25th 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

Caroline Bell, who is writing an article for the Rhododendron, Camellia & Magnolia Group on the origins of the Japanese Camellia sasanqua in the UK, visited to look at our five elderly sasanqua plants along the castle wall. These date possibly from 1900 or 1902 in the planting records. There is also a Camellia vernalis ‘Dawn’ (‘Ginryu’) with irregular yellow variegations in its leaves which probably dates from 1897. Two plants are still doing well below the nursery bedrooms beside a Magnolia stellata which was also planted then.

Are these the earliest and oldest Camellia sasanquas surviving in the UK? That is the question to be proved or disproved.

The Japanese nursery set up in London in 1907 at Kingsway. Wade’s Hakoneya nursery arrived after WW1. Reuthe’s nursery sold camellias before that and JCW purchased, sadly unnamed, camellias from them in 1900, 1902 and 1905.

The Camellia ‘Lady Clare’ and Camellia ‘Sodekakushi’ (‘Gauntlettii’) beside the front door are very probably from Reuthe’s in 1902. It is perhaps doubtful if the other C. sasanquas along the wall (of the 1880s added on billiard room) were planted before this but the C. vernalis ‘Dawn’ may well have been.

Here they all are yesterday (in order) from the side door:

No. 1 has been out for some time – lighter single pink and quite small flowers.
No. 1
No. 1
No. 1
No. 1
No. 2 is only just full out – larger single white flowers a few of which have an occasional pink flash on the outside of the petals. A drooping habit overall and the flowers hang down too.
No. 2
No. 2
No. 2
No. 2
No. 2
No. 2
No. 3 has only just produced its first single white flowers. A very much more open rounded flower habit and smaller than No. 2.
No. 3
No. 3
No. 3
No. 3
No. 4 was the second to come into full flower. A little darker than No. 1 initially when first out and full of wasps pollenating the (today) very scented flowers.
No. 4
No. 4
No. 4
No. 4
No. 4
No. 4
No. 5 (just through the archway) is always the last to flower but I did spot the first two flowers too high up to photograph properly.
No. 5
No. 5
First flowers out high up on the original Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’. Early!
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia x oleifera ‘Winters Snowman’ just out.
Camellia x oleifera ‘Winters Snowman’
Camellia x oleifera ‘Winters Snowman’
Camellia x oleifera ‘Winters Snowman’
Camellia x oleifera ‘Winters Snowman’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ just out too.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Sparkling Burgundy’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Sparkling Burgundy’

2019 – CHW
Symphoricarpos x doorenbossii ‘Mother of Pearl’ with its white fruit clusters. Some slightly slug or snail damaged.

Symphoricarpos x doorenbossii ‘Mother of Pearl’
Symphoricarpos x doorenbossii ‘Mother of Pearl’
Symphoricarpos x doorenbossii ‘Mother of Pearl’
Symphoricarpos x doorenbossii ‘Mother of Pearl’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ just out into fine flower.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia x vernalis ‘Yuletide’ is still in tight bud here but already out in the nursery at Burncoose.
Camellia x vernalis ‘Yuletide’
Camellia x vernalis ‘Yuletide’
Camellia x vernalis ‘Yuletide’
Camellia x vernalis ‘Yuletide’
Fuchsia hatsbachii is still in full flower although with some juicy black seeds. Four or five years on from planting this is now 5ft tall with a 7ft spread. A worthy shrub for a border or woodland setting.
Fuchsia hatsbachii
Fuchsia hatsbachii
Fuchsia hatsbachii
Fuchsia hatsbachii
Fuchsia hatsbachii
Fuchsia hatsbachii

2018 – CHW
A younger form of Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ with less pink blotching in the flowers than the old plant on the Top Wall.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’
Rhododendron ‘Norfolk Candy’ has been out for three weeks. This is a superb secondary autumn flowerer.
Rhododendron ‘Norfolk Candy’
Rhododendron ‘Norfolk Candy’
Rhododendron ‘Norfolk Candy’
Rhododendron ‘Norfolk Candy’
A Rhododendron cumberlandense which I thought was dead from drought (like its two neighbours) has decided to reshoot lower down the stem.
Rhododendron cumberlandense
Rhododendron cumberlandense
Good autumn colour on Cornus kousa ‘Doubloon’.
Cornus kousa ‘Doubloon’
Cornus kousa ‘Doubloon’
Cornus kousa ‘Doubloon’
Cornus kousa ‘Doubloon’
And on Rhododendron weyrichii.
Rhododendron weyrichii
Rhododendron weyrichii
Rhododendron weyrichii
Rhododendron weyrichii

2017 – CHW
A clump of Rhododendron davidsonianum has been hard pruned to reshoot.
Rhododendron davidsonianum
Rhododendron davidsonianum
In the Rireii Opening more laurel hedge pruning.
laurel hedge pruning
laurel hedge pruning
laurel hedge pruning
laurel hedge pruning
Odd and worrying yellow discoloration on a young Rhododendron rothschildanum. Unusual but what is the cause?
Rhododendron rothschildanum
Rhododendron rothschildanum
Rhododendron rothschildanum
Rhododendron rothschildanum

2016 – CHW
A surprise unknown rhododendron in the yakusimanum hybrids clump has several flowers. Cannot place it.
unknown rhododendron
unknown rhododendron
unknown rhododendron
unknown rhododendron
A young Stewartia monodelpha above the greenhouse is making a nice red display. Its first as only planted this year.
Stewartia monodelpha
Stewartia monodelpha
Stewartia monodelpha
Stewartia monodelpha
But not as red or good as Stewartia henryae nearby in the new styrax and stewartia plantation.
Stewartia henryae
Stewartia henryae
Stewartia henryae
Stewartia henryae
The east winds have mounded up the fallen yellowish beech leaves outside the back yard with a good smattering of old Magnolia delavayi leaves blown up from below the wall and up Laundry Hill. Unusual for it to blow in the east in October but no trees down as yet as far as I know.
Magnolia delavayi leaves
Magnolia delavayi leaves
fallen yellowish beech leaves
fallen yellowish beech leaves

2015 – CHW
Before the rain I revisit the liquidambers to see how the colour has developed in the last few days. Answer: virtually no progress and still largely green in leaf.

On the way I come across a small Ginkgo ‘Jade Butterflies’ which had previously been hidden away by deciduous azaleas now cut down. No hint of yellow autumn colour yet but a tidy little plant with very attractive leaves. A 2008 planting of three different leaved named ginkgos but very slow progress which is typical of ginkgos. I will try to catch up with the other varieties when they turn colour.

Ginkgo ‘Jade Butterflies’
Ginkgo ‘Jade Butterflies’
Ginkgo ‘Jade Butterflies’
Ginkgo ‘Jade Butterflies’
Ginkgo ‘Jade Butterflies’
Ginkgo ‘Jade Butterflies’
Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Red Star’ has moved on a bit in colour. The only one of the four to have done so. The lower branches have orange and yellow tints while the leader has more purple tones with a hint of black. It is in a good spot to be seen from the drive and will be a feature plant one day.
Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Red Star’
Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Red Star’
Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Red Star’
Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Red Star’
Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Red Star’
Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Red Star’

1998 – FJW
Many flowers on Nov Pink. Very wet year – very wet week.1962 – FJW
Rain came after 3 weeks.

1953 – CW
Picked first Camellia oleifera from wall almost open. Many pink Sasanqua as well as white open. Lot of Rho neriiflorum in Drive, also mucronulatum. November Pink showing colour, picked 2 buds.

1934 – JCW
Things are much as is usual and no frost as yet. Magnolia delavayi has had some fairish flower.

1918 – JCW
Lapagerias, hydrangeas, rose beds are fairly good. R decorum and neriiflorum look well. Various other rhodo’s give bits of flower. Clematis panniculata is good.

1906 – JCW
C sasanqua in flower (two or three). A few two year old daffs up. Cyclamen are good yet and so are the lapagerias and roses. There has been a long fine autumn now apparently breaking.

1903 – JCW
We have two Polyanthus seedlings in flower. Tin Garden, a few two years old showing, no one year old. The cyclamen are over now.

(Handwritten note attached to Garden Book page, 1931)
Put in about 18 seeds of C speciosa x Camellia reticulata close to Gun Room door.
(Additional Note: July 21st 1932: six seeds are up.)

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