2018 – CHW
The Chinese TV crew are here again to film rhododendrons which are at their best. The programme series will start to be screened on Chinese TV early next year. The crew are visiting Exbury and Roy Lancaster before appearing at Chelsea again on 21st May on the press preview day. So more coverage then.
Today was a non-speaking role with all the dogs rushing about. In and out of the front door, meandering through many rhododendrons under the drone camera, throwing sticks on the completely empty beach (China across the sea apparently) and walking up the drive. The dogs are the stars but when I enquire if this is appropriate in a country which can sometimes regard them as ‘food’ I am met with polite smiles.
Along the way and without the filmmakers noticing I sneak a few plant pictures.
The first aerial layers are in place on a magnolia. Karol and Asia have been busy but we will need bigger ‘balls’ for layers on plants with thicker/longer stems.
First flowers ever here on Magnolia ‘Raven’. This has a reputation for excellence and is, as I remember it, one of John Gallagher’s (deceased) crosses grown by Kevin Hughes. Late flowering and a very dark colour certainly but, as usual, one must expect larger, better flowers in future years. This one has only been in the ground a year.
Very sad news. My partner at Burncoose, Philip Knuckey, has tragically lost his son Sam. The nursery is very shocked as he had worked with us in his youth and from time to time since.
Another yellow magnolia. This one is Magnolia ‘Ossies Yellow’ after the American breeder, Oswald Bloomhardt. Quite an infusion of green in the tepals which you can like or dislike.
A trip to the greenhouse to see how this season’s germination is progressing. A nice Lupinus arboreus with blue (rather than the usual yellow) flowers greets me. Last year’s seedling.
Also good germination of davidia after two years and a fine crop of several rhodo species including Rhododendron lindleyi. Well done Asia. We have never, in my time at least, ever succeeded here or at Burncoose in growing davidia from seed.The enkianthus hardwood cuttings have been less successful but a batch of Enkianthus ‘Wallaby’ have survived. Care now to let them develop before potting on.
2015 – CHW
If we go back to Chelsea 2012 we had a miserable cold spring and everything was late out. In consequence and, as was the norm in the 1980s and 1990s, we had plenty of evergreen azaleas in bud to cut for the stand.Looking today there is plenty of deciduous azalea just showing colour but all the evergreens are over; some long over:
Similarly the Embothrium lanceolatum ‘Norquinco’ is too far out to cut although looking splendid.
Conversely, a single plant of Rhododendron schlippenbachii is full out although the nearby clump and all the old original plants in the garden have been over for weeks and are now in full leaf. Why should this home grown seedling behave so differently with its leaves only just starting?
Sadly the superb Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Hollandia’ will not make it for Chelsea either. Better than ‘Vesta’? Not as floriferous but a bolder colour and close indeed to the number one spot for enkianthus.
1935 – JCW
Mary and I start north.
1930 – JCW
Lindleyi and Dalhousiae hardly open. One or two Magnolia wilsoni and nicholsoniana blooms, also several soulangeana variants. Wasoni not yet open.
1926 – JCW
Lindleyi nearly over and so Dalhousiae and Auklandii. Griersonianum only in past open. Wilsons 1764 of 1903 is really nice say x x x ¾. I have seen a flower before but never realised its value.
1913 – JCW
R lindleyi open. No roses in the beds out or nearly out – montana rubra all over – white Broughtonii in Auklandii Garden very good and so is R royalei there.
1906 – JCW
I pavonia good. Auklandii very good. Roylei half open, Dalhousei very good also. Fortunei and a good lot of roses in the 3 big beds. Bluebells at their best.
1902 – JCW
Plenty of I pavonia open. Auklandii’s going back. Azaleas nearing their best. A week of cold. Maples very good.
1899 – JCW
No waterlilies yet, Auklandii at their best. Many Henonis have moved. A few young mitis. Some daff seed shows colour.