3rd 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

Growing spring twin lambs enjoying the sun having escaped from their mother under a gate. In 2001 it was they who were gated or killed (often unnecessarily) by a horrid disease. Today it is us! I do however discover that the government scientist who advised Tony Blair to implement the contiguous culls (5km or so) of all herds/flocks around a foot and mouth outbreak is the same chap (Neil Ferguson) who is advising Boris now on infection/death rate increases etc with his ‘scientific’ modelling. The public inquiry after F&M found that contiguous culling (without positive testing) and animal burning/burial was often unnecessary and cost the tax payer billions in compensation to farmers and tourism alike while the countryside was locked down for months even well away from F&M outbreaks. See attached Foot & Mouth Enquiry Report. The Sunday Times has been inquiring about the basis and assumptions in the computer modelling being used now to advise the government but the learned professor has indicated that the model is too complex a computer language programme (and only in his head – never written down) for anyone to peer review or comment on it yet. No doubt the COVID-19 public inquiry will one day have a lot to say about the model used, how correct it was, and how many scientists agreed at the time. It would seem the professor’s model only at present. Perhaps being alarmist is far better than being complacent? However my limited knowledge of professors suggests to me that they have been known to suffer from a certain intellectual arrogance with a ‘better than everyone else / always right’ approach. This current government advisor’s track record is far from perfect as I suspect ‘Private Eye’ will have a lot to say about in the next issue. ‘Private Eye’ produced a whole paper on the cock ups of F&M which I keep in the safe for archivists to enjoy one day (along with the Diana issue). I rather think it is time to dig it out to see how many of the F&M panic/lockdown mistakes are being repeated today. The government keeps saying it is only being guided by ‘the science’.

Magnolia ‘Tikitere’ in Old Park is just coming out undamaged. One of the very last ‘tree’ magnolias to perform and even later than ‘Serene’. Last year it was equally late but a bit battered. The colour is excellent this year. It is a New Zealander (of course) from Ian Baldick and the cross is Magnolia ‘Vulcan’ x Magnolia ‘Apollo’. It is in the Burncoose catalogue but has not yet caught on over here. It certainly will with a colour like this in an April flowering tree (probably May upcountry in a normal year).

Magnolia ‘Tikitere’
Magnolia ‘Tikitere’
Magnolia ‘Tikitere’
Magnolia ‘Tikitere’
Magnolia (Michelia) ‘Fairy White’ is still out weeks after it first showed in this diary. Some old leaves have dropped off now but not the flowers as yet. ‘Fairy Blush’ beside it still with no colour at all and half the size. This is also in Old Park but the same story in the main garden.
Magnolia (mitchelia) 'Fairy White'
Magnolia (Michelia) ‘Fairy White’
Enkianthus serrulatus is always the first species of this genus to flower we have come to say. However today I find several ancient small trees of Enkianthus perulatus flowering before and with the emerging shoots. Equal first of the Enkianthus to flower from now on.
Enkianthus serrulatus
Enkianthus serrulatus
Enkianthus serrulatus
Enkianthus serrulatus
The rhododendron planting of four to five years ago outside the front arch is doing well with fewer casualties than I had feared. A hot spot in summer but evergreen azaleas and huge Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’ provide wind protection from the south and east which this area faces. Watch out for first flowerings on some of these later this year.
rhododendron planting
rhododendron planting
A nice clearing on the drive with old rhododendron stumps dug out with the mini digger.
clearing on the drive
clearing on the drive
A group of tired old Camellia reticulata seedlings with poor flowers dug out above Red Linney to make room for new things next year.
above Red Linney
above Red Linney
Camellia x williamsii ‘Elsie Jury’ is such a good late flowering camellia.
Camellia x williamsii ‘Elsie Jury’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Elsie Jury’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Elsie Jury’
Camellia x williamsii ‘Elsie Jury’
Prunus ‘Shirotae’ on the drive now full out.
Prunus ‘Shirotae’
Prunus ‘Shirotae’
Prunus ‘Shirotae’
Prunus ‘Shirotae’
Clearing up stumps around this beech tree which split in half last autumn.
Clearing up stumps
Clearing up stumps
Clearing up stumps
Clearing up stumps
Another new magnolia opens its first flowers and is good/interesting. It is labelled Magnolia ‘Kusious’ but this is not in Eisenhut’s book or any other reference book. Different but not that far off ‘Hot Lips’ yesterday. Same parentage – whatever that is?
Magnolia ‘Kusious’
Magnolia ‘Kusious’
Magnolia ‘Kusious’
Magnolia ‘Kusious’
Magnolia ‘Kusious’
Magnolia ‘Kusious’
Magnolia ‘Kusious’
Magnolia ‘Kusious’
Karol’s new labels now adorn all the new Tin Garden planting. We may not have had a formal opening, ribbon and a press release but it is all now looking good and professional.
Tin Garden
Tin Garden
The first Embothrium is nearly full out. Good job we are no longer going to have to cut a branch this year for Chelsea!
Embothrium
Embothrium
Embothrium
Embothrium
The Rhododendron macabeanum now full out with Magnolia ‘Wada’s Memory’ behind it.
Rhododendron macabeanum
Rhododendron macabeanum
Good to see the elderly Rhododendron ‘Mrs J C Williams’ still flowering away.
Rhododendron ‘Mrs J C Williams’
Rhododendron ‘Mrs J C Williams’
Rhododendron ‘Mrs J C Williams’
Rhododendron ‘Mrs J C Williams’
Half a Eucryphia lucida ‘Pink Cloud’ has died and Karol films a topical tip of the dead bits being sawn off at the base.
Eucryphia lucida ‘Pink Cloud’
Eucryphia lucida ‘Pink Cloud’
Another windblown rhododendron with the stump dug out and just some mess to burn up.
mess to burn up
mess to burn up
Azalea ‘Azuma-kagami’ looking wonderful above the Crinodendron hedge.
Azalea ‘Azuma-kagami’
Azalea ‘Azuma-kagami’
Azalea ‘Azuma-kagami’
Azalea ‘Azuma-kagami’
A few pictures of daffodils in clumps in Kennel Close. Others are over but not these:
Narcissus ‘White Lion’
Narcissus ‘White Lion’
Narcissus ‘White Lion’
Narcissus ‘White Lion’
Narcissus ‘White Lion’
Narcissus ‘Acropolis’
Narcissus ‘Acropolis’
Narcissus ‘Acropolis’
Narcissus ‘Moondragon’
Narcissus ‘Moondragon’
Narcissus ‘Moondragon’
Narcissus ‘Geranium’
Narcissus ‘Geranium’
Narcissus ‘Geranium’
Narcissus ‘Geranium’
Narcissus ‘Geranium’
Narcissus ‘Yellow Cheerfulness’
Narcissus ‘Yellow Cheerfulness’
Narcissus ‘Yellow Cheerfulness’
Narcissus ‘Yellow Cheerfulness’
Narcissus ‘Yellow Cheerfulness’

2019 – CHW
Still no rain!A flower on the large Rhododendron sinogrande which we took up to Chelsea two seasons ago. It had no flowers then (just wonderful new growth) but three or four this year and the plant looks in rude health despite its travels. We lifted it in November but left it in place with the roots wrapped in wire netting until it moved off with the TV cameras in mid May.
Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande
Magnolia lilliflora ‘Raven’ two years on from planting with its first flower with us. This was one of John Gallagher’s last crosses and raised by Nick Macer I believe but need to check as it is not in Jim Gardiner’s magnolia book. A large flower with a bit of greenish colouring at the base and not, as yet, as dark as its name would seem to imply?
Magnolia lilliflora ‘Raven’
Magnolia lilliflora ‘Raven’
x Rhaphiobotrya ‘Coppertone’ (Rhaphiolepsis x Eriobotrya) coming nicely into flower with its coppery new growth acting as a nice match. This genuinely does have the best features of both parents in what is a rare and unusual hybrid between two separate genera of plants (I can only at present think of two other examples: x Gordolinia and Calycanthus x raulstonii). It is a rounded evergreen shrub which should grow on to be much larger.
x Rhaphiobotrya ‘Coppertone’
x Rhaphiobotrya ‘Coppertone’
x Rhaphiobotrya ‘Coppertone’
x Rhaphiobotrya ‘Coppertone’
Camellia ‘Midnight Magic’ still has some very good dark red double flowers as the camellia season finishes earlier than I can remember before.
Camellia ‘Midnight Magic’
Camellia ‘Midnight Magic’

2018 – CHW
Another trip to Old Park to take photographs to encourage more visitors to venture this far.

View of the main new magnolia planting on the bank facing the drive. Around 30 new magnolias coming on here but none out yet.

main new magnolia planting
main new magnolia planting
The new rhododendron planting is coming on well. Huge growth in the last two years.
rhododendron planting
rhododendron planting
rhododendron planting
rhododendron planting
A good Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba’ seedling above the rhododendron planting.
Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba’
Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba’
A new clump of Rhododendron racemosum (pink form) just starting to flower.
Rhododendron racemosum
Rhododendron racemosum
Rhododendron racemosum
Rhododendron racemosum
This Trochodendron aralioides has layered itself and there are four young plants growing up away from the original tree.
Trochodendron aralioides
Trochodendron aralioides
Trochodendron aralioides
Trochodendron aralioides
Views across Lawn Field and the Luney Valley from the top gate in Old Park.
Views across Lawn Field
Views across Lawn Field
Views across Lawn Field
Views across Lawn Field
Views across Lawn Field
Views across Lawn Field
View from the top gate back into Old Park. More new plantings here too.
View from the top gate back into Old Park
View from the top gate back into Old Park
The record Trochodendron aralioides below the top path with rhodos alongside.
Trochodendron aralioides
Trochodendron aralioides
This huge bed of Gunnera manicata is above the top path in the wood. Located over a spring these rhizomes are just waking up.
Gunnera manicata
Gunnera manicata
Gunnera manicata
Gunnera manicata
What is left this year of the two good Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ seedlings.
Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ seedlings
Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ seedlings
A rather better sky today to show off Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba’.
Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba’
Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba’
Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba’
Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba’
Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba’
Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba’
Daffodils in Giddle Orchard. These were planted out from the kitchen garden when daffodil breeding stopped at Caerhays 60 to 70 years ago.
Daffodils
Daffodils
Magnolia ‘Athene’ in Giddle Orchard. I had forgotten about this tree. Slightly frosted but not too bad. The earlier magnolias alongside it totally frosted.
Magnolia ‘Athene’
Magnolia ‘Athene’
Magnolia ‘Athene’
Magnolia ‘Athene’
Magnolia ‘Athene’
Magnolia ‘Athene’
Views back towards the drive from Giddle Orchard.
Views back towards the drive
Views back towards the drive
A view through the middle of Old Park.
middle of Old Park
middle of Old Park
First two flowers on a young Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’. Smallish and slightly frosted but better than nothing! Below the track along White Styles Field on the way to Old Park.
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’
Camellia ‘Arajishi’ is a good red but a shy flowerer and often with painfully yellowed leaves.
Camellia ‘Arajishi’
Camellia ‘Arajishi’
Camellia ‘Arajishi’
Camellia ‘Arajishi’

2017 – CHW
Another of the scented rhododendrons is full out above the greenhouse. Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis.
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
Rhododendron edgeworthii x leucaspis
The Styrax odoratissimus which we have always known as Styrax veitchiorum is nearly out in flower as the leaf emerges. Quite the earliest of the styrax species into flower.
Styrax odoratissimus
Styrax odoratissimus
Styrax odoratissimus
Styrax odoratissimus
Magnolia ‘Lennei’ x ‘Daybreak’ is nothing special above the styrax.
Magnolia ‘Lennei’ x ‘Daybreak’
Magnolia ‘Lennei’ x ‘Daybreak’
Magnolia ‘Lennei’ x ‘Daybreak’
Magnolia ‘Lennei’ x ‘Daybreak’
Camellia ‘Ruby Wedding’ is full out. Two plants by the Orchid House Nursery which I had forgotten.
Camellia ‘Ruby Wedding’
Camellia ‘Ruby Wedding’
Camellia ‘Ruby Wedding’
Camellia ‘Ruby Wedding’
The Magnolia ‘Todds Fortyniner’ is still out – a good 10 weeks since we first saw colour on this plant. Well faded now but still there through all the weather has thrown at it.
Magnolia ‘Todds Fortyniner’
Magnolia ‘Todds Fortyniner’
Rhododendron loderi like the one on the Burncoose drive.
Rhododendron loderi
Rhododendron loderi
Rhododendron loderi
Rhododendron loderi
Rhododendron loderi
Rhododendron loderi
The new growth on Aesculus wangii.
Aesculus wangii
Aesculus wangii
Similar on Acer heptaphlebium also planted last June. Note the purplish undersides to the leaves.
Acer heptaphlebium
Acer heptaphlebium
Acer heptaphlebium
Acer heptaphlebium
Acer heptaphlebium
Acer heptaphlebium
Rhododendron ‘Mrs J C Williams’ – an ancient hybrid not unlike ‘Sappho’ in flower but earlier and smaller.
Rhododendron ‘Mrs J C Williams’
Rhododendron ‘Mrs J C Williams’
Rhododendron ‘Mrs J C Williams’
Rhododendron ‘Mrs J C Williams’
Despite being nearly dead the three old Camellia reticulata ‘Captain Rawes’ are still trying hard.
Camellia reticulata ‘Captain Rawes’
Camellia reticulata ‘Captain Rawes’
Camellia ‘Extravaganza’ at its best.
Camellia ‘Extravaganza’
Camellia ‘Extravaganza’
Camellia ‘Extravaganza’
Camellia ‘Extravaganza’
Last November we admired the autumn colour on Rhododendron schlippenbachii. Now it is just out in flower.
Rhododendron schlippenbachii
Rhododendron schlippenbachii
Rhododendron schlippenbachii
Rhododendron schlippenbachii
Here you can see how pruning wisteria in February works. Where the new growth from last year has been cut back hard we copious flowers appearing at the end of the pruned stems
wisteria
wisteria
wisteria
wisteria
wisteria
wisteria

2016 – CHW

Cornwall Garden Society Spring Show at Boconnoc
Cornwall Garden Society Spring Show at Boconnoc
At the Cornwall Garden Society Spring Show at Boconnoc. Jaimie and Michael win the same three cups (mainly for magnolias) as last year. These were:
Treve Holman Trophy
Treve Holman Memorial Cup

The Treve Holman Memorial Cup – First awarded in 1988 for: Best Exhibit in Section B – Magnolia Classes.  Treve was an active member of the Executive Committee.

George Johnstone Trophy
George Johnstone Perpetual Trophy

The George Johnstone Perpetual Trophy – First awarded in 1970 for: Most points in Section B – the Magnolia Classes and was donated by Mrs George Johnstone. Mr Johnstone was the first President of the reformed society in 1958. Though disabled through a riding accident, he built on the initial planting of his ancestors to establish the now internationally famed Trewithen Gardens.

Abbiss Memorial Trophy
Abbiss Memorial Trophy

The Abiss Memorial Trophy – Donated by the Cornwall Garden Society in honour of Captain Abbiss. MBE. DCM. MM. NDH. FLS.  A pioneer of the Cornish Horticultural Industry and one of the best known figures in British commericial horticulture. The trophy was first awarded in 1966 for: The best vase or growing plant, in Sections A B C or D, as it is today.  Captain Abbiss was presented with a silver salver by the CGS shortly before his death in 1966; in honour of his work for the CGS and in general.  A memorial garden was built in his name at the Royal Cornwall Showground.

2015 – CHW

MAGNOLIA Butterflies is nearly out
MAGNOLIA ‘Butterflies’ is nearly out
MAGNOLIA Yellow bird
MAGNOLIA ‘Yellow bird’

It is a bank holiday (Good Friday) but still three house tours despite the rain. This house was not designed to be lived in by us and dad with six dogs and be open to the public so we escape to Penvergate to see if the yellow magnolias there are showing colour yet. Magnolia‘Butterflies’ is nearly out and Magnolia ‘Yellow Bird’ will be in a week to 10 days. Hassle all day long now.

Oak Branch
Blown over oak branch
METASEQUOYA Glypto direct hit
METASEQUOIA glypto. took a direct hit
ACER Opalus
ACER opalus
The trees blown over in February 2014 gales have been cleared but there is still debris to burn up. An oak branch, down more recently, has just missed Magnolia ‘Apollo’ which is just coming out.  More seriously the specimen Acer opalus has also blown over and left a big gap and the best of the two new Metasequoia glyptostroboides has had a direct hit and lost its top completely down to 10 feet or so.  So we lost three mature oaks and three sweet chestnuts here. However half of the original Sorbus torminalis has survived.
MAGNOLIA DISPLAYS original
Original Mags from the 1920’s
MAGNOLIA Soulangeana CHW
MAGNOLIA soulangeana
MAGNOLIA Soulangeana 02
M. soulangeana close-up
soulangeana ALBA SUPERBA CHW
soulangeana ‘Alba Superba’
MAGNOLIA officialis BILBOA CHW
MAGNOLIA officialis ‘Bilboa’

Apart from being untidy there are good displays from the 1920s original and newish Magnolia soulangeanas and especially soulangeana ‘Alba Superba’. Magnolia officinalis biloba is still in bud but about to flower well.  The buds have an almost black indumentum covering and stand proud to the upright stems.

Magnolia mollicomata ‘Sidbury’
M. mollicomata ‘Sidbury’

Sadly we have missed Magnolia mollicomata ‘Sidbury’ which is now putting on its leaves.  Another website set of pictures going begging until next year.

The dogs catch yet another rather sickly cock pheasant who has clearly been fighting his rivals and had lost an eye in the process.  This is a pretty common occurrence as the cocks fight to defend their harems who will now be starting to lay properly in the mild weather.

1994 – FJW
The wettest open day to date – non stop rain – say 80 visitors.

1988 – FJW
Open day – 2200 – beautiful day – Magnolias mostly over – Camellias excellent.

1983 – FJW
Open day – 2003 – despite ominous weather forecast – Magnolias A+ Camellias and Rhodo’s B+.

1934 – JCW
Just the reverse of last year. Cherries much injured by birds and bad shooting. Mag sargetiana smothered in blooms. A late season.

1927 – JCW
A very few Augustinii open. Daffs broken by wind. De Graaf not all open. Subhirtella in the Old Park is the best cherry.

1926 – JCW
The pink Davidsonianums were far best two plants in this last week but the Augustinii were very good indeed.

1925 – JCW
Appleyard saw the martins and swallows.

1918 – JCW
Daffs on the wane, though the best late whites are not all open yet. The cherries (double) are starting. Mountain forms of Rhodo at W (Werrington) two days ago were wonderful. Red and white Auklandii’s are very good.

1916 – JCW
Yellow stuff well open, no real poets. Hot sun by day, cold wind. R fargesii has been very nice, a lovely shrub but not a wonderful flower. R fastigiatum of kinds open here and at W (Werrington) varies very much indeed. The first bit of colour in the drive Cherries.

1912 – JCW
M de Graaf going back, a bit of colour on Auklandii. Adenopodum and Fargesii at their best.

1906 – JCW
Truro show. De Graaf in plenty, some but not the best poets, 10 days dry east wind before, no good Auklandii’s.

1899 – JCW
The first Poet arum and M de Graaf, colour shows on the double cherries.

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