia sasanqua Sekiyo
Camellia sasanqua Setsugekka
Camellia sasanqua Showa No Sakae
Camellia champetre Sweet Emily Kate
Camellia champetre Sweet Jane
Camellia classique Tom Pouce
Camellia classique Winter Gem
First lorry goes to Chelsea with the fountain and the moongate sculpture. Little time for wandering but a few things which might be cutable for Chelsea.Halesia Carolina – this is our second attempt at growing this excellent small US tree. The first suddenly died by the cash point a few years ago. The seeds are rock hard.
Rehderodendron macrocarpum – a Trewithen plant originally and our only old plant is nearing the end. Burncoose has however two big trees in their prime. Not as good as Tom Hudson’s newish Vietnamese Rehderodendron kwatungense which is a better flower.
Embothrium coccineum – pure orange (rather than red or scarlet) and out this year rather earlier than usual. Embothrium lanceolatum is a good fortnight behind.
Camellia ‘Mathotiana Rubra’ – one of the last camellias to flower and often still showing a flower in July. Twice we have had this at Chelsea but too close to the flowers shattering to be worth the effort today.
Camellia ‘Mathotiana Alba’ – same problem. The two plants are side by side. I cannot remember where the pink mathotiana rosea is.
1931 – JCW
Rhodo bloom remains very good. Augustinii in particular and many of my Azaleas show colour. Orbiculare was never so fine. Auklandii is very good but not quite all open. There are a few flowers on C speciosa now.
1930 – JCW
Camellia speciosa seedling has been very good indeed since the 26th January and is now on the wane. Auklandii is good and do the Davidsonianum.
1919 – JCW
Garden cherries over – Auklandii hybrids nearly over – Devonshire hybrids in bud. Daffs over. Auklandii’s just started to open.
1911 – JCW
Auklandii’s splendid, Van Tubergens Iris at their best. All Recurvas open. Coombe Royal lot hardly open. Iris pavonia open. White broom very good, sweet scented rhodo’s nice. C. montana rubra very good. Mrs Butler just coming. Some Azaleas out.
1910 – JCW
Auklandii’s (very few from Nov frost) nearly over, and cold but moist growing season. Recurvas all open, and most of the Coombe Royals.
1909 – JCW
Auklandii’s not all open, want rain badly. Iris Van Tubergens very good. Recurvas open. Some of the Coombe Royal lot open.
1907 – JCW
Just as in 1898. Auklandii have never been so fine.
1902 – JCW
Embothrium out, a small bit. Very cold wind.
1898 – JCW
I pavonia has been open for some days, Andreana at its best, Altaclarence about, Iris lorteti quite, C montana, Clianthus, Habrothumnus all at their best. Rhodo’ fortunei a few flowers open, Suavio going over and so the blood red Arboreum. No waterlilies open, one or two Arum, moved a seedling from Emperor into the Drive, not quite ripe. P recurvus at its best.
1897 – JCW
Iris pavonia open, one waterlily flower (Gloriosa). Broom andreana at its best. Cold winds.