2021 – CHW
Easter Day and time for a look at the new gifted and bought in plants (50 to 60) which have arrived here mainly in the last fortnight or so. The frames are filling up again with many new things after our planting out sprees in the last six weeks. A welcome diversion from the grandchildren and easter egg hunts.
Viburnum calvum with huge leaves and reddish petioles and new growth.
Buddleia pteracaulis longifolia
Another side to the pandemic is the great rush to support ‘our’ NHS. A visit to Treliske hospital earlier this week shows car parks totally empty, ambulances lined up outside A&E doing nothing and nobody about. A close friend’s brother trips over a supermarket delivery on his doorstep and breaks his arm/shoulder. Off they go to Torbay A&E where there is no waiting at all (no one there) and nurses/doctors with none of the PPE equipment which we hear so much about. Nor were they social distancing either. Car parks and hospital deserted. We hear so much of cancelled routine operations, staff reallocations, old folks being sent home/away and all overworked, overstressed, government not doing ‘enough’, too few tests of NHS staff etc etc. To listen to the BBC the NHS is at breaking point or beyond. A great national crisis and newsworthy drama.Then one hears that 20% of NHS staff are ‘absent’. The normal ‘absence’ rate is apparently 4-5%. Of course they are absent because they are self-isolating (all the fault of no tests) or are already ‘ill’ (COVID implied). Might some not be enjoying a bit of furloughing?After having been foolish enough to have circulated what was apparently ‘fake news’ myself recently (as you will have seen) the silence at these two hospitals may be masking the true reality of the real emergency wards. However, in Truro and Torbay at least, the public appear to be doing what they are told and keeping well away from hospitals. However, it would seem that some parts of the NHS may not actually yet be as stretched and busy as we are all led to believe by the media.
I do not ‘do’ social media but Twitter has thousands and thousands of tweets about deserted hospitals with pictures and videos to prove the point. Where is the fake news in all this really?
While common sense suggests that while this well may be the calm before the forthcoming storm the ‘panic’ may well have caused more misery and hardship for those with more routine ailments and impending operations or cancer treatments than COVID-19 itself yet has! The BBC has yet to make this newsworthy point but will not of course. ITV was even worse and only Sky News had some vestiges of common sense.
Magnolia ‘Rouged Alabaster’ is hidden away but is doing well at 18ft or so. The bit of ‘rouge’ is only evident on the buds as here. This is a US Gresham hybrid but no longer much grown or admired.
Staphylea holocarpa ‘Innocence’ just coming out. Pink in bud opening white. This is a small single stemmed tree which is 12-15ft in height and 25 or so years old.
2018 – CHW The first Aesculus hippocastanum leaves and flowers showing. Rather later than last year?
Twenty five magnolias placed out for planting in Forty Acres. Deer protection essential.On the trip we discover a good clump of FJW’s last rhododendron hybrids. They look Rhododendron griffithianum x Rhododendron arboreum. Planted out in 2002/3.
The first flowering of any new magnolia is always a moment of excitement but usually disappoints. This was planted as Magnolia J C Williams in 2008 and it might yet turn out to be a dark purple as it should be but not as yet here. The shape looks wrong for JCW but early rogue flowers do not yet condemn it to the chainsaw.
The Rhododendron grande are now making a huge statement as a backdrop to the castle. Rhododendron grande is about a month later than usual and also late out at Burncoose. Normally this species flowers very early and, as there are normally no winged pollinators in February, its seedlings come true. These appear in a covered cold frame below the plants from time to time in profusion.So to the centre of 40 Acres Wood to see how the American Gresham and Pickard magnolias are getting on here. Some casualties due to deer damage but many are getting away nicely. The trouble with these breeders is that they named far too many seedlings which are broadly similar rather than picking and naming the very best. Just have a look and these and make your own mind up! Even the names are an exaggeration:
The best thing today in this 15 year old planting is Magnolia x loebneri ‘Mags Pirouette’ which is entirely properly in many people’s top 10 magnolias and a better x loebneri than ‘Wildcat’.
1990 – FJW
Snow and frost came.
1931 – JCW
Magnolia sargentiana came into flower. It is the finest magnolia bloom of any here.
1930 – JCW
No Augustinii or Triflorum excepting Lutescens. Some of this has shown bloom since Nov 20th.
1917 – JCW
The hardest winter since 1895, frost on most nights. Now almost all the Rhodo’s cut but the Oreodoxa, Fargesii, Fortunei lines of blood have tougher blooms.
1912 – JCW
The show is this day next week.
1911 – JCW
The Show day rather too early as daff flowers rather small, hardwood stuff good, Rhodo’s other than branches moderate.
1908 – JCW
Truro show 3 days hence, de Graaf is far off, a late cold year after a ditto. Sunless summer gives us few Rhodo buds and a lot of small rough daffodils. A few Reticulatas open.
1905 – JCW
Truro show, many de Graaf’s there, also Homer in several places. Prince good, Auklandii there all of 4 things open, the show was about the best we have ever had. Picked some pot minimus seed.
1904 – JCW
Weardale, Monarch a few Frian ???, a few Jonquil ???, many P M de G, also out Siren, Torch, Incognita, Homespun, 336, M P, Cardinal, Moonbeam etc etc, go to the Drill Hall.
1902 – JCW
All of the above have some flowers well out. I have picked most of the Lulworth seedlings and saucer eyes for the Show on the 15th. A very bad season for Poets, picked a rose Clamoise.
1901 – JCW
C indivisa been out a full week, Glory of Leiden bursting, also G Bell and 223, Weardale and 999 show colour etc etc.
1899 – JCW
Picked a Madam de Graaf and a [?].