7th 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

Some gentle rain over the weekend but not enough!

Fagus sylvatica ‘Aurea Pendula’ glowing with its new leaves. This tree was grown by Less & Co and once went to Chelsea. We pruned the nearby camellia last year to give it more room.

Fagus sylvatica ‘Aurea Pendula’
Fagus sylvatica ‘Aurea Pendula’
Fagus sylvatica ‘Aurea Pendula’
Fagus sylvatica ‘Aurea Pendula’
Styrax odoratissimus (veitchiorum) is now full out with its huge leaves. I started my article today on styrax so these pictures will be invaluable. Normally it is out and over during Chelsea week so I do not have good shots. Note how the original trunk has partially fallen to one side and new stems grew from the base.
Styrax odoratissimus
Styrax odoratissimus
Styrax odoratissimus
Styrax odoratissimus
Styrax odoratissimus
Styrax odoratissimus
Styrax odoratissimus
Styrax odoratissimus
Lithocarpus lepidocarpus is making progress with attractive red new growths.
Lithocarpus lepidocarpus
Lithocarpus lepidocarpus
Lithocarpus lepidocarpus
Lithocarpus lepidocarpus
Orchid House Nursery was emptied of plants in April. Now the digger has cleared the old fence. We plan no longer to use this as a rhodo nursery bed but extend the bed in the Rookery. Instead we will plant the very best rhododendron species here next spring.
Orchid House Nursery
Orchid House Nursery
Orchid House Nursery
Orchid House Nursery
The Taiwanese form of Trochodendron aralioides is very different to the Chinese version which we know well and have a record size tree. This plant, from a Crug collection, has grown exceptionally well.
Taiwanese form of Trochodendron aralioides
Taiwanese form of Trochodendron aralioides
Taiwanese form of Trochodendron aralioides
Taiwanese form of Trochodendron aralioides
Taiwanese form of Trochodendron aralioides
Taiwanese form of Trochodendron aralioides
My grandfather (A M Williams) bred this griersonianum cross called Rhododendron ‘May Day’. It was out on time! So heavy are its flowers that these shrubs are half collapsed.
Rhododendron ‘May Day’
Rhododendron ‘May Day’
Rhododendron ‘May Day’
Rhododendron ‘May Day’
Next door is the small growing Caerhays hybrid called Rhododendron ‘Nancor’. Sister to ‘Saffron Queen’ and named after a farm on the estate.
Rhododendron ‘Nancor’
Rhododendron ‘Nancor’
Rhododendron ‘Nancor’
Rhododendron ‘Nancor’

2016 – CHW

Evergreen Azalea winner Wisley show 2016
Evergreen Azalea winner Wisley show 2016
The centenary rhododendron show at Wisley was not as large as at Rosemoor but had a superb range of species. Caerhays won the evergreen azalea section with ‘Caerhays Lavender’ and Windsor won the centenary cup with a superb vase of Rhododendron schlippenbachii. Then onto the Wisley tour with the group led by Jim Gardiner. We looked at late flowering and yellow magnolias. Magnolia ‘Judy Zuk’ and Magnolia ‘Phelan Bright’ were the best of what we saw. It is rather obvious how slowly trees in general grow on this poorish and very dry soil and we have to be thankful that our magnolias have a freer range to grow rather taller. We did see a nice Magnolia sargentiana which Jim said had been grown from a Caerhays scion.
Magnolia ‘Judy Zuk’
Magnolia ‘Judy Zuk’
Magnolia ‘Judy Zuk’
Magnolia ‘Judy Zuk’
Magnolia ‘Judy Zuk’
Magnolia ‘Judy Zuk’
Magnolia 'Phelan Bright'
Magnolia ‘Phelan Bright’
Magnolia 'Phelan Bright'
Magnolia ‘Phelan Bright’

The best thing today at Wisley were the matsumae Japanese cherries. When will these become more widely available to the trade? The best we saw were:

Prunus matsumae – hayazaki

Prunus matsumae – hayazaki
Prunus matsumae – hayazaki
Prunus matsumae – hayazaki
Prunus matsumae – hayazaki
Prunus matsumae – yaemiyams
Prunus matsumae – yaemiyams
Prunus matsumae – yaemiyams
Prunus matsumae – yaemiyams
Prunus matsumae – yaemiyams
Prunus matsumae – yaemiyams
Prunus matsumae – yaemiyams
Prunus ‘Asagi’
Prunus ‘Asagi’
Prunus ‘Asagi’
Prunus ‘Asagi’
Prunus ‘Asagi’
Prunus ‘Ichiyo’
Prunus ‘Ichiyo’
Prunus ‘Ichiyo’
Prunus ‘Ichiyo’
Prunus ‘Ichiyo’
Prunus ‘Ichiyo’
Prunus ‘Ichiyo’
Prunus ‘Shizuka’
Prunus ‘Shizuka’
Prunus ‘Shizuka’
Prunus ‘Shizuka’
Prunus ‘Shizuka’
These would make a major impact on the drive and rival JCW’s purchase of cherries from Japan on Collingwood Ingram’s advice. I have yet to research all this but the Japanese names will be a torture and I see that the botanists have been ‘at it’ here too; Prunus ‘Shogetsu’ was formerly Prunus ‘Shimidsu’. Probably there are new books on cherries to discover.
Prunus ‘Shogetsu’
Prunus ‘Shogetsu’
Prunus ‘Shogetsu’
Prunus ‘Shogetsu’
Prunus ‘Shogetsu’
Prunus ‘Shogetsu’

Jim Gardiner recommended a new US book on magnolias by Andrew Bunting. It shows a Magnolia officinalis var biloba with bright red flowers. The Wisley plant we saw had large and very pale creamy flowers. Ours in Penvergate on Thursday was a nice pink but this appears to be a real red. Photoshop?Staying at the Runnymede on Thames hotel is far from dull. Every sort of activity beside the river which made us all look our age but the food was rather better than expected.

The best exhibits in the show yesterday were:

Rhododendron calophytum (a Keith Rushford collection with gorgeous striping – 142)

Rhododendron calophytum (a Keith Rushford collection with gorgeous striping – 142)
Rhododendron calophytum (a Keith Rushford collection with gorgeous striping – 142)

Rhododendron kesangiae

Rhododendron kesangiae
Rhododendron kesangiae

Rhododendron ‘Cornish Cross’

Rhododendron ‘Cornish Cross’
Rhododendron ‘Cornish Cross’
2015 – CHW
Election day.  I suspect no other castle has a polling station in it.  Under the Rabbit Warren infact with two lady returning officers who are going to be bored rigid by 10pm as there are only about 75 electors at Caerhays and a fair few have already voted soon after 7.30am.  The liberal candidate (our current MP) had a surprising victory last time round with Tower Hamlets type allegations about the last few ballot boxes counted – or so it is rumoured.  Thank heavens I am no longer High Sheriff and do not have to stay up all night to formally announce the result.   I am corrected by the returning officer who says we have 146 electors and our area covers more than the parish of Caerhays.
Polling station 2
Polling station
Polling station 1
Polling station
Saint Tudy 1
Rhododendron ‘Saint Tudy’

So we had better photograph something nice and blue – Rhododendron ‘Saint Tudy’(augustinii x impeditum) and hope for the best!

Rhodo ovatum 1
Rhododendron ovatum
Rhodo ovatum 3
Rhododendron ovatum

Nearby is Rhododendron ovatum; a rather insipid pink with nice bronze new growth.  Perhaps a colour more reflective of the likely outcome.  Less boring anyway than the political crap on the radio which I gave up listening to weeks ago.

Ok, let us balance things up! Three reds:

Rhodendron 'Halfdan Lem'
Rhodendron ‘Halfdan Lem’for the socialist and ooh and aah brigade
Rhodo oldhamii
Rhododendron oldhamii – nice hairy foliage
Rhodo neeriflorum 1
Rhododendron neeriflorum – – used to be a huge clump of this which flowered much earlier than these new plants which are still only flowering sparsely.

To complete the election set here are two very yellow liberals (surprisingly perhaps) which were Caerhays bred.

Rhodo Michaels Pride 1
Rhododendron  ‘Michael’s Pride’
(burmanicum x dalhousiae)
Rhodo Saffron Queen 1
Rhododendron ‘Saffron Queen’
(xanthostephanum x burmanicum)

Planted together they make a nice election poster but hopefully not the balance of power.

2004 – FJW
Fair amount of rain, but main falls have missed us and passed by on eastern side. Some good Big Leaved Rhodo’s flowering on Rookery Path.

1928 – JCW
Loder’s White as in 1926. No Factum. Mag Wilsonii ⅓ open. Mag nigra good. Not 6 pips of Maddeni hybrids to be seen. Some Azaleas good.

1926 – JCW
Loder’s White in the Rockery is by far the best thing now, Auklandii are nearly over. The first Factum opened 10 days ago, it is very fine indeed. Double Avium is open in the 40 Acres. Baileys Maddeni is nearly open.

1923 – JCW
Maddeni hybrids are at their best and have been nice for a month or more. Auklandii good but a short crop of flower. Azaleas starting but not much flower bud.

1912 – JCW
Auklandii have begun to wane, Mrs Butler lovely, Azaleas good, Clematis montana poor this year. Berberis stenophylla good. Falconeri really fine for the first time. Azalea amoena V.G.

1905 – JCW
Recurvas nearly all open, and picked my last seedling today, just about 1898.

1902 – JCW
Most of Recurvas open, but not the back bulbs.

1899 – JCW
Just at the above, I picked a pod of ripe Triandrus indoors. I have been moving a lot of seedling daffs.

1898 – JCW
Clematis montana well out, Maples at their best, P recurvas well open. Altaclarence open,Doronicums quite good, several I lortetti.

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