22nd May

FJ Williams Profile Picture
FJW 1955-2007
CH Williams Profile Picture
CHW 2015-
JC Williams Profile Picture
JCW 1897-1939
C Williams Profile Picture
CW 1940-1955

2017 – CHW

Judging started at 7.30 but they only get to us at 9.45. Not a long session and a quick vote without much fuss which is hopeful.

Then the media frenzy with our celebrity, Gemma Arterton, and her sister who is even prettier. Gemma is perhaps best known as the Bond girl in ‘Quantum of Solace’. At least 50 press photographers and camera crews assemble half an hour before the photo call at 10.45.

The bar is opened by our sponsor, Guy Hands, a little before this with a flurry of pink champagne. Gemma stays for nearly an hour and the press go mad. So does the drinks party and I have to retire under a tree to recover before the Queen arrives and the gala evening with yet more champagne.

Media Frenzy - 2017
Media Frenzy – 2017
Media Frenzy - 2017
Media Frenzy – 2017
Gemma Arterton and sister
Gemma Arterton and sister
Gemma Arterton & Guy Hands
Gemma Arterton & Guy Hands
Gemma Arterton & John Hill
Gemma Arterton & John Hill
Gemma Arterton & protea 'Little Prince'
Gemma Arterton & protea ‘Little Prince’
John Hill from Burncoose Nurseries, Gemma Arterton, Gabby Evans from the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme, Charles Williams from Burncoose Nurseries, Hannah Arterton and Guy Hands from Terra Firma
John Hill from Burncoose Nurseries, Gemma Arterton, Gabby Evans from the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme, Charles Williams from Burncoose Nurseries, Hannah Arterton and Guy Hands from Terra Firma
Details Above
Gemma, her sister and John
Gemma, her sister and John
Gemma, her sister and John
Gemma, her sister and John
Lucinda, Lizzie, Lorna
Lucinda, Lizzie, Lorna
Drinks with Lizzie
Drinks with Lizzie
Drinks with Charles
Drinks with Charles
Drinks at the Burncoose Stand
Drinks at the Burncoose Stand
Drinks at the Burncoose Stand
Drinks at the Burncoose Stand
Drinks
Drinks
Chelsea drinks
Chelsea drinks
Chelsea drinks
Chelsea drinks
Chelsea interview
Chelsea interview

Alan Titchmarsh visited The Great Gardens stand at Chelsea to promote their new book ‘The Great Gardens of Cornwall – The People & Their Plants’.In the picture are, from left to right: Lorna Tremayne (Heligan), Alan Titchmarsh, Lucinda Rimmington (Caerhays), Tim Hubbard (the author), Charles Williams (Caerhays) and Jonathon Jones (Tregothnan)

Great Gardens Book Chelsea
Great Gardens Book Chelsea
Alan Titchmarsh - Great Gardens Book Chelsea
Alan Titchmarsh – Great Gardens Book Chelsea

2016 – CHW
We do a stand group photo before Rob and Louisa depart with the lorry. Justin is erecting a model spitfire on the Tregothnan stand which looks about as ridiculous as the orient express. Apparently it came from the roundabout in Truro.
Chelsea group photo
Chelsea group photo
Chelsea Sunday - Tea Break
Chelsea Sunday – Tea Break

We get rid of the last plants and are effectively finished more or less by midday although we do not leave until evening.The night before we all went to the Blue Lagoon restaurant in the old fire station in Kings Road where we observed innumerable bright young things strutting their stuff. Highlight was the arrival of some film star (who Gerry was able to identify) in a private room with glass frontage which enabled us to look up the ladies’ very very short skirts – that shut even Justin up.

Wolfgang Bopp arrives to inspect the stand not realising that I already know he is the head of our judging panel as he has been for the past five years. He is surprisingly complimentary and asks about new plants – this is a good sign.

2015 – CHW
So back to normal and the first real foray around the garden for eight days.  It is staggering how much new growth has appeared in a week. The grass and trash which was ankle high is now knee high in places so it must have rained a bit.  Staggering too how much has gone over in a week especially the wisterias.Bees swarming the front door which Jaimie is trying to catch as they vanish through the vent and are now buzzing under our bedroom.  Big (paying) wedding on the lawn tomorrow so we do not want them in the bridal veil.Above all peace and quiet after London.  The dogs are happy even if it is only a photography trip.  Pure enjoyment all round and how we have missed it.
Enkianthus cernuus rubens
Enkianthus cernuus rubens

Our original and true to name Enkianthus cernuus rubens is now dead but, unknown to me, there are two further plants just below it.  These correctly have the anthers and stamens protruding below the rim of the bells.  The only species to do this.  These two plants have flowers which are not nearly so dark a red as the deceased one.

Rhodie didymum cross
Rhodie didymum cross
Rhodie didymum cross
Rhodie didymum cross

A clump of three Rhododendron didymum x ? hybrids by the Magnolia veitchii are covered in flower.  Never seen these as good.

Enkianthus enormous flowers
Enkianthus enormous flowers
Enkianthus enormous flowers
Enkianthus enormous flowers

Nearby is a very erect enkianthus with quite the largest flowers of any seen this year at Caerhays.  Presumably a form of Enkianthus campanulatus but no label.  Propagate this! Much larger flowers than the wonderful cut branches from Burncoose on the Chelsea stand.

Syringa yunnanense
Syringa yunnanense

Syringa  yunnanense bought this year from Glendoick is quite nice.  It is recorded here in 1919 but I have never seen it in flower before.

Laburnocytisus 'Adamii'
Laburnocytisus ‘Adamii’

We have two plants of Laburnocytisus ‘Adamii’ planted in 1991 which are currently full out.  A strange cross between a laburnum and a cytisus which ought to be genetically impossible but grows oddly as you might expect.  Some might call it horrid and I would agree but if you like bastards this is for you!

1934 – JCW
I have just caught the best Azaleas, that is the deciduous ones. Magnolia wilsoni is at its best.

1917 – JCW
C m rubra about out. R yunnanense is good in the big beds. Standish hybrids are good and so Sappho x auklandii, Roylei just opening, but a very few Azaleas open. Azalea amoena is good. Azalea mollis comes on. Augustinii over, Auklandii on the wane. Broughtonii section are good.

1913 – JCW
Montana rubra long over. R yunnanense continues good very, been out 2 weeks and is the best thing. Some Broughtonii hybrids hold on, Standish hybrids good. Some Yunnanense x Roylei are opening. R augustinii well over. Azaleas and Mrs Butlers in the beech Walk are good.

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