29th May

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CHW 2015-
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2020 – CHW

I see that the Welsh health minister has not been observing the (self-imposed and different) Welsh lockdown rules either but no mention of this on the BBC of course who continue to keep Cummings top of the news agenda. David Starkey has a good (long) video or two about the BBC’s ‘cultural Marxism’, as he calls it, in relation to Brexit and, now, on the response by the government to COVID 19.

It really does make you think. Here is the latest video link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S8Js-tEmlg&feature=youtu.be

I was sitting outside the front door when out of the corner of my eye I saw a brown flash go under Lizzie’s car. Keeping totally still a stoat emerged with its nose to the ground on the trail of something (possibly the partridges which have been roosting nearby or the sitting hen pheasant) and quite oblivious to me. It came to within 6ft of my feet and still never twigged. It ran off, still hunting, to the bed with the Rhododendron ‘Fragrantissimum’. I have seen no rabbits on the lawn this year – in fact never less rabbits here all over and fear they have all died from the new rabbit virus. The rabbit droppings which I see are small and unhealthy as you find when there is myxy about but the dogs have caught no myxy rabbits so far.

Here is a picture of Schoolhouse Meadow where weed killer was inadvertently used on a spring barley crop instead of a fertiliser.

Schoolhouse Meadow
Schoolhouse Meadow
Deutzia x hybrida ‘Strawberry Fields’ nearly full out on the drive.
Deutzia x hybrida ‘Strawberry Fields’
Deutzia x hybrida ‘Strawberry Fields’
Deutzia x hybrida ‘Strawberry Fields’
Deutzia x hybrida ‘Strawberry Fields’

So the ilex and Photinia investigation continues with Tom Hudson.

We decide that all five of the ilex in the Rookery are Ilex kingiana. Nobbles on the trunks, a black hue to this year’s new growth and two year old stems developing a light brown ‘woody’ covering.

Ilex kingiana
Ilex kingiana
Ilex kingiana
Ilex kingiana
Passing through Rookery Nursery we deadhead the three young Rhododendron ‘Barbarella’ to encourage new growth development in this dry spell.
Rhododendron ‘Barbarella’
Rhododendron ‘Barbarella’
Rhododendron ‘Barbarella’
Rhododendron ‘Barbarella’
An elderly white wisteria in a yew tree above the shop.
wisteria
wisteria
Very different spiny new growth on Ilex dimorphophylla to the rounded mature leaves.
Ilex dimorphophylla
Ilex dimorphophylla
Ilex dimorphophylla
Ilex dimorphophylla
A young Ilex latifolia or at least that is what it was sold to us as. Here with berries and flowers.
Ilex latifolia
Ilex latifolia
Ilex latifolia
Ilex latifolia
Ilex latifolia
Ilex latifolia
Still plenty of flowers on Rhododendron keysii.
Rhododendron keysii
Rhododendron keysii
Ilex spinigera with berries forming. A new one to Tom.
Ilex spinigera
Ilex spinigera
Ilex spinigera
Ilex spinigera
A single flower on Rhododendron cinnarbarinum subsp. xanthocodon Purpurellum Group.
Rhododendron cinnarbarinum subsp. xanthocodon Purpurellum Group
Rhododendron cinnarbarinum subsp. xanthocodon Purpurellum Group
Styrax formosanus var. hatayanus with incredible scent.
Styrax formosanus var. hatayanus
Styrax formosanus var. hatayanus
Styrax formosanus var. hatayanus
Styrax formosanus var. hatayanus
Bark fissures or splits in Photinia beauverdiana var. notabilis.
Photinia beauverdiana var. notabilis
Photinia beauverdiana var. notabilis
The clump of three ilex by the Podocarpus. The one with the largest base appears to be Ilex kingiana (formerly Ilex insignis).
Ilex kingiana
Ilex kingiana
Ilex kingiana
Ilex kingiana
The other two have been identified as Ilex latifolia but bear no resemblance at all to the young plant. Leaves much smaller as you can see even though all three trees have similar and nobbly trunks.
Ilex latifolia
Ilex latifolia
Ilex latifolia
Ilex latifolia
Ilex latifolia
Ilex latifolia
Berries on the ground under a possibly self-sown Ilex kingiana near Higher Quarry Nursery.
Ilex kingiana
Ilex kingiana
Tom inspects Photinia glomerata which Roy Lancaster says is definitely correctly named but Hillier’s suggests plants under this name may be Photinia serrulata.
Photinia glomerata
Photinia glomerata
Photinia glomerata
Photinia glomerata

Tom has brought some of his holly species for us to admire.Ilex rubra from Mexico.

Ilex rubra
Ilex rubra
Ilex rubra
Ilex rubra
Ilex rubra
Ilex rubra
Ilex yunnanensis var. parvifolia – not very holly like flowers or leaves which might easily be confused as something other than an Ilex – myrtle? Much larger white flowers than the tiny cream ones seen recently on Ilex yunnanensis here.
Ilex yunnanensis var. parvifolia
Ilex yunnanensis var. parvifolia
Ilex yunnanensis var. parvifolia
Ilex yunnanensis var. parvifolia
Photinia serratifolia? Pretty similar to the Photinia behind the Camellia ‘Captain Rawes’.
Photinia serratifolia
Photinia serratifolia
Photinia serratifolia
Photinia serratifolia
Ilex fargesii which died out here long ago. A good tree which we need to replace.
Ilex fargesii
Ilex fargesii
Ilex fargesii
Ilex fargesii
The exceptional Ilex nothofagifolia which has Nothofagus leaves and a tiered growth habit as a small tree.
Ilex nothofagifolia
Ilex nothofagifolia
Ilex nothofagifolia
Ilex nothofagifolia
Ilex dipyrena – proving beyond a doubt that our tree by the greenhouse steps is Ilex bioritsensis and not I. dipyrena as it had been called previously (for years).
Ilex dipyrena
Ilex dipyrena
Ilex dipyrena
Ilex dipyrena
An unnamed and, as yet, unidentified Keith Rushforth (10131) collected Photinia species from China. Striking undersides to the leaves.
Photinia
Photinia

So we conclude:1. The two very ancient and huge ilex above Crinodendron Hedge which are too tall to inspect properly are very probably the same as two of the three ilex by the Podocarpus clump

2. Whether these four trees are Ilex latifolia, Ilex corallina or some other species is still just speculation at the moment. Is our young Ilex latifolia true to name? Probably as it has huge leaves and is mature enough to be producing berries. These are however nothing like the much smaller leaves on these four elderly trees. We know I. corallina used to grow here but we thought it had died out. I. latifolia has been stated by previous experts.

3. Ilex kingiana has naturalised itself in the garden and is thriving. Tom’s young plant which he brought a twig of was more or less identical.

4. We are no closer to being certain of the identification of the row of three Photinia in Ririei Opening and the one by Georges Hut. The first in the row (and fully evergreen) is very probably Photinia prunifolia. The other three are more like what we used to call Stransvaesia but may be Photinia glabra (two of them anyway). All four have some spines on newer growth.

5. Ilex ficiodes is probably correctly named

6. Is Ilex centrochinensis actually Ilex verticellata? Probably not but Tom is checking.

7. Photinia microphylla here is the same as Tom’s

8. Photinia nussia here is the same as Tom’s. Ditto Photinia nitakayamensis

9. The three Photinia villosa forms from Crûg are different and very probably correctly named

So no great revelations and more research needed. We ought to propagate Ilex kingiana. Asia has grown Ilex cornuta and Ilex dimorphophylla successfully in the last year. The lists we worked from are attached. Ilex draft & Photinia draft.

Here is a follow up email from Tom:From: Tom Hudson
Sent: 31 May 2020 09:17
To: Charles Williams PA
Subject: Leaves
Dear Charles,
Another stimulating day looking at green leaves….I enjoyed it very much.
It is a good idea to concentrate on these background Genera which after all make up quite a chunk of the Asian Flora.Today would have been the Tregrehan Plant Fair day, tis ansome and peaceful instead, joy, as I have just done a round of the greenhouses, perfect morning, heavy scents in the air of Roses, Cordylines, Michelias, Honeysuckles, etc

Been doing some homework from Friday.
There are a few things which look interesting, I have listed below.

The bioritsensis holly by the nursery a nice tree, didn’t realise it got that big.
It does fit with three small plants I have which have from Emei shan, Sichuan; have changed their names frequently, ciliospinosa was the previous synonym.

The 2 large trees next to the Ilex kingiana and the Podo salignus trees definitely aren’t latifolia.
I’m not sure what it is though, one for Susyn to return to.
The small tree which was a gift possibly from Thomas could well be!
I have checked the leaf in the Flora of China and the numbers of veins, size/shape and the black tip to the teeth are all correct in the key.
Attractive small tree and worth noting.

The 1st of the unknown Rosaceous trees I have sent an image to Keith Rushforth to have a look at.
I am pretty sure that the second tree by the laurels and the track is Malus rockii, I don’t know why Hillier don’t list it? .
Fits well in the Flora of China.
I have a small group of three growing here that came from just north of Lijiang in Yunnan.

The large evergreen Photinia tree on the end of the row of 3 big trees by the Ririei opening is P. prunifolia not P. prionophylla.
Prunifolia has very characteristic black scales on the leaf underside and petiole which are easy to pick out with a hand lens.
I’m not sure whether it was me writing a name down incorrectly or not re the above.
The other 2 listed as P. glabra in your list, tricky to key from leaf only and don’t have brown scales on the leaves which the Flora of China said they should have.

The Photinia glomerata a mystery as Hillier describes.
It will be interesting to hear back from Gary about the origins of the tree at Trewithen.

The two old warriors we looked at last of all, amazing lumps still hanging in there.
With the ancient Manglietia blown out they may rejuvenate from their bare stems and leaf up with the extra light.

Thanks for the afternoon, still quite surreal sitting outside your front door in the evening sun with no one around.
Interesting small hollies you gave me, I do like the dimorphylla, hopefully not just for the great name.
Also the Fairy Lime which does sound like a genuine colour break. Mark Jury bred not Vance Hooper after looking up.

Kind regards,
Tom

PS My turn next…..

2019 – CHW
Magnolia ‘Porcelain Dove’ (Magnolia globosa x Magnolia virginiana) was scenting the path. The white flowers soon fade to creamy but this is a superb magnolia. Neither of its parents are yet in flower and both grow nearby.

Magnolia ‘Porcelain Dove’
Magnolia ‘Porcelain Dove’
Magnolia ‘Porcelain Dove’
Magnolia ‘Porcelain Dove’
Magnolia virginiana ‘Satellite’ is nearly out.
Magnolia virginiana ‘Satellite’
Magnolia virginiana ‘Satellite’
Magnolia virginiana ‘Satellite’
Magnolia virginiana ‘Satellite’
One plant of Rhododendron nuttallii is just coming out. Another, beside it, is still in tight bud.
Rhododendron nuttallii
Rhododendron nuttallii
Rhododendron nuttallii
Rhododendron nuttallii
Rhododendron stamineum in the Rockery is just out with its ‘honeysuckle’ flowers.
Rhododendron stamineum
Rhododendron stamineum
Rhododendron stamineum
Rhododendron stamineum
There is always pure white campion and the pink by the Playhouse.
campion
campion
Azalea ‘Rosebud’ flopped on the Chelsea stand and had to be replaced. Here it still looks perfect.
Azalea ‘Rosebud’
Azalea ‘Rosebud’
Azalea ‘Rosebud’
Azalea ‘Rosebud’
Crataegus laevigata ‘Crimson Cloud’ as good as ever in the Isla Rose Plantation.
Crataegus laevigata ‘Crimson Cloud’
Crataegus laevigata ‘Crimson Cloud’
Crataegus laevigata ‘Crimson Cloud’
Crataegus laevigata ‘Crimson Cloud’
Aesculus x mutabilis ‘Induta’ had pride of place in the Morgan Stanley show garden at Chelsea which deservedly won a gold. Here is our plant with even larger flowers above the greenhouse.
Aesculus x mutabilis ‘Induta’
Aesculus x mutabilis ‘Induta’
Aesculus x mutabilis ‘Induta’
Aesculus x mutabilis ‘Induta’
Aesculus x mutabilis ‘Induta’
Aesculus x mutabilis ‘Induta’
Syringa wilsonii flowering for the first time in the frames. Excellent!
Syringa wilsonii
Syringa wilsonii
Syringa wilsonii
Syringa wilsonii
Another new species of Philadelphus with its first flowers – Philadelphus satsumi. No great scent.
Philadelphus satsumi
Philadelphus satsumi
Philadelphus satsumi
Philadelphus satsumi
Sorbus dunnii with its first flower head.
Sorbus dunnii
Sorbus dunnii
Sorbus dunnii
Sorbus dunnii
Asia has grown a fine amaryllis for the house.
amaryllis
amaryllis
Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Golden Sun’ now in leaf. The leaves are no longer yellow as they were when they first emerged but the bark and young stems are yellowish.
Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Golden Sun’
Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Golden Sun’
The huge clump of Cordyline australis is plastered in flower but it is interesting to note the many vigorous new shoots emerging from the base which have no flowers.
Cordyline australis
Cordyline australis
Cordyline australis
Cordyline australis

2018 – CHW

Fagus longipetiolata just in leaf with (initially) attractive and large coppery coloured leaves. The upper new growth twigs droop downwards. An excellent ornamental species.

Fagus longipetiolata
Fagus longipetiolata
Fagus longipetiolata
Fagus longipetiolata
Crataegus laevigata ‘Pauls Scarlet’ is still one of my favourite plants. Although Crataegus ‘Crimson Cloud’, planted this year, is very fine too. This plant needs re-staking yet again.
Crataegus laevigata ‘Pauls Scarlet’
Crataegus laevigata ‘Pauls Scarlet’
Crataegus laevigata ‘Pauls Scarlet’
Crataegus laevigata ‘Pauls Scarlet’
Rhododendron ‘Lems Monarch’ at its very best.
Rhododendron ‘Lems Monarch’
Rhododendron ‘Lems Monarch’
Rhododendron ‘Lems Monarch’
Rhododendron ‘Lems Monarch’
Flower buds appearing on Magnolia ‘Blue Opal’. Smaller but even bluer than Magnolia ‘Woodsman’ x ‘Patriot’.
Magnolia ‘Blue Opal’
Magnolia ‘Blue Opal’
Leptospermum scoparium ‘County Park Blush’ has survived the ‘Beast’ in a chilly spot. A new variety to us presumably once bred by County Park nurseries in Essex.
Leptospermum scoparium ‘County Park Blush’
Leptospermum scoparium ‘County Park Blush’

2017 – CHW
Magnolia sieboldii ‘Colossus’ has a large flower but is really not that different to the normal species or to ‘Pride of Norway’ come to that. We now have about five different named clones of Magnolia sieboldii and none are that special really. Worth their place and flowering over four to six weeks between them though.
Magnolia sieboldii ‘Colossus’
Magnolia sieboldii ‘Colossus’
Magnolia sieboldii ‘Colossus’
Magnolia sieboldii ‘Colossus’
Ehretia thyrsiflora grown from seed originally is just coming into leaf. Quite a nice purple hue to the new growth of this bizarre and really rare plant. We grow two other species of ehretia which appear rather similar (Ehretia dicksonii and Ehretia anacua). Hillier’s say Ehretia thyrsiflora is properly called Ehretia acuminata. New Trees do not mention ehretia at all. Bean lists just two species which does not include Ehretia anacua but does include Ehretia dicksonii and thyrsiflora. This will be a nice puzzle for the taxonomists and I must get Susyn Andrews fired up to investigate. The older plants went in here in 1991 but we have occasionally had a few in the nursery.
Ehretia thyrsiflora
Ehretia thyrsiflora
Ehretia thyrsiflora
Ehretia thyrsiflora
Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Pendulum’ is well away now. What a superb architectural trailing plant. We once had a big one on the stand at Chelsea years ago but I do not think it was this one?
Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Pendulum’
Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Pendulum’
Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Pendulum’
Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Pendulum’
The Pinus insignis trunk photographed on fire on Friday is still burning out well and doing no harm to anything but laurel.
Pinus insignis trunk
Pinus insignis trunk
Camellia ‘Kerguelen’ with its peculiar variegated leaves has produced its first flower. Very late indeed it is.
Camellia ‘Kerguelen’
Camellia ‘Kerguelen’
Rhododendron ‘Royal Flush’ – yellow form – is nicely out hidden behind the huge Quercus acuta. Extreme shelter needed to grow this Caerhays hybrid. Most of the other colours succumbed to mildew or rust 30 years ago but with care and spray in the propagating house we now have two or three survivors from the original six forms. Not the best ones of course.
Rhododendron ‘Royal Flush’ – yellow form
Rhododendron ‘Royal Flush’ – yellow form
Rhododendron ‘Royal Flush’ – yellow form
Rhododendron ‘Royal Flush’ – yellow form
A carpet of fallen flowers under one of the Rhododendron ‘Mrs Bulters’.
A carpet of fallen flowers
A carpet of fallen flowers
Rhododendron ‘Tally Ho’ is tucked away unseen at the top of the garden but very fine and a must to propagate for late season flowering.
Rhododendron ‘Tally Ho’
Rhododendron ‘Tally Ho’
Rhododendron ‘Tally Ho’
Rhododendron ‘Tally Ho’
This rather horrid ponticum hybrid may be Rhododendron ‘Purity’? Not worth its place and should go to make room in this little glade.
may be Rhododendron ‘Purity’
may be Rhododendron ‘Purity’
may be Rhododendron ‘Purity’
may be Rhododendron ‘Purity’
I do not know the name of this rather delicate white-blotched yellow deciduous azalea. This clump is only 30 years old but there are other much older clumps by the Trevanion holly on the drive. It is a rather delicate forerunner to ‘Daviesii’ perhaps but no scent today.
delicate white-blotched yellow deciduous azalea
delicate white-blotched yellow deciduous azalea
delicate white-blotched yellow deciduous azalea
delicate white-blotched yellow deciduous azalea
Rosa roxburgii has its first flowers after its recent hard pruning. You would not know looking at the size of it today.
Rosa roxburgii
Rosa roxburgii
Rosa roxburgii
Rosa roxburgii
Magnolia sieboldii sinensis x virginiana. Not as good as ‘Porcelain Dove’ but well worth its place. No flowers yet out on Magnolia virginiana itself.
Magnolia sieboldii sinensis x virginiana
Magnolia sieboldii sinensis x virginiana
Magnolia sieboldii sinensis x virginiana
Magnolia sieboldii sinensis x virginiana

2016 – CHW
Renovation of the old hunt kennels has proceeded apace as well while we have been absent. The new roof is just about finished.Beginning to feel 80% normal after Chelsea. Dizzy spells have passed and the ten ‘thank you’ letters to our sponsors, suppliers and staff for the gold medal all thankfully done for another year. Many pages of handwriting involved.
Old kennels
Old kennels
2015 – CHW
Looking at the bank outside the front door today the mass of primroses have all vanished as have the massed ranks of bluebells.  Instead we have grasses, and in the shade, a nice clump of campion.  The key think now is not to cut the grass here until mid July to let the primroses, bluebells and other wild flowers die away and set seed on their own accord.  If only the local councils would stop being ‘tidy’ and mowing roadside verges unnecessarily we would have many more wild flowers and more butterflies and insects feeding on them.

Campion on bank
Campion on bank
Enkianthus campanulatus var albiflorus
Enkianthus campanulatus var albiflorus
Enkianthus campanulatus var campanulatus
Enkianthus campanulatus var campanulatus

Two old original plants of enkianthus in the full shade of Magnolia x veitchii.  One is Enkianthus campanulatus var albiflorus and the other Enkianthus campanulatus var campanulatus.   I have only two or three more enkianthus in the collection to photograph and then you will have seen nearly all of them.

Rhododendron falconeri
Rhododendron falconeri
Rhododendron falconeri
Rhododendron falconeri

The towering 1950s Rhododendron falconeri, the last of the big leaf species to flower are just passing their best.  Time for some layering here.

gaultheria
Gaultheria
gaultheria
Gaultheria

An odd and original gaultheria whose name I do not know.  The plant died back but has rejuvenated itself. On the way along Rookery Path three rhododendrons in flower:

Rhododendron ‘Fastuosum flore pleno’
Rhododendron ‘Fastuosum flore pleno’

The double ponticum Rhododendron ‘Fastuosum flore pleno’

Rhododendron ‘Hotei’
Rhododendron ‘Hotei’
Rhododendron ‘Hotei’
Rhododendron ‘Hotei’

Compact yellow Rhododendron ‘Hotei’

Rhodi loderi
Rhododendron loderi
Rhodi loderi
Rhododendron loderi
Rhodi loderi
Rhododendron loderi

A loderi type in great profusion below Rookery Nursery.  The plants have collapsed on each other and loderis will not reshoot if cut back so all we can do is enjoy the mess.

Azalea ‘Caerhays Lavender’
Azalea ‘Caerhays Lavender’
Azalea ‘Caerhays Lavender’
Azalea ‘Caerhays Lavender’

Near Green Gate the original evergreen Azalea ‘Caerhays Lavender’ with its peculiar white then yellow new growth contrasting nicely with its light mauve flowers.  Caerhays bred but no one knows by whom or with what.  Anyway it is properly registered now.

Malus hupenensis
Malus hupenensis
Malus hupenensis
Malus hupenensis

The white malus with the disgusting scent appears to have rot at its base and is half dead beside the cash point.  I think it is Malus hupenensis which I collected from Werrington 30 plus years ago as seedlings in the Chinese Garden there.  My uncle Rob used to put it in a vase on the breakfast table when annoying relatives came to stay and wait in the corridor for a reaction.  There are two similar seedlings at Burncoose.

Azalea Yellow
Azalea unknown
Azalea Yellow
Azalea unknown

This elderly azalea outside the back yard is not true to form as Azalea luteum nor is it big enough in flower to be Azalea ‘Klondyke’.   Another mystery but rather a nice yellow one.  Perhaps ‘Yellow Beauty’?

Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’
Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’
Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’
Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’

On the opposite side of the drive Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’ is in full new growth mode but STILL there are a few flowers.  You could see Cornish Red coming into flower from the front door in January and here we are nearly in June still with a bit of a show.  Few plants other than camellias and the odd rhododendron (Rhododendron keysii or Rhododendron lutescens perhaps) could begin to match this.

1981 – FJW
New Crassum x John hybrid shows promise.

1897 – JCW
Ponticums and Laburnums at their best. Peonies (herbaceous) open.

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