2023 – CHW
The final grass cut in Kennel Close.
Now that I have in the garden library the very excellent ‘New Zealand Native Trees’ by Dawson and Lucas, with a host of good pictures, I can have another look at our Prumnopitys plants.This is one of our Prumnopitys taxifolia’s. It looks largely dead today and more of a shrub than a coniferors tree. This is however only its (lengthy) juvenile stage and, instead of drooping twiglets at the top of the plant as now, it will eventually develop a leading trunk and grow into a very long lined evergreen tree.
So, of the three species of Prumnopitys we may well have only one. This explains my confusion at a recent visit to Tregrehan and looking at their two New Zealand species; P. taxifolia and P. ferruginea. Neither are listed as being included in our National Collection of Podocarpaceae.
We will eventually have to cut back the plants beside these two trees to give them room to become trees which was not that obvious when we planted them 15 years ago. There is another Prumnopitys taxifolia above Hovel Cart Road with more room at the end of the Podocarpus windbreak here.
2021 – CHW
A trip to Tregrehan where I made the cardinal sin of confusing Camellia oleifera with Camellia taliensis as I have in this diary for many years. My father before me too. Our elderly plants are C. taliensis and not C. oleifera and hence my surprise at the appearance of Tom’s C. oleifera. Just one of those gardening things! I remain an amateur with professionals like Tom!
Asia and I went to collect another (second) set of camellia species cuttings to go with those collected in October 2018. A full list of the cuttings taken can be seen at the end of this entry. From the October 2018 cuttings we have grown on about a dozen new species to Caerhays.
Seed heads forming on Camellia tuberculata.
I see that the summer flowering Camellia azalea hybrid, ‘1001 Summer Nights Jasmine’, is available after its Chelsea debut for £49.99 from Thompson & Morgan. Tom and I agree we will not be rushing to get one.
C. japonica (from Korea – BSWJ 5906)
C. sinensis assamica
C. strictoclada (C. strictocarpa?)
C. oleifera – East China
C. bailingschanica (two forms with different coloured flowers)
2020 – CHW
A fine secondary flowering as usual on Rhododendron ‘Yellow Hammer’.
I attach a list of the ilex species collected by George Forrest on various expeditions to China derived from my father’s notes. Remembering that JCW asked Forrest to find him ‘nice evergreens’ instead of (just) rhododendrons in the early 1920s it is likely that we still have original Forrest plants here of Ilex dipyrena, Ilex bioritsensis (Ilex pernyi var. veitchii or perhaps I. pernyi to Forrest) and Ilex kingiana (although Forrest does not use this name on his earlier trips). Those species which have died out here over the years but which were probably original Forrest introductions include Ilex corallina* (measured here in 1960s), Ilex cytura, Ilex yunnanensis*, Ilex fargesii and Ilex georgei (which I replaced but that too has died). (* = replaced more recently)
The name changes over the last hundred years since Forrest’s time make this the sort of complex botanical puzzle which I simply do not have the time (or botanical knowledge) to unravel further.
Outside Edwina’s house in the village is a Cotoneaster bullatus producing a fine show of berries.
Asia found seeds on one of our four young 10 year old Cephalotaxus fortunei. This proves that we have one female plant and probably three male ones. Certainly we noticed that the flowers were rather different on what we then thought were male as opposed to female plants. The seed capsules themselves do not look like the date plum, which is the common name for Cephalotaxus, but when you strip out the seed itself it certainly does look like a ‘date plum’.
The new sales point and shop is rising up from the ground.
A few more new plants for the 2017 Burncoose catalogue.Fagus longipetiolata is as its name implies. Two incorrectly named plants in the garden here.
An excellent Photinia bretschneideri was also shown. A good display of varied autumn colour plants but very few seeds for the members to fight over afterwards. Ten years ago they had to wait while the Queen Mother filled her large handbag first. Also today a visit to the RHS to sort out plans for the Rhododendron, Camellia & Magnolia Group’s stand at Chelsea next year. Progress!
Fuchsias and lapagerias good. Very few auriculatum hybrids left – Yellowhammer picked a bunch for Aunt Charlotte. Three vases of Royal Flush in hall. Many small bits of rhodo but little to pick. Both forms of Magnolia grandiflora have many flowers. Camellia sasanqua (white) by stables in full bloom. A very wet September and brambles bad.
Back from Scotland. Cyclamen, lapageria and roses are all nice also Romneya, but Clematis paniculata is the best thing. Solanums and cassia are also fairly good, also the hydrangeas.