2018 – CHW
It is amazing what a difference a week away has meant in the garden. The grass has grown 6’’ and the laurel hedges 9-12’’. Still plenty of decent rhododendrons but we have undoubtedly moved on from the very best of this year’s spring season; late though it was and magnolia-less for the first six weeks.
The pure white or albino sport from the pink Azalea ‘Greenway’ by the cash point. This group was grown from cuttings taken from a white flowering branch on one of our older plants.
2017 – CHW
Home in a state of total exhaustion. Swollen ankles, blistered feet and cricked neck. Thank goodness it is all over for another year except, of course, it is not.
Now to process all the orders and to write all the thank you letters over the bank holiday weekend.
But first a day in bed with the cricket to watch.
If anyone else says ‘how much we must have all enjoyed Chelsea’ I will have a seizure!
Anyway that is enough of plants so here is a wonderful picture of Isla Rose starting to pay attention. Perhaps I will not have a seizure after all.
Coldish day where we seem to take more orders than we did on the Tuesday. Nothing much of note happens until the BBC turn up amazingly on time to film us in our tweeds on the RCMG stand with Joe Swift. Four huge cameras and about 20 people assemble for this great moment where we each have one sentence to say. I ask Joe if he knows what he will be talking about (the centenary of the Rhododendron Society) he says not really but they will tell him on autocue – he has no scope to say other than what he is told to. Amusingly the camera monitor then shows the spelling of ‘rhododendron’ incorrectly. Much pissing round and the big moment comes. We manage to get through without any retakes. The BBC clearly is in a rush to get something on air. Eley appears somewhat tongue tied and witters on about the number of members we have (750). Millais lets slip another statistic which proves how small the group is but it does not really seem to matter.
The plan is unnamed deciduous azaleas on the drive but Jaimie suggests I start at Hovel Cart Road. An eight to ten year old clump of what I think is Azalea ‘Arnason Gem’. On checking the photograph does not look quite right.
Then, amid the trash, I stumble into a good clump of the evergreen Azalea ‘Rosebud’. This nicely replaces the old one on Burns Bank.
Next comes Lindera cinnamomifolia which is not listed in ‘New Trees’ but which has grown exponentially and will clearly become a tree. I did see it in flower two to three years ago with small yellow linderish flowers but quite nice.Of course I cannot resist looking at the enkianthus which were not out pre Chelsea.
Enkianthus hirtinervus (three plants) – has very dark flowers and is the last one to flower. In my mind I think I have confused this colour wise with Enkianthus deflexus. I cannot find this species at all in The Plantsman article on enkianthus dated June 2011.
Enkianthus chinensis is now full out (three plants) and looks about right.
However there is another older single plant of Enkianthus chinensis nearly over with much bigger bells. It still looks like the picture in The Plantsman but a better form.
1908 – JCW
Azaleas at their best, also Fortunei hybrids in the Old Park.