30th 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

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.

Schizophragma integrifolium
Schizophragma integrifolium
Schizophragma integrifolium
Schizophragma integrifolium
Schizophragma integrifolium
Schizophragma integrifolium
The strange semi climbing rhus from Crug Farm which we have never been able to identify conclusively has grown well and is covered in flowers on an old yew trunk.
semi climbing rhus
semi climbing rhus
semi climbing rhus
semi climbing rhus
Rhododendron stamineum is full out in the main quarry. Honeysuckle like and rare. Other younger new clumps are not out yet.
Rhododendron stamineum
Rhododendron stamineum
Rhododendron stamineum
Rhododendron stamineum
The large buds on what is clearly Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’ are now open in Kennel Close. Why are the buds and flowers so much larger than on the original?
Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’
Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’
Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’
Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’
Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’
Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’
The Magnolia ‘Daphne’ in Kennel Close is still looking good. The others on the Main Ride are well over.
Magnolia ‘Daphne’
Magnolia ‘Daphne’
Magnolia ‘Daphne’
Magnolia ‘Daphne’
Crataegus laevigata ‘Pauls Scarlet’ is very fine too but in need (again) of re-staking. I wonder why we never grew this here before?
Crataegus laevigata ‘Pauls Scarlet’
Crataegus laevigata ‘Pauls Scarlet’
Crataegus laevigata ‘Pauls Scarlet’
Crataegus laevigata ‘Pauls Scarlet’
Aesculus carnea ‘Briottii’ has a few flowers out but nearly over.
Aesculus x bushii
Aesculus x bushii
Aesculus chinensis is also out high up. There is another plant above the tree fern or so I thought. On closer inspection it is Aesculus wilsonii.
Aesculus chinensis
Aesculus chinensis
Magnolia x wiesneri is now full out below Kennel Close.
Magnolia x wiesneri
Magnolia x wiesneri
Magnolia x wiesneri
Magnolia x wiesneri
Abies koreana has a particularly fine set of blue cones this year.
Abies koreana
Abies koreana
Abies koreana
Abies koreana
Magnolia obovata has a flower at the top of the tree.
Magnolia obovata
Magnolia obovata
Rhododendron ‘Loch Levan’ – a new one to me and quite nice.
Rhododendron ‘Loch Levan’
Rhododendron ‘Loch Levan’
Rhododendron ‘Loch Levan’
Rhododendron ‘Loch Levan’
Aesculus flava. I am getting into an aesculus muddle and need to regroup and think this all through. Edwina has however helped me out.
Aesculus
Aesculus
Aesculus
Aesculus

2016 – CHW
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.
Chelsea rhododendron society
Chelsea rhododendron society
Chelsea rhododendron society
Chelsea rhododendron society
Chelsea rhododendron society
Chelsea rhododendron society
Chelsea rhododendron society
Chelsea rhododendron society
Chelsea rhododendron society
Chelsea rhododendron society
The garden has gone over and nearly finished in the ten days we have been at Chelsea or recovering quietly at home. The transformation in the garden in such a short space of time could not be greater. All of the rhodos featured on our Chelsea stand have gone fully over. Even the deciduous azaleas have flowered and finished in this brief spell – several without me even glimpsing them. The leaf is fully on the trees, young rooks and jackdaws have fledged and new growth is everywhere on the magnolias and rhodos. A few camellias persist notably the mathotianas and ‘Waterlily’. Thankfully Jaimie and Michael have sorted most of the rhododendron layering while we were away.

Rhododendron falconeri is out and nearly over in ten days.

Rhododendron falconeri
Rhododendron falconeri
A rather nice old red rhodo by the Acer griseum is the best thing at the top of the garden. Looks like an auklandii x thompsonii cross.
old red rhodo
old red rhodo
old red rhodo
old red rhodo
Rhododendron ‘Conroy’ is a delight but very tender and we have lost two groups of this at Burncoose. Actually this has to be an incorrect name on our planting plans as ‘Conroy’ is orange. It is a Millais hybrid which came in 2009.
Rhododendron ‘Conroy’
Rhododendron ‘Conroy’
Rhododendron ‘Conroy’
Rhododendron ‘Conroy’
Rhododendron ‘Rabatz’ (also from Millais) is not doing that well but a dark red.
Rhododendron ‘Rabatz’
Rhododendron ‘Rabatz’
Rhododendron edgeworthii – pink form – one survivor from three planted by Georges Hut. Looks quite like our own hybrid, ‘Berts Own’.
Rhododendron edgeworthii – pink form
Rhododendron edgeworthii – pink form
A newish Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Palibini’ is plastered in flower although I am not certain of the naming here below Donkey Shoe. We have several ‘versions’ of this.
Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Palibini’
Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Palibini’
Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Palibini’
Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Palibini’
Viburnum rhytidophyllum is flowering in full shade by Higher Quarry Nursery. This is better than I have ever seen this dullish species perform before. You could almost like it despite the nasty fragrance.
Viburnum rhytidophyllum
Viburnum rhytidophyllum
Viburnum rhytidophyllum
Viburnum rhytidophyllum

The ancient huge wisteria by the playhouse is just going over. Hardly out pre Chelsea.

wisteria by the playhouse
wisteria by the playhouse
Here is my nephew George Williams with his girlfriend Sophie and the wisteria. Bank holiday fragrance and romance all around! (Rather a silly hat!)
George Williams with his girlfriend Sophie
George Williams with his girlfriend Sophie
2015 – CHW
Asia propogating at Burncoose
Asia propogating at Burncoose

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.

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