Roy Lancaster’s article in the latest Plant Review (formally the unwoke Plantsman) sparked my interest. It is on unusual species of Aucuba and mentions Caerhays twice.
Roy’s introduction of Aucuba omiensis (from Mount Omei) with its huge leaves is now deemed to be a subspecies of Aucuba chinensis by Chinese taxonmoists or simply a form of Aucuba chinensis. Roy begs to differ and it is hard not to agree with him. This is one of our smaller plants of the tree-like Aucuba omiensis that he gave us. The largest one here is now a UK Record Tree.
Aucuba aff. chlorascens (BSWJ 11815e) is not mentioned in Roy’s article but names may have changed. Not listed in Hilliers (grows behind the pollarded Magnolia ‘Pegasus’).
Roy’s article mentioned Aucuba filicauda growing ‘above the house at Caerhays’. When I look I find 4 rather grown in plants of Aucuba himalaica var. dolichophylla beyond the playhouse. I fear a crossed wire here.
Nevertheless, all 3 of these rare and relatively new introductions to the UK do need propagating and including in the Burncoose catalogue. I suspect two of the three already are but need to check with Asia. I think we may have planted out 2 other species mentioned in Roy’s article – A. confertiflora and A. himalaica var. oblanceolate. If so they have either died, been eaten by deer or I have forgotten where they are in the garden?
2022 – CHW
The Queen lies in state in Edinburgh having been driven yesterday from Balmoral where she died on Thursday.A very premature autumn in the garden as expected after the drought and more drought deaths show up.
Secondary flowers, as usual but early, in Rhododendron ‘Norfolk Candy’.
Autumn tints now on Cladrastis kentukea.
Drought strikes two 20 year old Rhododendron auriculatum. New growth from this year dead. After rain some reshooting much lower down the stem. Years to recover and flower again and not a pretty site while they do.
Seeds not yet ripe on Magnolia globosa.
A solitary secondary flower on Rhododendron ‘Jock’.
Rhododendron diaprepes finally has enough strength to flower late.
Sadly, our best Hydrangea sprengeri ‘Diva’ does have dieback to cut out as I feared a year ago after that dry summer.
A leftover of COVID on a camellia!
Mountains of seed on Styrax japonicus ‘Emerald Pagoda’ but nowhere near ripe yet.
Symplocos aff. sumuntia by the Engine House has many more seed heads than last year but they are not yet juicy, black and ripe.
The last (poor) flower on Clethra kaipoensis.
2020 – CHW
Frankie and his mighty machine clear up a fallen tree below Brownberry which was blocking the river.
Another huge Pinus insignis below Forty Acres was doing the same and trying to move it nearly upended the digger as two or three branches were impaled in the river.
Also on Frankie’s worklist is digging out many of the dykes in the water meadows as we are required to do from time to time under our Higher Level Stewardship agreement.
And removing a few riverside trees which revealed an otter pawmark.
The clump of Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise’ by the Fernery looks even more impressive now that most flowers have gone pink and red.
Buds showing but not yet out on the elderly Camellia sasanquas on the castle walls. This one is usually the first to show colour.
2019 – CHW
Autumn colour starting in the nursery and a few odd things still in flower.Exceptional colour on some old leaves of Mahonia aquifolium.
Ligustrum quihoui still with a few flowers left.
Cordyline ‘Southern Splendour’ shows up well at this time of the year beside the other Cordylines and the Phormiums.
Clematis ‘Silver Moon’ is a new addition to the 2020 Burncoose catalogue.
Pseudowintera ‘Moulin Rouge’ comes into its best leaf colour in the autumn.
Enkianthus campanulatus with wonderful red stems and ripening seed heads.
Chaenomeles x superba ‘Crimson and Gold’ with ripe bright red quinces.
A single very late flower on Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Geisha Girl’.
Erica canaliculata glowing with flowers in the sun.
Plenty of seed on the Styrax obassia that was on the Chelsea stand despite its long lorry journey when in flower.
Albizia julibrissen ‘Ombrella’ coming into flower in the show tunnel. I do not think we have ever flowered this variety here before. You need a hot summer!
2018 – CHW
In the nursery for a management meeting this Monday.
Physalis franchettii is performing similarly well. A bizarre orange display of seed capsules.
Stachyurus praecox with a good purple autumn toning. Earlier in the nursery than in the garden.
One forgets how good the Hamamelis autumn colour can be too. Here Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’.
Also Hamamelis vernalis ‘Sandra’. This is worth growing for its late summer and autumn colours alone. It is a few years since I last spotted this at this time of the year.
Tricyrtis hirta has a most peculiar flower. Quite a good thing to jolly up the edge of the border in September.
2017 – CHW
The party to celebrate 25 years of the Great Gardens of Cornwall was held in a tent on Beach Meadow and attended by around 100 people. A very convivial evening!
2016 – CHW
A trip to look mainly at some of our new conifers in the third and outer planting piece in Kennel Close nearest the road.Cephalotaxus fortunei, the Chinese plum yew, planted in 2009 is now above deer height and looking good. Nice silvery undersides to its leaves and a spreading habit.
Rhus chinensis, planted only this year, has made good progress as have the new bamboos below it (more later).
The two (of three planted 2009) Picea likiangensis have really taken off and are now well away. A vigorous species with a blueish hue at this time of the year. A Wilson 1910 and, latterly, a Roy Lancaster introduction of some note which ought to be more widely grown.
Picea mariana, the black spruce, has also got away well but is north American rather than Chinese. It may well produce cones soon by the look of it.
Abies pinsapo, the Spanish fir, has a rather different habit and only came to the UK in 1905. Very vigorous indeed only seven years from planting out.
Picea asperata is another 1910 Wilson introduction doing extremely well.
Picea polita (now apparently Picea torano), the tiger tail spruce from Japan, with very prickly leaves indeed.
Picea glauca has not fared so well and has rather sparse branches which have lost lots of leaves perhaps to nibbling dear but seems to be growing through it and may yet make a good tree.
Abies delavayi is romping away just above it. Quite a contrast!
This is all a totally new subject for me and Caerhays and rather a nice one too. In 2014 we did an Endangered in the Wild stand at Chelsea with lots of rare conifers most of which have ended up in this patch but are not yet large enough to be worthy of the camera and only just getting established. The cedars are doing badly and we are learning (again) that many conifers and our high rainfall do not mix well.
2015 – CHW Cyclamen hederifolium on the lawn here, as at Burncoose, are the harbingers of autumn. JCW spent hundreds of pounds on buying corms from Turkey at the turn of the century and they have naturalised readily on the banks around the castle. The true Cyclamen hederifolium are rose pink but here you see some hybridisation at work.
1982 – FJW
Last corn cut and brought in – very wet from mid August – weeds very bad.
1971 – FJW
David shot his first blackbird before my very eyes.
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