2017 – CHW
After two overcast drizzly days a pleasant walk around the garden with Isla Rose, John and Katie.
Schizophragma integrifolium on the top wall is full out over a month early. This plant has taken many years to get going but is now quite a sight. A month early.
I thought all of you who missed Chelsea and posterity might perhaps like to see:Pictures of the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia & Magnolia Group’s centenary stand. Pictures of Millais Nurseries’ centenary stand next to ours.
Rhododendron falconeri is out and nearly over in ten days.
The ancient huge wisteria by the playhouse is just going over. Hardly out pre Chelsea.
The joy of being quiet and having time to think after two happy (part) days at Burncoose celebrating with the staff with a little pink fizz (36 bottles for 24). No London traffic or weekend wedding celebration noise into the evening/night. Total quiet and a start to thinking about our 2016 catalogue. Karol (grumpy) and I photographed 26 plants yesterday as new entries to the 2016 catalogue but that is only the start of it (we will have 200 plus). Now to set in motion the cuttings/seed propagation plans for Asia’s summer here. What a joy to have a full time propagator at Caerhays running the greenhouse and supplying Burncoose with new stuff. An expensive luxury which the garden desperately needs not least to keep the catalogue full of new things. Asia has spent at least six years at Burncoose doing similar work with Louisa (whose brother was a Scottish Labour MP before the election wipeout of Labour in Scotland) but is a bit worried up by the new and exciting challenge. So to lists for seeds and cuttings. We will start enkianthus cuttings and ‘smellie’ rhododendrons in about a fortnight if the weather stays hot to harden the new growth.
So, given plenty of time, my thoughts and research turn to azaleas. The authoritative (and very dull) reference book is written by a Fred C Galle. More pictures and less obscure Japanese names would be great.
How many times is one asked ‘are azaleas all rhododendrons or the other way around?’. I suspect that like many (purporting to be) woodland gardeners I have never understood the reality of the question or the answer. My father gave up on Galle and his handwritten notes in the reference tome are confused and irritated.
The answer is that ALL azaleas (evergreen and deciduous) are the product of hundreds of years of breeding from a relatively few species of deciduous and (even fewer) evergreen Chinese/Japanese rhododendron species. Rhododendron indicum (Japan) has resulted in many series of hybrids (Nakahari/Wilson 50 etc). Rhododendron species (deciduous) from China and USA are responsible for the breeding of all the main strains of the wonderful and hugely confusing deciduous azaleas which I have been picturing in the last week. Ghent azaleas, Knaphill azaleas, Exbury azaleas (plus loads of USA breeding). However they (deciduous) all go back to Rhododendron prinophyllum, Rhododendron mucronulatum, Rhododendron occidentale, Rhododendron mollis, Rhododendron vucosum etc etc.
Why was I so thick? It is an obvious answer when you think about it and entirely logical. Now for more research into Mr Galle’s book and the photographs and weird Japanese names. Happy days! Apologies for no photos today, so take a look at the deciduous or evergreen Azaleas you can buy from Burncoose, or just view the pictures on Caerhays of rhododendrons we have raised and bred.
1959 – FJW
A very dry May. The Azaleas well over.
1909 – JCW
Viburnum plicatum nearly at best, Auklandii’s over, Azaleas very good, Fortunei sweet scented good but passing. C montana rubra over, Dalhousi passing, Bardon over, sweet scented Soulangeana hybrids nice.
1905 – JCW
Viburnum plicatum, later Azaleas coming on, no outside seed picked yet. The Arums have begun to be good and Polystichums are at about their best. Laburnums some open.
1901 – JCW
We are now a few days ahead of last year, being perhaps four or five days later than the above.
1900 – JCW
Most of the Pink Thorn in flower. I have picked H Irving but it is hardly ripe. Edgeworthi and Dalhousi are very good. Eremuri are opening. Carmine pillar good.
1898 – JCW
Pink Thorns coming out well. I have picked most of H Irving and G Spur, some Tenby.