2023 – CHW
A visit to Burncoose to make our first video about the restoration of The Cooper House and Coach House. DJW did the honours.
2022 – CHW
A warm but somewhat overcast Good Friday. Karol and I managed three bits of filming including the Rhodoleia and various Michelias which Burncoose has for sale.
Magnolia x veitchii ‘Isca’ and Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’ from the lawn.
An attempt today to photograph the flowers on various Rhododendron sinogrange, some pure and some grown from seed, which have considerable flower variations. Cold at night still but warm by day. Rain needed desperately after nothing for a month.Magnolia ‘Ivory Chalice’ (Magnolia acuminata x Magnolia denudata) in Old Park starting to flower away.
There has never been a time previously when I could enjoy the garden twice a day and watch everything opening up on a daily basis at the prime time of the year for a woodland garden. I feel that I now know every nook and cranny in the garden as never before and could make a worklist for the next 12 months if we had more people to do all the work. A mental one now exists anyway.It is one hell of a prison to be shut up in but I have run out of rude things to say about the BBC for the moment as their worm has turned on their line now (a rather popular one here) is that we should go back to work; or some of us anyway. Having rushed to promote shutting the country down, which history will show to have been unnecessary and draconian (whatever the shortages), they are now riding on the popular bandwagon of public opinion again about reopening. Hypocritic bastards!We await Boris’ return and ‘the big decision’. Until then I might not even listen to the BBC’s bleating which, as I have said before, will soon now be ‘government inflicted hardship and misery for the poor’. This will be pretty rich from a BBC filled with Remoaners and easily classed as the metropolitan liberal elite! A few days before we get Robert Peston and Laura Kuenssberg on that but it is coming.A trip to The Vean to see that all was secure in lockdown with no one having been there for three weeks. All quiet but still a lot of tidying to do in the shrub borders as instructed in January.Phlomis fruiticosa just coming out as a huge clump.
Time to look at some yellow magnolias as they come into flower a month or so earlier than usual. Needless to say I get distracted!Magnolia ‘Lemon Star’ (syn. Swedish Star) is a brilliant yellow as it first comes out.
We are off on a tour of Irish gardens for four days so there will be a pause in the diary.Much work last week in laying the main electric cable much deeper into the ground in Beach Meadow, our new wedding venue. At a previous event a tent pole hit the cable and blacked out several villages. Hopefully the cable will now be too deep in the ground for this sort of problem to arise again.
‘Magnolia mania’ may have been delayed in this late spring but it is certainly here now so visit Caerhays this week and catch it at its best:Magnolia ‘Sundance’ – an early yellow
2017 – CHW
Clearance work around Orchid House Nursery to allow access for heavy machinery to clear behind the Playhouse this summer.This old tree fern trunk shows a woody core.Startling new shoots from the bamboos above the greenhouse which have appeared where the laurel has been cleared. They look like Phyllostachys nigra but I do not recollect planting this species here.
Then off to Penvergate.
This is the first flowering of Paulownia fortunei. One of the nice surprises of the year as I had no idea that we even had this species here. White flowers with dark purple insides to the trumpet and a dash of lilac on the lower outside.
Jaimie has taken pictures of the start of the repairs to the Old Dog Kennels below the Kitchen Garden. It is starting to look like a building again. This is the building which Natural England are very keen to see restored and for which they have provided a large grant under Caerhays’ Higher Level Scheme agreement. However, for some bizarre reason, they will not grant aid the construction of the roof. To restore a building with public funds for use by visitors to Old Park garden without a roof seems somewhat illogical but there we are. The work will take about 12 weeks and includes repairs to the adjacent Kitchen Garden wall.
Back on the night train to a day of meetings. The first house martins have arrived at the castle where they nest in scores or even hundreds by the end of August in the eaves under the castellations. They are five days late despite the southerly winds and sand pollution from the Sahara. Normally a few swifts nest with them but have heard them yet.A quick viewing of the now completed, wired and staked new planting above Roger’s Quarry. All looking good but we need rain.
2004 – FJW
Very sunny spring. Today a nice soak of rain. George’s Veitchii at its best.
1990 – FJW
1100 Easter opening. Donkey Shoe Rho loderi full out.
1979 – FJW
3200 at Open Day (Easter Sunday). Magnolias quite splendid. Miss Pascoe died.
1935 – JCW
(Typed letter attached to Garden Book page)
From Knapp Hill Nursery to J.C.Williams, Esq.
Dear Mr Williams,
Thank you for your letter. I think you would enjoy the Cherry Tai Haku, a plant or two of which we have here.
Its magnificent flowers are double the size of most of the cherries; it is very showy and appears to be a good doer.
I note with great interest that you may try and pay us a visit on your way south after deer-stalking.
F. Gomer Waterer.
1926 – JCW
Daffs are over. The May poet is in the house. The Souleii hybrids are very very good. Maddeni’s just opening slowly.
1915 – JCW
The poets begin to come and the large things in daffs to go back. R calophytum is in flower and is very fine. I crossed it with Argenteum. Thomsonii x Arboreum are over, the Mrs Butler x Arboreums are at their best, some pink and white Auklandii x Arboreum are opening.
1906 – JCW
Very much as in 1897, plenty of good Camellias. Would be some nice rhodo’s but for sun, very very dry.
1902 – JCW
The Show day, we had as many things open as we shall ever have, M de Graaf very good, G brought a good lot of flowers, rhodo’s rather over.
1900 – JCW
Homer, Horace and most of the poets including White Elephant are opening, also White Lady, M de Graaf etc, in fact this is about the best day of the season, Marrel is a long way off.