Nursery visits today to try to buy up more stock in what felt like the great escape at the end of the school term. Shops were allowed to reopen, pubs with outside gardens as well, and our holiday lets suddenly become full. The roads were no fuller than of late, but I fear that the M5 will have been full of caravans. Certainly, I saw/suffered a few on the trip.
Daphne pontica with more pointed and elongated flowers than in some forms.
Zanthoxylum acanthopodium which I had never seen before. All these zanthoxylum species are prickly ‘nasties’ but this one seems evergreen and especially so.
Syringa pinnatifolia in flower which it certainly is not outside here as yet.
Malus transitoria ‘Ruby’ still carrying last autumn’s fruits and just starting to leaf up and soon to flower. Read about this plant but I had never seen it.
I think this is Pimelia drupacea in flower which I had also never seen. An Australian shrub which reminds me of Ozothamnus and very attractive today.
Ilex x meserveae ‘Casanova’ nearly in flower and a great contrast. Again, never seen before.
Back home the laurel hedge cutting has made great progress in the main quarry. Cut now we have a chance of some regrowth cover by the autumn. The key question is whether to chop down (to reshoot) the original and huge Camellia x williamsii ‘November Pink’ (no) or the other two camellias behind it (perhaps).
Rhododendron augustinii now full out below the main quarry. This group are a paler colour than many others but what a gentle colour in the evening light.
2020 – CHWIf you send soldiers to war with inadequate kit they blame the army and their generals (eg armoured cars susceptible to roadside bombs). When it is the leaders of the NHS and the BBC their troops blame the government, of course, for the lack of personal protective equipment. Why are the NHS, doctors and nurses unions etc, not looking to their own leaders’ inadequacy? Why do they not see that they had just as much time to sort their own kit as the government? Are governments really supposed to sort out everything ‘just like that’ when we do not actually make most of the stuff in the UK? It is Chinese of course.
The best moment came when the BBC (unusually) attempted to be balanced by asking if any nurses had been ‘overusing’ their protective kit? The nurses leader was ready for that and said her nurses were disgusted by that suggestion ‘which they had anticipated’! Might be true in part then?
I remember a lovely statement made by a rail union leader decades ago where he told a reporter ‘far too many railwaymen are being killed working on the railways’. Did he mean that more passengers should be killed instead? The doctors and nurses are in much the same position as they complain so bitterly now, but, they do not see it!
All building up to the huge financial reward that they will no doubt claim at the end of all this. They are, after, all, doing a vocational job which they signed up for risks and all.
The BBC started its Easter Sunday news not with something peaceful, warm or nice. In fact it was an unproven story (by their own admission) based on hearsay from a few doctors. The story was a vicious, worrying statement that hospitals were (all) running out of key drugs. Scaremonger in chief would be a good title for the BBC lefties. I suspect the government will argue this is fake news and they may well be right.
Staphylea holocarpa ‘Innocence’ now full out.
Magnolia ‘Sunburst’ is just coming out nicely on the drive by the fernery. True to name too.
Magnolia stellata ‘Jane Platt’ now full out on Hovel Cart Road. I have seen pinker forms of this plant which is often not true to name in the trade.
A visit to the Isla Rose Plantation to see what was out
Magnolia ‘Sentinel’ has its first three flowers and is true to name although it did not look as if it was when in bud.
Berberis xanthoclada with a good show of flowers and growing well in a windy spot. Looks set to be a large shrub.
Amelanchier bartraniana is a new species to Caerhays. Floriferous with, so far, a compact habit.
Amelanchier florida looks much the same! The Mark Bulk nursery labels are still on both plants which were planted in 2017. Perhaps the leaves will be different?
The newish 2017 planting is starting to take shape as you can a bit see here. A large area to fill!
Flowers just out on Malus ‘Profusion’ which looks a bit battered from the winter.
Prunus ‘Gyoiko’ is a peculiar mix of green and white in enormous flower trusses for such a young tree.
Prunus ‘Daikoku’ is even better!
Sorbus yulana with its early leaves. Not very obviously Sorbus-like.
Rhododendron monstroseanum fades a bit once out.
Rhododendron ‘Harry Tagg’ quite excellent as usual.
More yellows in the afternoon in Penvergate.The spreading Magnolia ‘Limelight’ below the tower.
Magnolia officinalis var. biloba looks exactly like a Manglietia species as the three outer pink petals quickly droop or drop downwards. Here is the flower in various stages of its development. Come to think of it Magnolia obovata has Manglietia like outer petals too.
Paulownia fortunei now properly out. Its early white flowers were frosted.
Magnolia ‘Scented Gem’ came from Kevin Hughes’ Plants. It is beautifully scented with not a ‘normal’ magnolia smell – better than that!
Magnolia ‘Yellow Bird’ is nearly over. Magnolia ‘Yellow Fever’, beside it, has yet to show. Most years they are out together but usually with some leaf already out on both. After three weeks of no rain and a hot last week no sign of any leaf at all yet.
Magnolia ‘Yellow Lantern’ from a distance from below the Rockery.
2019 – CHW
Malus ‘Evelyn’ (Malus ioensis ‘Evelyn’) just coming out in the Isla Rose planting. First flowering with us.
Prunus ‘Gyoiko’ with its huge greenish white flowers.
A surprise final bud on Magnolia ‘Phelan Bright’ long after the other flowers have dropped.
Flower cones on our Pilgerodendron uviferum spotted for the first time.
Rhododendron monstroseanum with its first two flowers on a 15 year old plant.
The puzzle of Magnolia ‘Butterflies’! This is our 1976 planted record tree of say 40ft in height with nice yellow flowers. However most of the M. ‘Butterflies’ that one sees are shrubby spreading bushes with branches that distend horizontally. No more than 6-8ft in height as our other two newer and younger ones are. M. ‘Butterflies’ and Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ were the first two yellow flowering magnolias with flowers before their leaves. Ours is clearly an original as is ‘Elizabeth’ of similar size. Are there two forms or will the shrubby plants eventually develop a true leading shoot and become a tree? Jim Gardiner’s book says it is a medium sized tree. Hilliers say it is ‘small’.
2018 – CHW
At the nursery for various meetings on an overcast day.The new Distyllum racemosum ‘Blue Cascade’ has attractive new growth now.
Prunus autumnalis ‘Rosea’ in full flower rather late this year!
Prunus sargentii just coming out.
Rob has now cleared the whole clump of laurel on the back drive. A huge oak branch fell on it. We need now to poison the stumps as a digger trying to dig them out would make too much damage to the walls.
Grevillea lonigera ‘Mount Tamboritha’ nicely out.
Cardiocrinum giganteum shooting away nicely after the cold.
A few cardiocrinum plants are producing flowering spikes. These have been put aside for Chelsea.
A new plant to us; Grevillea ‘Bronze Rambler’ has unusual coloured flowers and is said to be hardy to -7°.
You seldom see Aucuba japonica ‘Rozanne’ actually in flower. Rather pretty close up.
An excellent Magnolia ‘Sunrise’ in full flower at the cash point.
The Trillium sessile are flowering well too.
2017 – CHW
Still dry and probably near critical if we do not get rain soon.There used to be 25 of these Rhododendron ‘Elizabeth’ at the Four in Hand. Three elderly plants survive – one only just.
Now to see all the Matsumae cherries planted last autumn flowering for the first time here.Prunus ‘Matsumae-hanagasa’ (syn ‘Pink Parasol’) is putting on a good show and very pretty.
Prunus ‘Matsumae-beni-murasaki’ (syn ‘Candy Floss’) rather less spectacular but will be good.
The Kunming camellias are nearly over and too tall and enclosed now to see properly. I remember six to eight varieties but only two seem to remain in the old Charlie Michaels Nursery bed.
Some young, bought in Enkianthus serrulatus flowering for the first time. Not yet anything like as good as Tom Hudson’s plant and I wonder if they are indeed true to name?
Likewise three Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Ruby Glow’.
Another good flower on a young Magnolia ‘Burgundy Star’. It may be as good as ‘Caerhays Surprise’ one day?
Prunus ‘Horinji’ – really floriferous and looking great already.
Magnolia ‘Maxine Merrill’ just out. A smallish yellow but a good colour this year. Very floriferous from a young age.
Magnolia ‘Spring Rite’ – not exactly spring!
Prunus ‘Hokusai’ – yet another new Japanese cherry but a nice contrast of pink and white. Not as floriferous as some.
The new Magnolia ‘Sunset Swirl’ now full out unlike last week. Similar to ‘Peachy’ etc really.
Camellia ‘Tiny Princess’ has very sparse flowers. Three in fact on the whole 20 plus year old bush!
Prunus ‘Gyoiko’ here is a new plant but we have another more mature one below the tower which is 20ft tall and just coming out now.
Magnolia ‘Sweet Valentine’ is nice by the Green Gate. Flowers are getting larger with maturity.
Prunus ichiyo (syn ‘Pink Champagne’) is very good also by the cash point.
Prunus ‘Matsumae-fuki’ (syn ‘Chocolate Ice’) may yet be the pick of the bunch. Certainly a great contrast between leaf and flower as the name implies.
2016 – CHW
A most hectic day with two full tours, one with lunch and one with tea and drinks. The first with William and Susie Gore from Pencarrow Farm, near Camelford, and their friends who have won the tour in an auction last year. Azalea Vuyks Rosyred is just out by the cashpoint as I try to find them amid a coachload of German visitors.
I discover the first flowers ever on Enkianthus serrulatus which was given to us as a large layer last summer by Tom Hudson. If this species had ever grown here before I can find no obvious record of it. The white flowers are much larger than on any other species and appear well before the leaves are properly out which, it would seem, is the only enkianthus to do this or to flower so early. A welcome new addition to the enkianthus collection which is growing nicely.
Illicium floridanum (possibly Illicium mexicanum) beside the Camellia ‘George Blandford’ on the main ride has loads of flowers but its leaves look yellowish. At the Hillier arboretum this plant seems to do best in full shade.
Lindera obtusiloba is still not full out but beginning to look quite nice. Although I saw this full out at Rosemoor three weeks ago it has been slow to perform here. More sheltered here?
The second group in the afternoon is led by Richard and Merigold Webb from Webbs of Wychbold garden centre. They are longstanding gardening friends and arrive in good odour having filled their cars with Burncoose plants in the morning.
Magnolia ‘Goldstar’, a yellow stellata hybrid, is perhaps the third yellow magnolia to emerge (arguably a little late) this season.
Magnolia ‘Kalleberg’ above Crinodendron Hedge is quite nice looking; a bit like Magnolia cylindrica. The tree clearly has a large sucker from below the graft to deal with.
The soon to be popular Magnolia ‘Genie’ nearby (one of four in the garden in flower today) has larger flowers than the one by the Acer griseum but still rather smaller than the pictures of it in New Zealand. Is this darker or better than the equally popular Magnolia ‘Black Tulip? Clearly ‘Genie’ is going to be a much smaller growing magnolia than ‘Black Tulip’ and has more red than purple in its flower. These flowers have been bashed about a bit but have a pleasant white rim and inside to the tepals. If and when the flowers achieve the same size as in New Zealand it will be the better plant. Even now it just about shaves a win over Black Tulip.
Rhododendron praestans has a single flower out below Burns Bank. I think it is this species and not the adjacent Rhododendron monstroseanum.
We finish at 5.30pm which means nearly six hours of tours with two groups of six. The dogs are exhausted and are not alone but then Richard Wayne turns up with a roe deer haunch and roe deer burgers. Very good!
2015 – CHW
Part of a day of showing Tim and Ali around the garden properly. They have a new garden in Dorset and are thinking about how to create something serious. They have been staying in St Mawes and have visited Heligan and Tregothnan before Caerhays.
The outstanding new things which we saw today were:
Saw on the lake this evening a pair of shelduck which flew out to sea. These huge and colourful ducks nest in rabbit holes but I have never seen one at Caerhays before.
1979 – FJW
About 30 Magnolias out in Big Wood. Calophytums outstanding. New layers by Tin Garden flowering well for first time. Beaneanum and Arboreum flowering for 1st time. Corylopsis coming. Still no leaf on Michelias and Auklandii still look dead.
1919 – JCW
Mr Bean is here. Cerasus subhirtella is very good. Various rhodo’s recovering from frost. Spinuliferum hybrids very nice in the bed. Calophytum good, sutchuenense passing. Fortunei x Arboreum good. Fargesii passing. Red auklandii’s are moderate, white auklandii x are hardier.
1916 – JCW
Weeping cherries fair, other cherries start, most of the other things injured by cold and cold wet. Daffs about their best but are poor and small.
1914 – JCW
The pendulous cherries at their best, the others coming on. R racemosum good in the beds. Clematis alpinia V.G. Rho spinuliferum is super – white Auklandii x Arboreums coming on. Daffs going off. Arboreum x Thomsonii over. Mrs Butler x going back. Auklandii just starting. R fargesii over.
1907 – JCW
Not quite all of the De Graaf are open, but this is about our best day for daffs, a few cherries show colour.
1903 – JCW
Nearly all the seedlings of value have opened, the Doriton, J B W Cassum is well out, one or two Waterers are open.
1898 – JCW
Dielytras starting into flower also parrot tulips, bicolor not open. The seedling beds are going back though there are several yet to open. Mrs Langtry only half open and so the M Cowen.
1897 – JCW
Habrothummus and Clianthus just open, Myosotis humile and parrot tulips. Daffodils except bicolor nearly over, Dielytras at their best. C montana opens.