2020 – CHW
I rather rate the economic journalist, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. He writes bluntly. Here are a few paragraphs from his recent article in The Telegraph which sit pretty comfortably with those of us trying to understand the COVID disaster within the “saintliness” of Florence Nightingale and the NHS. He refers to what a COVID cardiologist at a top London hospital wrote to him.
Every mistake that could have been made, was made. He likened the care home policy to the Siege of Caffa in 1346, that grim chapter of the Black Death when a Mongol army catapulted plague-ridden bodies over the walls
“Our policy was to let the virus rip and then ‘cocoon the elderly’,” he wrote. “You don’t know whether to laugh or cry when you contrast that with what we actually did. We discharged known, suspected, and unknown cases into care homes which were unprepared, with no formal warning that the patients were infected, no testing available, and no PPE to prevent transmission. We actively seeded this into the very population that was most vulnerable. We let people die without palliation. The official policy was not to visit care homes – and they didn’t (and still don’t). So, after infecting them with a disease that causes an unpleasant ending, we denied our elders access to a doctor and denied admission to hospital. Simple things like fluids, withheld. Effective palliation like syringe drivers, withheld.”
The public has yet to realise that the great quest for ventilators was worse than a red herring. The overuse of ventilators was itself killing people at a terrifying ratio.
“When the inquiry comes, it will show that many people died for lack of oxygen supply in hospitals, and this led to early intubation,” writes the doctor. “Boris survived because they gave him oxygen. High flow oxygen wasn’t available as a treatment option for all patients.”
By all means let’s clap NHS staff but are we implicitly also being asked to clap the managerial and bureaucratic structure responsible for these policies? Is it taboo to raise a whisper of criticism against the edifice?
“The striking thing is how consistently the Government failed, in every single element of the response, everywhere you turn (the Army excepted),” writes the doctor. “This is probably the most expensive series of errors in the country’s history.”
British exceptionalism has brought an exceptional outcome. We have both an eye-watering number of avoidable deaths and a staggering amount of avoidable economic damage.
The government may have got it all wrong (in Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s opinion) and will take the blame eventually but it was the NHS hospital administrators who chucked their elderly and senile patients into care homes and not Boris!
Lonicera serifera showing up well as a 4-5ft tall shrub. Delicate flowers that go from yellow to white.
Collecting and choosing the cut stuff for Chelsea between meetings.
All the Enkianthus species and varieties are either over or too far out already to cut as I expected. The exception is Enkianthus hirtinervus which seems perfect. We cut one huge spray from the clump of three plants.
The two huge branches of Schefflera macrophylla look impressive but will they fit as they are onto the lorry?
More or less complete now.
Tim, Jaimie, Michael and Rob
Plenty of rain over the weekend has perked the garden up but hurried the end of the rhododendron flowering season. There will be plenty of deciduous azaleas still to cut for Chelsea on Thursday.Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’ is now full out outside the arch. A young plant which will flower more in maturity but these all make a good addition to the flowering spectacle of the drive as the azaleas approach their best.
2016 – CHW
We have placed our and planted all the largest plants from Crug and nearly all the French large camellias without too much problem finding spaces although it is very dry and far too late to be planting out really. Now the quest for more cut stuff for Chelsea.First thing this morning we loaded the huge Rhododendron sinogrande and a large Rhododendron yakusimanum dug from the garden in tight bud onto the first lorry going to Chelsea. Denis (with a beard) was just back to work with his new hip well into his 70s to tell us how to load them and some cut greenery ‘properly’. Denis has worked at Burncoose for well over 40 years and seen plenty of Chelsea loadings before.
Another bit of cheating but it fills a gap. Here are a few things well worth searching for in the garden today although I saw them last Thursday.Rhododendron ‘Assaye’ – the old clump is nearly defunct by Crinodendron Hedge but the clump on the drive is late out but thriving and needs propagating. It is a Rhododendron calophytum x Rhododendron sutchuanense hybrid bred by JCW and registered by my father in 1963.
Halesia diptera – this is a shrub with a twisted spreading habit and is said to be a shy flowerer. I have not seen this plant in flower at Caerhays before but it does not look very shy!
Sorbus reducta (top-grafted) – this is basically a creeping, suckering, rockery plant but here top-grafted so it has remained the same size for 20 years.
Sorbus ‘Hilling Spire’ – this plant was a present from Trevor (Yorkshire) Green who grafts sorbus as a sideline and has introduced many fine new clones and species to the garden. Most of them are on the drive and the berries can be a picture in autumn unless the pheasants get at them first.
Syringa vulgaris ‘Primrose’ – I do not really like common (vulgaris) lilacs because they remind me of Chelsea time. There have always been one or two on the drive and below the tower on the lawn. This one is not too bad and now around 15 years old. The ‘primrose’ pretty quickly fades to white and the scent reminds me of toilet air freshener. How vulgar is that!
Alectryon excelsus – this unusual and supposedly evergreen tree has extraordinary and rather beautiful new growth. It is in a coldish spot and has struggled after being hit by a fir branch.
1995 – FJW
Rain came after 6-8 weeks of good weather – the Garden seldom better – which included the Camellias. Michelias hung on well.
1992 – FJW
Flower Show party and hot weather started.
1954 – CW
Still very dry and rain wanted. Odd flowers still on Mag veitchii, parviflora, Wilsoni, sinensis coming out. Auklandii at best also Saffron Queen and many Azaleas. A few daffodils as well as Recurvas. Peonies as Lutea beginning and an odd rose bud – single white Camellia and some Japonica and Saluenensis left.
1917 – JCW
The Auklandii just about its best and 50 other species more or less in flower. Zealanicum’s would be good but are frosted. Very few azaleas. It is very dry for May.
1907 – JCW
I pavonia and Korolkowi both at their best. No more daffs, it has been a very good season for them for more than two months.
1904 – JCW
Picked the first Prian seed from [? ] Forte.