1st April

FJ Williams Profile Picture
FJW 1955-2007
CH Williams Profile Picture
CHW 2015-
JC Williams Profile Picture
JCW 1897-1939
C Williams Profile Picture
CW 1940-1955

2020 – CHW

A gentle, happy day planting out rhododendrons from Rookery Nursery Bed. Many scented ones and some species which mainly came here three to four years ago as small bare root plants from Glendoick nursery. The trouble with their mail order stuff is that you have to have the facilities to grow it on to a size where you can then plant them out. Even then you do lose quite a few. All are destined for the very best places in the garden. Scented rhodos are very short lived and need to be in total shelter where they can be seen usually by a path. Not easy to find space and the excellent plants of Rhododendron griffithianum and Rhododendron fortunei have to go to Old Park where there is still plenty of room for large growing rhodos to be planted 5m or so apart. The more obscure and new rhodo species (including Rhododendron yuefengense) will fill the space left in the old orchid house nursery.

The contractor who digs out dead stumps etc has turned up today as well with his mini digger so this part of the annual routine can be completed too. He may create some more planting spaces but we have now put out just about everything sizeable enough to go out already for this year.

I suppose the garden team ought to be growing vegetables but where? We have cancelled the work to clear the old kitchen garden this spring (sadly) and the new, adjacent, pheasant pen to save cash. However I suspect that with Pengelly Farms and Southern England Farms growing potatoes and veg on the estate we will not go short of either locally.

Lots more friends and acquaintances ring and email with good and sad news about their predicament. My daughter, Serena, was in isolation having been abroad recently but has now been ‘furloughed’ although, I suspect, still doing some work. John and Katie are holed up in Bristol and the grandchildren are enjoying having daddy home all the time but asking why they cannot come down here. The two cancelled weekend visits earlier in the year (mainly due to sickness by both in the car) now look a mistake.

Rhododendron suoilenhense just coming out.

Rhododendron suoilenhense
Rhododendron suoilenhense
Rhododendron suoilenhense
Rhododendron suoilenhense
Some smellies being placed out for planting.
planting out rhododendrons
planting out rhododendrons
planting out rhododendrons
planting out rhododendrons
The hedge of Camellia x williamsii ‘Brigadoon’ very fine in the sun. It does not seem that long ago since we cut this whole lot down to provide buds and sprays for a Dutch contract but I guess it is 10 years now.
Camellia x williamsii ‘Brigadoon’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Brigadoon’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Brigadoon’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Brigadoon’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Brigadoon’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Brigadoon’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Brigadoon’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Brigadoon’
Berberis wilsoniae just coming out below Slip Rail.
Berberis wilsoniae
Berberis wilsoniae
Berberis wilsoniae
Berberis wilsoniae
Amelanchier lamarkii growing as a tree and just coming out in full flower.
Amelanchier lamarkii
Amelanchier lamarkii
Amelanchier lamarkii
Amelanchier lamarkii
Amelanchier lamarkii
Amelanchier lamarkii
Lindera triloba looking quite pretty but you could easily miss it.
Lindera triloba
Lindera triloba
Lindera triloba
Lindera triloba
Brock and part of Nicky come between Rhododendron ‘Broughtonii’ and Tetrapanax papyifera which is just now in leaf.
Brock
Brock
Our huge Stachyurus chinensis (longer flower tassels than Stachyurus praecox) is now full out and splendid. I fear it will soon die from over flowering and over seeding which it does every year.
Stachyurus chinensis
Stachyurus chinensis
Stachyurus chinensis
Stachyurus chinensis
Stachyurus chinensis
Stachyurus chinensis
Some good young plants of Rhododendron arboreum ‘Sir Charles Lemon’ with their first flowers at least that I have seen.
Rhododendron arboreum ‘Sir Charles Lemon’
Rhododendron arboreum ‘Sir Charles Lemon’
Rhododendron arboreum ‘Sir Charles Lemon’
Rhododendron arboreum ‘Sir Charles Lemon’
Magnolia ‘Genie’ is now coming out properly with only a few premature windblown flowers frosted. The start of the typical white edging on the petals can be seen here which is another plus alongside the very dark colour. So much better than ‘Black Tulip’!
Magnolia ‘Genie’
Magnolia ‘Genie’
Magnolia ‘Genie’
Magnolia ‘Genie’
Magnolia ‘Genie’
Magnolia ‘Genie’
Camellia reticulata ‘Red Crystal’ is one I have seen before. Nothing like as good as the double flowered Nuccio’s Nurseries varieties growing in the Tregothnan reticulata collection but probably worth Asia propagating.
Camellia reticulata ‘Red Crystal’
Camellia reticulata ‘Red Crystal’
Camellia reticulata ‘Red Crystal’
Camellia reticulata ‘Red Crystal’
The first native bluebell I have seen (half) out.
bluebell
bluebell
A few dullish new and rare conifers planted in 2017 in the Isla Rose Plantation.
Callitris oblonga – feathery new growth.
Callitris oblonga
Callitris oblonga
Callitris oblonga
Callitris oblonga
Thuja koraiensis – nice silvery undersides to the branchlets.
Thuja koraiensis
Thuja koraiensis
Thuja koraiensis
Thuja koraiensis
Cupressus austrotibetica – a new introduction in ‘New Trees’.
Cupressus austrotibetica
Cupressus austrotibetica
Cupressus austrotibetica
Cupressus austrotibetica
Taiwania cryptomeriodes – we have two others now of this drooping conifer.
Taiwania cryptomeriodes
Taiwania cryptomeriodes
Taiwania cryptomeriodes
Taiwania cryptomeriodes
This is another first flower (unimpressive) on Magnolia ‘Darkest Purple’ x ‘Betty Jessel’ (2017 planted). Doubt it is true to name.
Magnolia ‘Darkest Purple’ x ‘Betty Jessel’
Magnolia ‘Darkest Purple’ x ‘Betty Jessel’
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis full out by the greenhouse.
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Asia’s cuttings of Michelia ‘Mixed up Miss’ have prospered. Now in 3L pots and already flowering well.
Michelia ‘Mixed up Miss’
Michelia ‘Mixed up Miss’
Beautiful young growth on Koelreuteria bipinnata in the frame.
Koelreuteria bipinnata
Koelreuteria bipinnata
Aesculus glabra ‘April Wine’ living up to its name with leaves and flowers coming already.
Aesculus glabra ‘April Wine’
Aesculus glabra ‘April Wine’
Still a few faded flowers on Magnolia ‘Todd’s Fortyniner’ two and a half months and many storms since it first showed colour. Amazing for a magnolia to last this long this early in the year.
Magnolia ‘Todd’s Fortyniner’
Magnolia ‘Todd’s Fortyniner’
Still decent flowers tucked away on the Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba Group’ seedling at the bottom of the Auklandii Garden.
Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba Group’ seedling
Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba Group’ seedling
Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba Group’ seedling
Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba Group’ seedling
The huge Drimys winteri var. latifolia nearby is full out.
Drimys winteri var. latifolia
Drimys winteri var. latifolia

2019 – CHW
It is getting very dry here now and we all need rain – especially the newly sown farm crops. Thomas and Fia Williams on a garden tour with their children Mia and Alfie. Tom and Fia will move into Werrington in the next year. A few gardening tips perhaps for management of the Chinese Garden at Werrington in the future. No doubt we will be competing against each other at the Cornwall Garden Society show at Wadebridge next weekend.Dad’s last (dark red) rhododendron hybrid. Sadly unnamed. I must look up the parentage or ask Jaimie. A Rhododendron griersonianum hybrid by the look of the leaf indumentum.

Dad’s last (dark red) rhododendron hybrid
Dad’s last (dark red) rhododendron hybrid
First flower on Rhododendron loderi ‘King George’ at least a month early. Scent gorgeous in the sun.
Rhododendron loderi ‘King George’
Rhododendron loderi ‘King George’
Lizzie with ‘the pack’ below Burns Bank. Rio and Billy are both nearly 14 but Billy has just been invited to be a Daddy for the first time so spring is in his step!
Lizzie with ‘the pack’
Lizzie with ‘the pack’
Mia and Alfie still ‘standing’ after their first two hour garden tour!
Mia and Alfie still
Mia and Alfie still

2018 – CHW
It is not an ‘April fool’! The magnolias are finally performing as expected after the first 30% were wiped out in the cold. Today the two Magnolia x veitchii ‘Peter Veitch’ are a stunning hundred foot high spectacle. The whole garden is shaking off ‘The Beast’ now rather quickly and there will be more for the Savill Garden show next weekend than I thought even 48 hours ago. It is still cold overnight but the forecasters were wrong about yet more snow here over the Easter weekend. The evergreen azaleas are just starting and might even make Chelsea in this now late season.White and pink forms of Rhododendron siderophyllum have ridden the frost well in several places.
White and pink forms of Rhododendron siderophyllum
White and pink forms of Rhododendron siderophyllum
White and pink forms of Rhododendron siderophyllum
White and pink forms of Rhododendron siderophyllum
Another rhododendron species puzzle. Not on the planting records of course but the closest I can see to it is Rhododendron vesiculiferum or Rhododendron floribundum? I may well be wrong. The leaves hang down a bit like Rhododendron coeloneuron but the flower is not what I know.
Rhododendron vesiculiferum or Rhododendron floribundum
Rhododendron vesiculiferum or Rhododendron floribundum
Rhododendron vesiculiferum or Rhododendron floribundum
Rhododendron vesiculiferum or Rhododendron floribundum
Rhododendron vesiculiferum or Rhododendron floribundum
Rhododendron vesiculiferum or Rhododendron floribundum
Rhododendron vesiculiferum or Rhododendron floribundum
Rhododendron vesiculiferum or Rhododendron floribundum
A late flower on a Rhododendron grande seedling. The rest all frosted.
Rhododendron grande seedling
Rhododendron grande seedling
Magnolia ‘Albatross’ is nearly full out and totally unblemished by the cold. The second best magnolia in the garden today by Georges Hut.
Magnolia ‘Albatross’
Magnolia ‘Albatross’
Magnolia ‘Albatross’
Magnolia ‘Albatross’
Magnolia ‘Albatross’
Magnolia ‘Albatross’
Magnolia ‘Atlas’ is showing colour too further along the path. No damage!
Magnolia ‘Atlas’
Magnolia ‘Atlas’
Surprisingly the big leafed Rhododendron suoilenhense is opening fast. This may make the show bench on Friday. A bit early in fact after all this cold but the Rhododendron sinograndes are moving fast too now.
Rhododendron suoilenhense
Rhododendron suoilenhense
Rhododendron suoilenhense
Rhododendron suoilenhense
Magnolia ‘Crystal Chalice’ has a very faint pink tinge in bud and the tips of the flowers curve away from upright. No sign of frost damage.
Magnolia ‘Crystal Chalice’
Magnolia ‘Crystal Chalice’
Magnolia ‘Crystal Chalice’
Magnolia ‘Crystal Chalice’
Magnolia ‘Crystal Chalice’
Magnolia ‘Crystal Chalice’
Magnolia kobus ‘White Elegance’ has some frost damage but most of the buds are just about to break so no problem here either.
Magnolia kobus ‘White Elegance’
Magnolia kobus ‘White Elegance’
Magnolia kobus ‘White Elegance’
Magnolia kobus ‘White Elegance’
Prunus ‘Umineko’ is starting to come out but plenty of huge buds still breaking. A cherry tree of great merit which is a cross between Prunus incisa and Prunus speciosa.
Prunus ‘Umineko’
Prunus ‘Umineko’
Prunus ‘Umineko’
Prunus ‘Umineko’
Prunus ‘Umineko’
Prunus ‘Umineko’
Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’ is poor. Small flowers blown open and damaged in the cold but we should be grateful for any tree magnolia producing something. Nothing like the real thing in size or colour.
Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’
Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’
Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’
Magnolia ‘Princess Margaret’

2017 – CHW

A trip to look at more magnolias flowering for the first time but many distractions!

Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis – the rhododendron season is rushing on and we rush to see it all properly!

Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Magnolia ‘March-till-Frost’ with its true flowers at the proper time. Much darker and muddier in colour in the second autumn flowering.
Magnolia ‘March-till-Frost’
Magnolia ‘March-till-Frost’
Magnolia ‘March-till-Frost’
Magnolia ‘March-till-Frost’
Camellia reticulata (white) flowering for the first time by the greenhouse. Entirely genuine and entirely new to us. We never knew there was such a thing as a white reticulata.
Camellia reticulata (white)
Camellia reticulata (white)
Stapylea holocarpa ‘Rosea’ with more flower than I have ever seen before on such a small tree. Fourteen years from planting.
Stapylea holocarpa ‘Rosea’
Stapylea holocarpa ‘Rosea’
Stapylea holocarpa ‘Rosea’
Stapylea holocarpa ‘Rosea’
Stapylea holocarpa ‘Rosea’
Stapylea holocarpa ‘Rosea’
One of the two old original Magnolia salicifolias full out. Poor picture I fear in drab light.
Magnolia salicifolias
Magnolia salicifolias
A fine Magnolia ‘Caerhays Surprise’ reigning above a rhododendron at its absolute best even without the sun. One of several seen in the garden today.
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Surprise’
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Surprise’
A young Magnolia ‘Yakeo’’s second flowering in Kennel Close. The 25 year old original plant is half dead as of last summer. Over flowering as it’s a ‘twice a year’ performer I expect.
Magnolia ‘Yakeo’
Magnolia ‘Yakeo’
Magnolia ‘Yakeo’
Magnolia ‘Yakeo’
Magnolia ‘Angelica’ – entirely new to me in its first flowering in Kennel Close. Nothing startling I fear.
Magnolia ‘Angelica’
Magnolia ‘Angelica’

Magnolia ‘Apollo’ – probably our largest plant of this in full display.

Magnolia ‘Apollo’
Magnolia ‘Apollo’
Magnolia ‘Apollo’
Magnolia ‘Apollo’
Magnolia sprengeri ‘Daisy Diva’ – we saw this last year with only the odd flower and were unimpressed and doubtful if it is actually a sprengeri but I am probably being rude to a magnolia breeder I know and like so shut up! Not a showstopper this year either.
Magnolia sprengeri ‘Daisy Diva’
Magnolia sprengeri ‘Daisy Diva’
Magnolia ‘Paul Cook’ – another new one to us. Make your own mind up?
Magnolia ‘Paul Cook’
Magnolia ‘Paul Cook’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’ – another variation on a theme which I have done to ‘loebneri death’ in the last few days. Pinkish in bud but is it really different enough to merit a name?
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’
Are you utterly sick of new magnolias yet?
Magnolia kobus ‘Octopus’ is improving with age and at least deserves its name.
Magnolia kobus ‘Octopus’
Magnolia kobus ‘Octopus’
Magnolia kobus ‘Octopus’
Magnolia kobus ‘Octopus’
Magnolia kobus ‘Octopus’
Magnolia kobus ‘Octopus’
Carpinus japonica – first ever ‘catkins’ on this 10 year old tree which had good autumn colour featured on this blog last year.
Carpinus japonica
Carpinus japonica
Carpinus japonica
Carpinus japonica
Carpinus japonica
Carpinus japonica
Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’ in full flower and not seen like this before.
Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’
Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’
Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’
Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’
The view of the various michelias from Donkey Shoe.
view of the various michelias
view of the various michelias
Rhododendron ‘Anne Teese’ from Glendoick just coming out. The ‘smellies’ are early.
Rhododendron ‘Anne Teese’
Rhododendron ‘Anne Teese’

AND now to the closing meet of the Four Burrow Hunt at the beach. Saw the first house martin by the big tower at 7.15pm. A day or two earlier than last year on a sunny day with brief heavy showers.

Four Burrow Hunt at the beach
Four Burrow Hunt at the beach
Four Burrow Hunt at the beach
Four Burrow Hunt at the beach
Four Burrow Hunt at the beach
Four Burrow Hunt at the beach
Four Burrow Hunt at the beach
Four Burrow Hunt at the beach
Four Burrow Hunt at the beach
Four Burrow Hunt at the beach
Four Burrow Hunt at the beach
Four Burrow Hunt at the beach
Here is our three vases of magnolias entry which came second and predictably/deservedly so at Boconnoc. No cup this year! Well done to those who finally beat us to it!
Cornwall Garden Society flower show at Boconnoc
Cornwall Garden Society flower show at Boconnoc
Cornwall Garden Society flower show at Boconnoc
Cornwall Garden Society flower show at Boconnoc
Cornwall Garden Society flower show at Boconnoc
Cornwall Garden Society flower show at Boconnoc

2016 – CHW
Camellia x williamsii ‘Elsie Jury’ should be added to the list of genuinely excellent upright growing x williamsii varieties suitable for pots or growing as a hedge. That makes six photographed in the last few weeks or so.

Camellia x williamsii ‘Elsie Jury’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Elsie Jury’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Elsie Jury’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Elsie Jury’
Rhododendron grande is coming out genuinely late this year here and at Burncoose. It is often out in mid February. The Rhododendron sutchuanense hybrids alongside it are just going over and have been out for five weeks.
Rhododendron grande
Rhododendron grande
The same Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling does not look nearly as fine as yesterday without a blue sky to go with it. The close ups show just a hint of pink and a very campbellii alba shape.
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia campbellii Alba seedling
Magnolia ‘Kews Surprise’ with M campbellii alba seedlings behind it is similarly drab today but what a setting!
Magnolia ‘Kews Surprise’
Magnolia ‘Kews Surprise’
The young Camellia reticulata ‘Captain Rawes’ is looking at its peak today. As I have said before, slightly darker in colour than our old plants.
Camellia reticulata ‘Captain Rawes’
Camellia reticulata ‘Captain Rawes’
Camellia reticulata ‘Captain Rawes’
Camellia reticulata ‘Captain Rawes’
The granite boulder from Penryn Granite arrives at the cashpoint / entrance to the garden with the KPK trailer and Jonny Cann. Arthur Broom and the fore end loader on the tractor are on hand to move it into place. A square in the boulder has been cut to hold the Christie’s/HHA Garden of the Year plaque which is to be presented to us on Tuesday. Hope it fits! This operation goes rather more smoothly and easily than I had expected or feared with the strapping holding up and only one bit of fiddling about to get it into the perfect position. Apparently the first boulder which Lucinda selected in the quarry was even bigger with a smooth polished face but, as the plaque square was being cut out, it split in two so what we actually have is a replacement. Hopefully rather cheaper than the £600 originally quoted which seems a little excessive for a bit of granite delivered by us.
granite boulder from Penryn Granite
granite boulder from Penryn Granite
granite boulder from Penryn Granite
granite boulder from Penryn Granite
granite boulder from Penryn Granite
granite boulder from Penryn Granite

I wait in vain for four hours for the visit of Ian Baldick, a renowned magnolia breeder from New Zealand, and a Dutch magnolia nurseryman who were due to arrive ‘soon after lunch’. No sign of them at 6pm and no phone call. Sadly half of planned garden visits at this time of year end up being hours of hanging around for people who are late! They eventually turn up at 9.50pm having inadvertently gone to Burncoose first! When do they eat ‘lunch’ in New Zealand?Lizzie has today had the original painting by Barbara Oozeerally which she gave us recently wonderfully framed. It is a life size Magnolia sprengeri Diva var Burncoose, accurate in every detail to the plant (52 years old) growing beside the conservatory at Burncoose and bred by Arnold Dance. A wonderful gift from a most remarkable magnolia artist. I doubt it will photograph properly but visitors can see it now on the castle tours (which I have to say are also a remarkable pain in the arse if you try to live and work amid them).

Jaimie, Michael and the team are off to stage our exhibits in the Cornwall Garden Society Spring Show at Boconnoc. One van breaks down on the way back which means a long day but Jaimie says the magnolia entries are ‘nothing special’ (apart from one I hope!).

Then Jim Pascoe, Chairman of the Fourburrow Hunt Supporters Committee, turns up to check out the dos and don’ts for tomorrow’s hunt meet at Porthluney beach. Do not go in the garden or Old Park we say (as usual) knowing not all the 100 or so riders will take any notice but there we are. It will be quite a spectacle for the unwitting garden visitors tomorrow and perhaps the New Zealanders too!

I saw the first house martin returning from Central Africa tonight on the lawn. A few days earlier than some years. Lizzie saw a kingfisher on the watermeadows yesterday and heard a skylark on Tuesday. Spring is here!

2015 – CHW

Specimen tree ferns planted
Specimen tree ferns planted

Planting of the new fernery goes well in Cheshire despite a strong gale. 11 specimen tree ferns planted in specially prepared stone troughs in part of a quarry alongside a dozen other varieties of fern, some evergreen and some deciduous. The fernery now requires water to trickle down through it to create the damp microclimate they all need but this is being sorted by a Dutch expert in water features who comes from Norfolk. Further planting of specimen trees and hamamelis along the entrance drive but all placed out by 12pm leaving James and his team to complete the planting before the bank holiday weekend.

1997 – FJW
Very fine Easter spell – Magnolias have been excellent but over.

1995 – FJW
Magnolias past their best – evergreen azaleas progress – camellia very good.

1990 – FJW
Very dry, very warm March. All deciduous Magnolias out at once – brozzoni, campbellii.

1973 – FJW
1 flower still on lapageria.

1972 – FJW
P.M.W died.

1970 – FJW
Snow – enough to whiten the ground – taking down Diva, Diva seedling in O.P, white Robusta, dark red Pieris and Charles Michael.

1960 – FJW
First cuttings taken out of electric frame – 57 Cam ‘Caerhays’ out of 52 put in. Some roots 15” long after 8 months.

1947 – CW
(Typed postcard attached to Garden Book page)
Award of Merit given to Camellia ‘St Ewe’ by R.H.S.

1941 – CW
The big storm of March 31st took down the Macrocarpa in cutting and several trees below drive and end of Old Park.

1933 – JCW
The daffs have never been better. Camellia speciosa most blooms of any plant. Magnolia sargentii is the best of all the magnolias open.

1931 – JCW
Daffs about their best. Magnolia’s speciosa, stellata and kobus open. Kobus is the best excepting Wilson’s big Denudata.

(Handwritten note attached to Garden Book page)
About March 1st, 1 Cam speciosa to P.D.W; 15 Cam speciosa to Michael, Caerhays; 5 to G.H.J.
28362 Mulinensis, 28365 Pulchella; 28366 Brevifolia; 28524 Meconopsis horridula; Gentiana nigescens.

1912 – JCW
An Auklandii flower open, nearly a record.

1899 – JCW
Narcissus Plemp open and 131.

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