18th October

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

2020 – CHW

This may be Jelly Rot (Phlebia tremellosa) at the base of a sweet chestnut or it may be Cauliflower Fungus (or Wood Cauliflower). Sparassis spathulata, which lives on deciduous tree roots, is said to be very rare in the British Isles. Sparassis crispa is more common but is parasitic on the roots of conifers. The pictures of these two Cauliflower Fungi in the reference book are closer to what we see here than Jelly Rot.

at the base of a sweet chestnut
at the base of a sweet chestnut
at the base of a sweet chestnut
at the base of a sweet chestnut

A trip to the greenhouse reveals a number of pleasant surprises!

To tidy up cotoneaster berries here is Cotoneaster horizontalis with berries overripe and dropping.

Cotoneaster horizontalis
Cotoneaster horizontalis
This (finally) is Hedychium gardnerianum. I have misidentified other Hedychium in the past as this species. First time flowering on the top wall. Lemon yellow flowers and red stamens.
Hedychium gardnerianum
Hedychium gardnerianum
Hedychium gardnerianum
Hedychium gardnerianum
A new evergreen fern in the frames – Woodwardia unigemmata.
Woodwardia unigemmata
Woodwardia unigemmata
Woodwardia unigemmata
Woodwardia unigemmata
Woodwardia unigemmata
Woodwardia unigemmata
Sorbus zahlbruckneri with small crab apple like fruits.
Sorbus zahlbruckneri
Sorbus zahlbruckneri
Ilex fargesii subsp. fargesii var. fargesii (what a mouthful!) acquired from Pan-Global Plants. Ilex fargesii (wild collected) was growing here and measured in the 1960s. Good to have it back even if it is not very holly-like.
Ilex fargesii subsp. fargesii var. fargesii
Ilex fargesii subsp. fargesii var. fargesii
Tom Hudson’s gift of an unknown Meliosma species is producing interesting secondary autumn new growth.
unknown Meliosma species
unknown Meliosma species
unknown Meliosma species
unknown Meliosma species
unknown Meliosma species
unknown Meliosma species
Abutilon ‘Orange Hot Lava’ about to go to the nursery for sale.
Abutilon ‘Orange Hot Lava’
Abutilon ‘Orange Hot Lava’
Hoya carnosa in flower in the greenhouse.
Hoya carnosa
Hoya carnosa
A gift of seed from Raf Lenaerts. This is Vernicia fordii which has an interesting leaf shape and good autumn colours. Asia has done well to grow these. Not in any reference book I have so we need to trawl the web to find out more.
Vernicia fordii
Vernicia fordii
Vernicia fordii
Vernicia fordii
She has also grown the very rare conifer Fokienia hodginsii successfully from seed. This is a small, slow growing, medium sized shrub which I have seen at Exbury and Borde Hill.
Fokienia hodginsii
Fokienia hodginsii
Euonymus echinatus with seed capsules in the frame. Ready to plant out next spring. This species is evergreen or semi evergreen. Worth trying to grow the seeds.
Euonymus echinatus
Euonymus echinatus

The Labour Party is all over the place. A week ago they were mischievously suggesting that they might vote with the 80 theoretical Tory rebels against 10pm pub/restaurant closures (only 42 Tories actually did). Ten days later Sir Kier Starmer goes on national TV to demand a two week total nationwide lockdown for the whole country after Boris announced the three tier regional restrictions based on near lockdown for the worst COVID areas in the north of England. The Labour mayor and former cabinet minister, Andy Burnham, is refusing to put his city into the most severe lockdown category. Mr Khan, the London mayor, has put London into the mid-tier of restrictions. Nicola Sturgeon has decreed an alcohol free Scotland and the Welsh try to shut their borders!So Boris has gambled for a measure of normality and common sense rather than more economic ruin. COVID is not going to go away and these regional lockdowns will merely delay the inevitable second nationwide lockdown.

One cannot help wondering how many of the scientific advisers from august universities are actually raging left wingers who want to destroy democracy and the economy. The bleating BBC certainly does with not a hint of positive news and panic mongering at every opportunity.

Popular opinion was turning but may now buckle under the new restrictions. ‘Carrying on sensibly and carefully’ is gathering pace and many now know the ‘blessed’ NHS is not quite so wonderful.

Local decisions on lockdown with local political comeback from voters would have been a much better starting point in March than the nationwide lockdown. At least Burnham is fighting for his area while Khan and Essex are not. The government of course gets the blame and, as usual, damned every which way. Far too little is said about the students and young people who have done so much to foster and cause the new outbreaks which we must now all suffer for but why should they care when their symptoms are hardly even that of a common cold when they test positive?

Will the death rates increase to April to May levels? I very much doubt it.

2019 – CHW
The Beatrice Fleur sasanqua camellias are in the ground and wired against rabbits and deer.

sasanqua camellias
sasanqua camellias
sasanqua camellias
sasanqua camellias
The second elderly Camellia sasanqua on the castle wall is now out.
Camellia sasanqua
Camellia sasanqua
Camellia sasanqua
Camellia sasanqua
Secondary flowers on Rhododendron ‘Polyroy’ are rather a surprise.
Rhododendron ‘Polyroy’
Rhododendron ‘Polyroy’
Rhododendron ‘Polyroy’
Rhododendron ‘Polyroy’
Fitzroya cupressoides laden down with ripe seeds.
Fitzroya cupressoides
Fitzroya cupressoides
Fitzroya cupressoides
Fitzroya cupressoides
First flowers out on Peumus boldus. This is a ‘summer flowering’ Chilean tree!
Peumus boldus
Peumus boldus
Peumus boldus
Peumus boldus
Rhus chinensis flowering for the first time as far as I am aware. Yellowish-white in terminal panicles.
Rhus chinensis
Rhus chinensis
Rhus chinensis
Rhus chinensis
Lindera lancea with excellent autumn colour.
Lindera lancea
Lindera lancea
Lindera lancea
Lindera lancea
Callicarpa shirasawana with both flowers and berries.
Callicarpa shirasawana
Callicarpa shirasawana
Callicarpa shirasawana
Callicarpa shirasawana
Acanthopanax aff. sessiliflorus with its globular succulent black fruits hanging on the leafless tree.
Acanthopanax aff. sessiliflorus
Acanthopanax aff. sessiliflorus
Acanthopanax aff. sessiliflorus
Acanthopanax aff. sessiliflorus
Photinia niitakayamensis with pinkish-red fruits.
Photinia niitakayamensis
Photinia niitakayamensis
First flowers on Camellia oleifera.
Camellia oleifera
Camellia oleifera
Camellia oleifera
Camellia oleifera

2018 – CHW
Cornus capitata with the largest strawberry fruits that I have ever seen. Two young trees grown from seed now replace an elderly plant on the main ride which was cut up as dead only a month ago.

Cornus capitata
Cornus capitata
Cornus capitata
Cornus capitata
All leaf has now dropped on Staphylea colchica leaving only the rounded and yellowish seed capsules on the tree.
Staphylea colchica
Staphylea colchica
Staphylea colchica
Staphylea colchica
Many of our aerial grafts have failed in the hot summer. Here the twig has died beyond the graft.
aerial grafts
aerial grafts

2017 – CHW
Surprising to find another new illicium species flowering so late in the year. Illicium oligandrum is now available from Burncoose and this will be an addition to the new 2018 catalogue. This is, I think, the third new illicium species to have flowered here this year. There are a couple more still to perform. The hardiness of these beautiful new shrubs or small trees remains to be tested.
Illicium oligandrum
Illicium oligandrum
Illicium oligandrum
Illicium oligandrum

2016 – CHW

Camellia japonica 'Noblissima'
Camellia japonica ‘Noblissima’
Camellia japonica 'Noblissima'
Camellia japonica ‘Noblissima’
Camellia japonica ‘Noblissima’ has one flower out by the front door which I only just noticed. Is this a record for any early Camellia japonica? Full out by Christmas usually, but this is still mid October and the clocks have not changed yet!
The second ancient Camellia sasanqua is just out by the ladies loo. Here with a hungry bee grabbing the nectar. This plant is much darker in colour than the one which popped out 10 days ago and is now full out.
Camellia sasanqua
Camellia sasanqua

2015 – CHW
Here are the core of the styrax collection all planted in 2008 above the Crinodendron Hedge. They have made outstanding growth into small trees in only eight years and all but one produced fruit this season. Interesting to compare leaf form, fruits and growth habit. All are in full sun with no shade at all.
Styrax wuyuanensis – fruit was there but has vanished in a week

Styrax wuyuanensis
Styrax wuyuanensis
Styrax wuyuanensis
Styrax wuyuanensis
Styrax wuyuanensis
Styrax wuyuanensis

Styrax faberi

Styrax faberi
Styrax faberi
Styrax faberi
Styrax faberi
Styrax faberi
Styrax faberi
Styrax formosanus ‘Hayatiana’
Styrax formosanus ‘Hayatiana’
Styrax formosanus ‘Hayatiana’
Styrax formosanus ‘Hayatiana’
Styrax formosanus ‘Hayatiana’
Styrax formosanus ‘Hayatiana’
Styrax formosanus ‘Hayatiana’
Styrax formosanus ‘Hayatiana’
Styrax formosanus ‘Hayatiana’
Styrax formosanus var formosanus
Styrax formosanus var formosanus
Styrax formosanus var formosanus
Styrax formosanus var formosanus
Styrax formosanus var formosanus
Styrax formosanus var formosanus
Styrax formosanus var formosanus
Styrax hemsleyanus – no fruit – leaves are nearly as big as those of Styrax odoratissimus but less heart shaped
Styrax hemsleyanus
Styrax hemsleyanus
Styrax hemsleyanus
Styrax hemsleyanus
Styrax hemsleyanus
Styrax hemsleyanus
Styrax japonicus ‘Fargesii’ – Tom Hudson thinks this is just a form of a variable species and not a distinct clone worthy of a name but the reference books say otherwise.
Styrax japonicus ‘Fargesii’
Styrax japonicus ‘Fargesii’
Styrax japonicus ‘Fargesii’
Styrax japonicus ‘Fargesii’
Styrax japonicus ‘Fargesii’
Styrax japonicus ‘Fargesii’

1959 – FJW
Bad gale last night. Branches down above Hovel on Williamsianum hybrids. Garden Form Reticulata knocked down below Diva. Chestnut branches very brittle and very heavy nut year. Dutch Barn at Corwenna moved 50ft and Kitchen Garden wall broken. A very dry year indeed – garden saved by 4 days rain in August.

1953 – CW
Only 1 Magnolia out – Grandiflora. A last flower of Delavayi crossed. Hardly any Auriculatum hybrids. Yellow Hammer good and one pink Maddeni. It has been dry some time and garden wants rain. Cyclamen good.

1947 – CW
Eat the last peaches. Still much too dry.

1941 – CW
Six Magnolias out. Both forms of Grandiflora, Nigra, Conspicua, Salicifolia and many Delavayi. Rho Yellow Hammer good also a few late Auriculatum hybrids. Cyclamen and fuchsias good. Wet summer and growth good. Stable Camellia (white) sasanqua in full bloom.

1940 – CW
Fifteen flowers fully open to be seen from lawn on big Magnolia and over a dozen close. Primulinum hybrid rhododendron in full flower. Fuchsias good and several nice bits of colour. A great year for nuts. Camellia sasanqua white and pink good.

1930 – JCW
The early forms of Lutescens are open.

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