Eucryphia moorei just inside the entrance to the nursery.
Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ exhibiting its autumn colours.
The new introduction to the website finally in flower – Thunbergia battiscombei.
Euonymus planipes with more ripe seed heads.
Autumn colours on Aesculus flava.
And on Aesculus x mutabilis ‘Induta’.
And on Aesculus pavia ‘Atrosanguinea’.
Nyssa sylvatica ‘Wisley Bonfire’ starting to turn properly autumnal.
Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress’ just out in flower.
Magnolia aquifolium with good autumn colour.
2022 – CHW
A large pallet of daffodil bulbs arrive (as ordered) as a naturalising mix to be planted on the public route to Old Park below White Styles. Jaimie may need to sort the mini digger (from Burncoose Nurseries) to get these into the ground fresh and quickly.
You can just see a large shoal of trout in the lake in this picture. We always think that cormorants, shags and herons have decimated our trout of any size in the (freshwater) seaside lake but this proves otherwise. Not for the first time this year it would that we have a good stock of trout and some much larger than you see here. Our wonderful retired now stand in/ relief vicar, who first came to here in 1973 has been known to exaggerate the size of the fish he tries to catch in the spring but I now stand corrected!
The Barn Owl box in the circular Noah’s Ark has been in place for 3 or 4 years. No resting birds have used it but it is, demonstrably, now an occasional barn owl roost. Noah’s Ark was built in the 1890’s by Mr. Noah, who lived then in the Bottom Lodge, to overwinter the 2 or 3 large cows that provided milk and butter to the castle. English Heritage originally listed it as an ‘ice house’ in the early 1970’s but this has long since been corrected and updated. Major repairs are needed (i.e. a new roof) although we have undertaken measures to stabilise the problem short term. Hopefully, perhaps a grant award to help us with full restoration from Historic England one day?
As I write this I hear a heavy duty Air Sea Rescue Helicopter nearby for some considerable time. The evening is still and sound direction can be misleading. However I rang some our staff to see what was happening out to sea as we have seen it all before and sea rescues do not always end well. In a tragedy it is always the estates fault regardless of reality. Apparently a Mother sets 2 children out on paddle boards after 5pm, and apparently, then leaves to walk the dog elsewhere. Apparently ‘a local’ hears cries for help while walking the cliff path. Anyway then a RNLI coastguard rescue boat, big helicopter, 2 ambulances and lots of other blue lights.
Can one guess the cost to the UK taxpayer? £30-£50k? I have no knowledge of the facts or details (as yet) but expect that the taxpayer will cop the lot with not a hint of an apology from those rescued. We have seen it all before!
2021 – CHW
Another visit to the greenhouses to see what was out in flower or in berry.
After the grass cutting on the banks the autumn cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium) have suddenly appeared in profusion. Pink and white forms. A timely cut.
Hedychium greenii has not flowered this year.
Entelia arborescens, the New Zealand cork tree, was a gift (I think) from Marwood Hill. Leaves a bit like a catalpa?
The Brassaiopsis dumicola flower still not fully out.
Parastyrax sp. nova (BWJ 15185) with early autumn tints.
Fuchsia speciosa in full flower.
Escallonia resinosa which used to be in the Burncoose catalogue years ago.
2020 – CHW
Silvery indumentum on the newer growth and a fine snake bark stem developing on Acer tegmentosum ‘Valley Phantom’.
Odd shaped seed pods on Magnolia kobus ‘Octopus’ – only a few.
A rather larger effort on Magnolia ‘Atlas’ x Magnolia ‘Vulcan’.
Magnolia ‘Cleopatra’ with very dark and very late secondary flowers which have been attacked by slugs and snails.
The clump of Chusquea gigantia is now completely dead.
Parastyrax sp. nova (13185) was planted out today below the x veitchii. Wonderful autumn tints and an exceptional growth rate over the last two years from when I purchased it at huge cost at the Tregrehan rare plant fair.
Acer erythrocladum with exceptional autumn colour.
The rhododendron species and hybrids planted out today from Millais were as follows:
– Rhododendron Veryan Bay
– Rhododendron Loderi Helen
– Rhododendron Loderi Pink Coral
– Rhododendron Loderi Sir Edmund
Some went into the former Orchid House Nursery bed along with several others from previous plantings.
Exceptional growth in a dry year on the newly planted Ehretia macrophylla.
An amusing little snippet from a friend.
2019 – CHW
The large Acer griseum below Kennel Close has peeling bark right up into its extremities which looks wonderful in the evening sun.
A giant mushroom, larger than Michael’s hand, has appeared on the lawn. Jaimie is rather partial to these so I doubt it will make it to our kitchen.
Some rather ominous looking mushrooms which I fear are growing on the roots of the Magnolia ‘Delia Williams’ on the lawn. The fungi appear to be emerging from the very edge of the gravel beside the lawn; presumably where the magnolia roots have got damaged.
2018 – CHW
I had a moan yesterday about the drought persisting. Just look at these half defoliated, drooping and half dead hydrangeas on the drive in shade but near the roots of a huge Pinus insignis. There are plenty more like it and the position remains critical. Hurricanes in North and South Carolina so we may get the tail end of this next week – hopefully!
The pheasants do not seem to like the fruits on Crataegus x grignonensis and they all remain ripe but intact on this small tree.
Nearby a top grafted Sorbus reducta has had its fruits largely gobbled up already.
Heptacodium micinoides just past its best. I have seen tree like forms of this in warmer counties with less rainfall than here but, with us, they are short lived shrubs and seem to succumb after 20 to 25 years or so.
2017 – CHW
At last some time off to look around the garden properly without anyone hassling me!
We are starting to build a new shop and sales point at the entrance to the garden using the slab base from the old plant sales point.
Cornus kousa var chinensis ‘Wisley Queen’ has very fine rounded red fruits. No sign of a squirrel attack which shows that the trapping is working.
Secondary flowers on young Rhododendron ‘Bow Bells’ are a pleasant surprise in the sunlight.
Ternstroemia gymnanthera has attractive red secondary new growth and is now well away 18 months after planting. Our first Ternstroemia so I must look up what to expect.
Could we really dig up this Schefflera macrophylla and take it to Chelsea next year? It is about 10ft tall and the leaves are 6-8ft across.
The Schefflera myriocarpa flowers are still emerging. Schefflera taiwaniana has buds at the top which are only just starting to develop.
2016 – CHW
A trip in the new four seater mule. Luxury which I fear will make me idle! Styrax serrulatus is producing a good crop of seeds but they are far from ripe yet. 1991 planting but very rare in cultivation. Asia needs to grab these in three to four weeks.
Cladastris kentukea is starting to turn yellow very early as it often does.
Compare and contrast the seed pods on two ‘Chinese lantern trees’ as we used to call them as children when collecting seeds with Dad. Properly ‘bladder nuts’ of course!Staphylea colchica
Clearly the name is in the leaf not the seeds! Pinnata has trilobed seeds pods even if also pinnate leaves! Asia need to get picking them now.The Michelia doltsopas have virtually no seeds this year unlike last when they were plastered. Plenty of seedlings growing on but this is all I could find low down on the old plant by Georges Hut. Strange as we had no frost to damage the pollen. Perhaps they just flowered too early in the year for pollination? The few seeds there are are far from ripe.
Must remind Asia or Jaimie to collect the huge seed pod on Magnolia officinalis var biloba in Penvergate in 10 days or so.
We all agree it is a bad magnolia seedling year but in the rireii opening the Magnolia sargentiana var robusta is laden with seed pods which are nearly ripe.
Next door to it Magnolia mollicomata has a few smallish pods high up but not many. Same reasoning for the michelias?
This is the first plant which has grown on well from the multitude of fertile seed from Lindera aggregata which we propagated 10 years or so ago. Slow growing and shrub-like with tiny flowers this is never going to be anything but a collector’s item. We must have a dozen or fifteen different lindera species in the garden now. Anyway it is Chinese and bloody rare but in the Burncoose catalogue!
Meliosma dilleniifolia var cuneifolia has huge pendulous seed clusters to match its flowering habit above the two M x veitchii specimens. The seed is not ripe yet but will soon be ready for Asia to collect. I have not seen seed form on this plant before but probably have not thought to look.
High time Asia collected the Magnolia sieboldii sinensis seed too from the original surviving wild collected plant. Magnolia sieboldii is ready now too in its various named forms. Big wedding today below the castle. Marquee from London which they started to put up on Tuesday. £25k cost we reckon as it was huge and upraised – not that the area is really that uneven. Sadly they are not staying in any of our accommodation and we have ‘bridge players’ at The Vean instead. Mary described the marquee decoration as ‘Chelsea chique by the sea’. She was on security/bouncer duty for two and a half days. They did not trust us last night not to pinch the silver! I sneaked one picture of the bride and snuck into the yard after the guests were all in the tent at 5pm.
2015 – CHW
A last clethra in full flower. It is labelled Clethra tomentosa which is a new species to me. A suckering plant of about six to eight feet with no great scent today in the rain. The other clethras nearby are long over as is Clethra delavayi which we normally think of as being late or even the last to flower. Hillier’s says Clethra tomentosa is a late flowering US species.
1918 – JCW
The hydrangeas are good. The terrace roses nice. The two big R decorum near the Tin Garden good, the R primulinums very pretty, ten or twelve other species show flowers in varying degrees of value. Haematodes and hippophaeoides being the best.
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