6th 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

At last a flower on one of the three plants of Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Wallaby’ which is a dwarf. I think we may have seen an odd flower on a small plant in the nursery at Burncoose but it was red (I think). Perhaps it will change colour when full out but pretty ‘wishy washy’ here.

Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Wallaby’
Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Wallaby’
Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Wallaby’
Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Wallaby’
The mini digger has removed the laurel stumps here to create a good new planting area for next spring. We have been awaiting its arrival throughout the drought of April and it is still dry despite last Sunday’s good rain.
new planting area
new planting area
Another one here where we ripped out some old unnamed x williamsii camellias. Dry and easy to work cleanly for the digger. Still one to two more days work to do on other old stumps in the garden.
where we ripped out some old unnamed x williamsii camellias
where we ripped out some old unnamed x williamsii camellias
Magnolia ‘Banana Split’ in a strong east wind which has made it cold. The only thing to say about this one is that it has a bold upright habit like a totem pole. This means you do not have to see the fairly disgusting flowers close up.
Magnolia ‘Banana Split’
Magnolia ‘Banana Split’
Magnolia ‘Banana Split’
Magnolia ‘Banana Split’
My father told Jaimie that Rhododendron ‘Hotei’ (yellow) never set seed. When he found that it did he grew them and we now have a clump of four adult plants outside the arch. One of the two shown here has a hint of yellow. All are pleasant and different but imbued with too much other varied pollen to be anything special or for any to be worthy of a name. Worth their place though with a compact habit and Jaimie is chuckling at my father’s expense although FJW has been proved right for the wrong reasons! It has perhaps taken 15 years for the point to be made though.
Rhododendron ‘Hotei’
Rhododendron ‘Hotei’
Rhododendron ‘Hotei’
Rhododendron ‘Hotei’
Rhododendron ‘Hotei’
Rhododendron ‘Hotei’
Rhododendron ‘Hotei’
Rhododendron ‘Hotei’
A clump of Rhododendron ‘Halfdan Lem’ nearby are a splendid red. Doing well in a quite exposed position near the Hotei seedlings.
Rhododendron ‘Halfdan Lem’
Rhododendron ‘Halfdan Lem’
Rhododendron ‘Halfdan Lem’
Rhododendron ‘Halfdan Lem’
Rehderodendron macrocarpum is not out at Burncoose yet but this young tree is really starting to perform. Why do not more people grow this? Better than the halesias I think?
Rehderodendron macrocarpum
Rehderodendron macrocarpum
Rehderodendron macrocarpum
Rehderodendron macrocarpum
Berberis latifolia is now full out and the shape of its bluish-green new leaves is rather dramatic. This will be a big plant before long and one Burncoose should stock as I have said before.
Berberis latifolia
Berberis latifolia
Berberis latifolia
Berberis latifolia

2016 – CHW
A trip to compare the bark on some betulas planted in only 2008.Azalea ‘Fedora’ is just full out on the drive while the Azalea ‘Amoena’ opposite, which has been out for weeks is now over. Normally the two would overlap.

Azalea ‘Fedora’
Azalea ‘Fedora’
Azalea ‘Fedora’
Azalea ‘Fedora’
The first hydrangea flower heads (white) are nearly out. Bear in mind that in this extraordinary year we were still photographing hydrangeas in early January in this diary. I wonder if this has ever been bettered?
hydrangea flower heads (white)
hydrangea flower heads (white)

Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Greyswood Ghost’

Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Greyswood Ghost’
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Greyswood Ghost’

Betula ermarii ‘Greyswood Hill’

Betula ermarii ‘Greyswood Hill’
Betula ermarii ‘Greyswood Hill’

Betula utilis ‘Doorenbos’

Betula utilis ‘Doorenbos’
Betula utilis ‘Doorenbos’
Betula costata – dead
Betual dahurica ‘Maurice Foster’
Betual dahurica ‘Maurice Foster’
Betual dahurica ‘Maurice Foster’
Betual dahurica ‘Maurice Foster’
Betual dahurica ‘Maurice Foster’

Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Knightshays’

Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Knightshays’
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Knightshays’

Betula szechuanica ‘Liuba White’

Betula szechuanica ‘Liuba White’
Betula szechuanica ‘Liuba White’

Betula albosinensis

Betula albosinensis
Betula albosinensis
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Jermyns’
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Jermyns’
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Jermyns’
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Jermyns’
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Jermyns’
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Silver Shadow’
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Silver Shadow’
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Silver Shadow’
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Silver Shadow’
Betula utilis var jacquemontii ‘Silver Shadow’

An interesting birch display above the drive where their mainly white mature trunks will one day show up well as you go past.

So what do we conclude from this lot? ‘Silver Shadow’ and ‘Maurice Foster’ have grown the quickest. ‘Jermyns’ has the best white bark colour at a very young age. More importantly, I have undoubtedly undertaken this exercise at the wrong time of the year when the bark on young trees is only just starting to peel to reveal the best colours.

None are perhaps yet as spectacular as Betula albosinensis ‘Bowling Green’ and ‘Chinese Garden’ (the two Werrington wild collected original ferns) or, indeed, the newly named ‘China Ruby’. I have featured the Werrington plants now growing here in earlier blogs and you can easily search them out.

A young Magnolia ‘Red Lion’ was in perfect condition, and very late indeed, nearby.
Magnolia ‘Red Lion’
Magnolia ‘Red Lion’

Now off to Wisley for the RHS centenary rhododendron show with the Crawshays and Thomas Methuen-Campbell. A fairly liquid trip I expect with the odd rhododendron thrown in!

2015 – CHW

Reports of ‘a dog’ chasing the young Saler cattle heifers in the Outer Park above the beach.  Others say the white animal with the cattle is a calf!  The telescope reveals that it is in fact a stray sheep which has escaped and taken up residence with its new friends.  As the young cattle have only recently been let out of their over wintering sheds they are naturally frisky and the solitary sheep has enjoyed running about with them.  A year or two ago stray dogs did drive some cattle over the cliff and our visitors have generally no idea of the damage that free range dogs can do.  We have also lost several sheep mauled by dogs in the Park.

Cutting up fir tree
Cutting up fir tree
Laurels overhanging Symplocus paniculata
Laurels overhanging Symplocus paniculata

A fir tree which fell in the horrendous gales of February 2014 has finally been cut up.  Jaimie’s team can now cut back the laurel swamping the original Symplocos paniculata.  We need to consider too if the ancient deciduous azaleas here are worth keeping or whether to cut them down and dig out.  A nice bank for some new large growing colourful rhododendrons.  Perhaps cut down the Cornish Reds to reshoot too as Tregothnan have done so successfully.  After inspection the azaleas can all go to make room for new planting.

Nearer the house there are a few good plants:

RHODODENDRON ‘Fragrantissimum’ / ’Lady Alice Fitzwilliam’
RHODODENDRON ‘Fragrantissimum’
Rhodo fragrantissimum_Lady Alice Fitz 1
Rhodo fragrantissimum ‘Lady Alice Fitzwilliam’
Fuchsia exorticatica
Fuchsia exorticatica
FUCHSIA excorticata
FUCHSIA excorticata

– What better for the front of a border by the castle than the highly scented Rhododendron ‘Fragrantissimum’ / ’Lady Alice Fitzwilliam’.  The two plants are pretty similar and both Rhododendron edgeworthii x Rhododendron formosum.  The backdrop here is Fuchsia excorticata which has been in flower since mid-January.

Arum lilies 1
The Arum lilies are untouched by the winter and in full flower already
Grannys Bonnets 1
Granny’s bonnets – Aquilegia – my father’s favourite wild(ish) flower
Euphorbia mellifera 1
Euphorbia mellifera is about to come out.
Euphorbia mellifera 2
It’s a shrub really rather than a herbaceous plant and very happy up against a turret.
Cytisus Porlock
Cytisus Porlock – what a show
Tropaedum ciliatum 1
Tropaedum ciliatum, also in full growth after a no frost winter. Tropaeolum speciosum has however, as usual, died down to the ground.
Wisteria Black Dragon
Wisteria ‘Violacea Plena’ (‘Black Dragon’) is coming out. Unlike any other wisteria which Burncoose sells this has double flowers but no great scent. It sits happily above the old gents’ loo

1979 – FJW
Nothofagus (see 5/5/63 entry) still ok. Winter days and still frost at night. Beech leaves late in coming.

1933 – JCW
I saw the first Fuschia open. Much as in 1933.

1931 – JCW
Very much like 1924. The big cherries are over but several of the new 3 to 4 year old Japanese ones are flowering. Magnolia kobus is very good. Several hybrids are well open i.e nigra, Brozzoni, alba, superba and speciosa etc. Falconeri is just opening. Auklandii is very good, much of it is to come.

1924 – JCW
The first Magnolia Wilsoni was open. The cherries of all kinds have been hurt by the heavy rain, the first heavy rain since Christmas. The Augustinii and many forms of Triflorum are excellent. Falconeri just opening.

1922 – JCW
The fat cherries are very good. Davidsonianum nice. Calophytum half of them open. Fastigiatum impeditum lot good.

1915 – JCW
Probably the best day of the year for bloom here, and the Auklandii’s are an easy first with the Rookery Cherries next, R alpanicum is nice and the Oarbiculare are very good indeed.

1911 – JCW
Bardon just open some, Clematis m rubra half open, ⅔ of the cushion iris, ½ Campylocarpum, white Thomsonii going over, R keysii very good. Auklandii ⅓ open.

1903 – JCW
Picked a bunch of I Pavonia to send to Dinton. Not one good pod ripe yet.

1902 – JCW
A lot of Bardon del under the big wall, picked Luciana three days ago, moved Southern Star, foliage nearly dead.

1901 – JCW
Some (two or three) nice roses, Maples began to look well.

1900 – JCW
Picked the first Lortetti, and one or two good roses.

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