I discovered a couple of semi evergreen / near evergreen azaleas on Bond Street which I must have planted once 30 years ago but had never noticed since. Could it be Rhododendron taiwanalpinum perhaps? The leaf formation I fear does not quite tally with the reference books?
Quercus lamellosa has suddenly shed all its old leaves – as it should now. I have been worried that this elderly and rare tree may be on its last legs. No sign of new growth yet but we desperately need more rain than we got last weekend to give it more of a chance.
This huge climbing rose species had nearly died of old age or dry summers. It has been pruned back hard in the hope that bits of it may reshoot. A nasty job for Jaimie and the team. They have put a good foot of rotted manure on the roots. Roy Lancaster gave us this plant as one of his wild collections but was never certain of the name. Lovely panicles of white flowers but no hips for the last few years so I guess an old age problem and inadequate feeding.
Azalea ‘Black Hawk’ in the Rockery is one of the later evergreen azaleas to flower. The best very dark red?
This is Rhododendron reticulatum which is nearly (but not quite) deciduous. It is in a very sheltered spot in the Rockery. With a new clump of Rhododendron quinquefolium planted this year we now have a pretty full set of all the deciduous species.
Rhododendron kiusianum just coming out.
I called this Azalea ‘Tebotan’ the other day. It is actually Rhododendron yedoense but there is not that much difference in reality.
The Rhododendron russatum (in two forms) struggle on – but only just.
Rehderodendron macrocarpum just out.
Still the odd flower left on the unnamed but record tree Camellia x williamsii. First flowers in November so nearly five months of flowering! Beat that?
A self-sown seedling from this clump has grown at the base of a nearby Magnolia dawsoniana.
Rhododendron ovatum in bud but with its bronzy new growth already well set where there were no buds.
The huge (12-15ft) Echium pininana have burst into flower and the bees are very active.
First fuchsia flowers.
First flower too on a Paeonia delavayi seedling.
Rhododendron ‘Fragrantissimum’ now at its peak.
Camellia x williamsii ‘Mary Jobson’ still has a few decent flowers.
Here is a very fine Cercis siliquastrum flowering in a garden at Llanfair Court in Monmouthshire. It seeds prolifically.
2019 – CHW
Ucodendron whartonii is now full out.
Michelia foggi ‘Jack Fogg’ just coming out with amazing scent (m.doltsopa x m.figo)
Michelia foggi ‘Allspice’ is a much larger growing small tree with larger leaves and no pink in the flowers as they now open.
Finally I find Magnolia ‘Olivia’ such I have been trying to locate for days. Looking good.
Aesculus carnea ‘Aureomarginata’ with flowers just appearing. One branch had reverted to green and needs cutting out.
Malus x purpurea ‘Crimson Cascade’ planted this year and now flowering well on its drooping branches.
Magnolia ‘Green Bee’ looking superb too.
Betula utilis ‘Wakehurst Place Chocolate’ (Wakehurst Chocolate is easier) is another good new birch variety. The bark will become better but it isn’t bad now.
Crataegus ellwangeriana ‘Fire Ball’ just coming out into flower.
Aralia foliosa is also newly planted with a very prickly stem and prickles on its leaves as well.
2018 – CHW
Burncoose visit today for a bit of late planting and sorting out the rules of a new Forestry Commission grant scheme for the woodland here with Rob.Azalea ‘Iro Hayama’ looking good in the cash point.
Magnolia ‘Green Bee’ also.
Daphne ‘Cheriton’ just out too although the plants are very small.
A new plant to us. The yellow form of Isopogon anemonifolius just coming into flower. An odd looking protea-like plant for the conservatory.
Prunus incisa ‘Oshidori’ is also new to us. Very pretty and double flowered. Later than most incisa varieties we looked at a month ago. So one planted by the house at Burncoose.
Another new tree to us Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Amber Glow’. Just coming into leaf and quite pretty but not as pretty as the yellow leafed form. I must get one for the wet spot on the drive where the three leylandii blew over.
Aesculus neglecta ‘Erythroblastos’ – superb new growth which radically changes colour as it emerges.
Prunus matsumae ‘Daikoku’ is one we have not captured properly in flower before. As expected very good!
Sorbus vilmorinii just breaking into leaf.
Euonymus hamiltonianus ‘Coral Charm’ now with leaf and flower buds showing.
A few new heuchera and heucherella for the website.
x Heucherella ‘Sweet Tea’ with a nice colour mix.
Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ is proving a strong seller.
Heuchera ‘Fire Chief’ is another unusual colour combination.
Heucherella ‘Kimono’ – a particularly fine new one with flower stalks forming already.
Paeonia tenuifolia just starting to flower. Superb foliage.
Rhodiola rosea now full out. An odd succulent like plant.
Halesia carolina out too early for Chelsea in the Show Tunnel. Strangely not yet out at Caerhays.
Another new plant in the Show Tunnel – Nandina domestica ‘Twilight’ with superb pink and white new growth which I fear may not last for Chelsea.
Rhododendron williamsianum x matinianum on the Burncoose drive. Not that many flowers this year.
Rhododendron ‘Tinners Blush’ superb (FJW hybrid).
Rhododendron ‘Wine and Roses’ which can be a shy flowerer nicely out in the garden two years on from planting.
2017 – CHW
A two hour trip in the bus to Stourhead to meet the Hoare family and tour the garden in some style with the head gardener.
A tall 100 year old white Rhododendron arboreum nearly dead like ours.
A fine Rhododendron falconeri, 40 to 50 years old.
Rhododendron rex which has fallen over. Not positive that the name label is correct. One of the very few plants labelled at all which is absurd in a National Trust garden with 400,000 visitors a year.
View across the lake
Halesia diptera just coming out. Perhaps Halesia monticola?
The tallest Pinus monticola in the UK.
A group of three Rhododendron augustinii ‘Electra’.
Horrors in the grotto!
More lake views
A rather fine Carpinus betulus trailing over the lake.
One concludes that with seven gardeners and 21 acres of laurel to cut to 3-4ft each year the place has somewhat lost the plot as a garden. Iconic landscape, amazing setting but virtually no new planting for decades. Many of their finest landscape trees are nearing the end of their lives – where are the replacements? Could the public not be educated with a few more plants rather than oceans of clipped laurels? Not a popular view!
2016 – CHW
Off to Old Park to plant 22 more magnolias and some rhodos with the dogs.Three plants of wild collected Rhododendron racemosum are nicely in flower but a rather insipid colour compared to other forms which can be white or darker pink..
Nearby a newly planted Magnolia ‘Petit Chicon’ has its first yellowish flower.
Three plants of the deciduous Rhododendron canadense awaiting planting which I bought at Rosemoor from David Millais. Not a species that I have ever known at Caerhays. It comes from Quebec and Newfoundland and is more often white than pinkish-purple as here. Looks very tough.
Magnolia ‘Rose Marie’ x ‘Black Tulip’ (no registered name) is better this year than last by the Hovel. A very late flowerer. I wonder if this has yet been named and registered as it ought to be?
This is one of the two plants on the drive of Magnolia ‘Margaret Helen’ which won the magnolia cup at Rosemoor. New Zealand bred and of similar parentage to ‘Caerhays Surprise’. A lovely colour and very late.
Magnolia ‘Apollo’ has faded in colour but this plant has taken off and has been an excellent show.
Beside it the much newer New Zealand hybrid Magnolia ‘Cleopatra’ is still showing nicely weeks after it first came out. Despite the leaves now appearing it is a delicate light colour. Mauve not pink or red at this late stage.
Magnolia ‘Serene’ full out with the first yellow deciduous azalea in front of it. One of my father’s azalea hybrids not worth a name but I remember them being planted here. There was a superb Prunus ‘Shirotae’ growing here which died in the 1970s.
Azalea ‘Black Hawk’ is nearly swamped out by adjacent magnolias (as was the plan) but what a dark red. Perhaps the darkest and best?
I memory of the above I planted a new Prunus ‘Shirotae’ nearby which has not quite got the trailing habit of its predecessor. Sadly this superb cherry lasts only a week or so and today the north wind is blowing off cascades of petals onto the drive.
Amelanchier is not a plant group which was represented much at Caerhays until 20 years ago. At Windsor Great Park they make much use of this in the landscape and in avenues. Good autumn colour too. So we have planted quite a few Amelanchier lamarckii in dull corners. Here is one below the drive holding its own as the nice coppery-reddish new growth complement the flowers.
Magnolia ‘Yellow Lantern’ is now quite a beacon above the rockery and well worth its place.
The true and very old Azalea ‘Tebotan’ in the rockery is full out. We were right to resist the temptation to give it a haircut last week when other adjacent plants got a good clipping.
Just a tiny bit of Rhododendron russatum survives from of old in the rockery.
2015 – CHW
At last a little drizzle opening to a morning of thick fog. The beech tree by the Green Gate (ex Werrington) has suddenly popped its leaves overnight. It was noticeable in Oxfordshire that there was more leaf on the trees than in Cornwall although the crops, rape especially, looked just as poor and stunted. Hopefully more rain tomorrow and spring will have set.
So to Rosemoor for the RHS main rhododendron show (1 ½ hours’ drive). John Anderson was taken ill just before leaving Exbury so no entries from them sadly. However this allowed Caerhays and Werrrington to claim a lot of the silverware. Caerhays were awarded:The McLaren Challenge Cup – any species of rhododendron – one truss
The Crosfield Challenge Cup – three hybrids of different parentage bred and raised in the garden of the exhibitor(RHS)
The Quicke Cup – for best magnolia in show (South West Group – Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group)
In its history since 1933 the McLaren Cup had never been won by Caerhays.
While Werrington won the Roza Stevenson Challenge Cup – any species – one spray.
Pictures of the cups and some of the entries themselves are featured here. The RHS cups are far too expensive to be given to the winners for the year so this is all you will see of them until they re-emerge from their packing cases at next year’s centenary show.
Rosemoor Garden is developing quickly with excellent new woodland walks and much new planting. Sadly many of Lady Anne Palmer’s rhododendron species nearest the house are nearing the end of their lives or now have died of old age.Magnolia ‘Morning Glow’ near the house was superb. Huge flowers for a smaller growing plant with unusual dark markings on the tepals.
1990 – FJW
Bluebells at their peak – Michaels Pride, Saffron Queen, Nancor and loderi all out.
1984 – FJW
Puffkins left us after at least 18 years.
1982 – FJW
South Georgia retaken. First swallow seen.
1968 – FJW
Shy flowering of Big Leafed Rhodo’s.
1959 – FJW
Mag veitchii nearly over. Rain has come after a hot week. Nitida in flower for first time since my arrival here. Michelias magnificent. Few flowers on Sinogrande – Big rhodo’s shy of flowers this year. The maples good. The cherries nearly over or spoilt by stems.
1921 – JCW
The Auklandii’s are goodnow but not all open. Zuelanicum x Auklandii are nice. A few Azaleas show, Schlippenbachii remains good, just a bud or so open on Mag wilsonii. Augustinii go back. Maddeni hybrids very good indeed in new planting, not yet in 40 Acres.
1908 – JCW
Snow again last night, just as above.
1907 – JCW
The Recurvas seedlings are coming out. Maples have begun to show.