6th 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

Do we hear any of the media praising the government for paying out, via county councils and the local rating valuation lists, the £10k and £25k government grants to all small local businesses who have been shut down and qualify (catering, leisure, visitors etc)? Of course not! Quite amazingly these grants are to be paid to millions of businesses on the business rates lists within only 13 days of the chancellor’s announcement. Well done and thank you Boris and Sunak as well as Cornwall county council.

Attached is a single page summarising the report by Iain Anderson following the public inquiry in 2002 into the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak. Although written to try not to be too rude about Tony Blair and the DEFRA approach to the mass cull and lockdown of the countryside you will find familiar phrases – ‘Confidence gives way to panic’ and ‘Breakdown of trust’. Tourism businesses in the countryside got no specific government help then. Well done Boris, again, for doing so much better now!

The ghastly woman on Radio 4’s Today programme continues to bleat and sneer in equal measure thinking this is good journalism.

How I missed seeing Magnolia ‘Blushing Belle’ in its full glory yesterday I will never know but Jaimie did not and here ‘she’ is! This is a 2001 US cross between Magnolia ‘Yellow Bird’ and Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’. You can see hints of yellow in the bud and in the veining at the bottom of the tepals but not much.

Magnolia ‘Blushing Belle’
Magnolia ‘Blushing Belle’
Magnolia ‘Blushing Belle’
Magnolia ‘Blushing Belle’
Magnolia ‘Blushing Belle’
Magnolia ‘Blushing Belle’
The first climbing rose out in flower by the School Room window.
climbing rose
climbing rose
A hen pheasant laid an egg in a pot containing a Daphne bholua outside the front door early this morning. No wonder they are such hopeless mothers laying randomly like this rather than in a proper nest.
egg in a pot
egg in a pot
Overwintered young cattle just let out of their sheds into the castle front. If we still had a visitor season they would not be here.
Young Cattle
Young Cattle
A rather wind battered clump of Ceanothus ‘Trewithen Blue’ starting to come out.
Ceanothus ‘Trewithen Blue’
Ceanothus ‘Trewithen Blue’
More overnight frost really has cut back the Gunnera manicata by the dog kennels but they will still recover.
Gunnera manicata
Gunnera manicata
Gunnera manicata
Gunnera manicata
The mini digger has made a good job of levelling the top path in Old Park.
Top path
Top path
The Forestry Commission have asked us to cut off the younger shoots from the base of sweet chestnuts to avoid them getting infected with Phytophthora ramorum and eventually infecting the elderly trees. We are compliant! A Trochodendron araliodes in the background.
sweet chestnuts
sweet chestnuts
A flower (only one) on Magnolia ‘Ivory Chalice’ which is fair to moderate as a yellow but a reasonable name.
Magnolia ‘Ivory Chalice’
Magnolia ‘Ivory Chalice’
After a lot of thinking and digging in the reference books I think this must be a form of Prunus cerascifera, the cherry plum, which is a small hedging tree native in S. Europe. From a distance I noticed a huge hedgerow of white beside Derrecks Wood and assumed it was blackthorn or sloe (Prunus spinosa) but, close up, these are small hedgerow cherries with striped cherry bark and no thorns. The blackthorn is growing in amongst the cherry but is not out yet. It might be a hybrid with Prunus domestica, the plum, as we do find in hedgerows elsewhere, but the leaf is nowhere near that of a plum. Anyway it is startlingly good here today well away from any other cherry to cross with.
Prunus cerascifera
Prunus cerascifera
Prunus cerascifera
Prunus cerascifera
Prunus cerascifera
Prunus cerascifera
Prunus cerascifera
Prunus cerascifera
Another Prunus ‘Shirotae’ glows in Bond Street.
Prunus ‘Shirotae’
Prunus ‘Shirotae’
A good display on the ‘Pussy Willow’ (Salix caprea) under Dry Walls.
Cattle at rest beside the cherries under the tower.
Cattle at rest
Cattle at rest
Pterocarya fraxinifolia needs a ‘lot of room’ as Lord Falmouth (now aged 100) told Dad when he gave him this plant 35 to 40 years ago. Multi-stemmed and spreading/suckering everywhere. See how the cut off branch provided room for a load of vigorous new suckers to appear. At Tregothnan they cut off the suckering root growths each year to try to maintain a single stemmed tree. At Wisley they had not done this yet but will soon need to from what I saw two years ago.
Pterocarya fraxinifolia
Pterocarya fraxinifolia
The dwarfish Chaenomeles on the lawn a mass of orange-red flowers.
Chaenomeles
Chaenomeles
Chaenomeles
Chaenomeles
The mini digger has cleared and levelled the path on Sinogrande Walk.
path on Sinogrande Walk
path on Sinogrande Walk
The mini digger tackles the huge ilex stump on the tree which fell in a November gale. Jaimie moves my car from below in case it ‘got away on them’.
mini digger
mini digger
Camellia ‘Cornish Spring’ still with plenty of flower.
Camellia ‘Cornish Spring’
Camellia ‘Cornish Spring’
We have always called this old plant Camellia taliense on Burns Bank. I doubt that it is and may be Camellia sinensis? The old trunk died some years ago and one shoot came up, as here, from the base. The cold winds have defoliated it a bit but the flowers are pretty.
Camellia taliense
Camellia taliense
Camellia taliense
Camellia taliense
The rhododendron season is kicking off. Here a very dark form of Rhododendron augustinii is just starting into flower.
Rhododendron augustinii
Rhododendron augustinii
And a Rhododendron bauhiniiflorum although the older Burncoose plants were full out a week ago.
Rhododendron bauhiniiflorum
Rhododendron bauhiniiflorum
Amazingly Ilex aquifolium ‘Bacciflava’ also still has plenty of yellow berries.
Ilex aquifolium ‘Bacciflava’
Ilex aquifolium ‘Bacciflava’
Back to magnolias.
Magnolia ‘Kousious’ is now full out. Green and yellow markings on the outside of the tepals when fully out.
Magnolia ‘Kousious’
Magnolia ‘Kousious’
Magnolia ‘Kousious’
Magnolia ‘Kousious’
Magnolia ‘Kousious’
Magnolia ‘Kousious’
So is Magnolia ‘Hot Lips’ and the name now does it credit when it is full out.
Magnolia ‘Hot Lips’
Magnolia ‘Hot Lips’
Magnolia ‘Hot Lips’
Magnolia ‘Hot Lips’
Magnolia ‘Hot Lips’
Magnolia ‘Hot Lips’
First flower on Magnolia ‘Banana Split’.
Magnolia ‘Banana Split’
Magnolia ‘Banana Split’
Magnolia ‘Sunset Swirl’ full out too and very good now.
Magnolia ‘Sunset Swirl’
Magnolia ‘Sunset Swirl’
Magnolia ‘Sunset Swirl’
Magnolia ‘Sunset Swirl’
Magnolia ‘Sunset Swirl’
Magnolia ‘Sunset Swirl’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’ is a UK hybrid bred by John Carlson. Pink in bud, opening pinkish, then just fading to near white. I do not think I have clocked this one before.
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Lucy Carlson’
Prunus ‘Hally Jolivette’ just starting.
Prunus ‘Hally Jolivette’
Prunus ‘Hally Jolivette’
The spraying around the plants in Kennel Close has acted quickly in a dry week.
Spraying around plants
Spraying around plants
Bronzy new growth on Cotoneaster moupinensis.
Cotoneaster moupinensis
Cotoneaster moupinensis
Prunus incisa is just starting into flower. Note the old pigeons’ nest at head height.
Prunus incisa
Prunus incisa
Prunus incisa
Prunus incisa

2019 – CHW
Just out is Rhododendron soilenhense and perfect for entering in the Cornwall Garden Society show at Wadebridge this weekend.

Rhododendron soilenhense
Rhododendron soilenhense
Rhododendron soilenhense
Rhododendron soilenhense
Rhododendron soilenhense
Rhododendron soilenhense
Rhododendron soilenhense
Rhododendron soilenhense
Tin Garden partly planted up and watered in. Rabbit wires in place.
Tin Garden
Tin Garden
Tin Garden
Tin Garden
Prunus ‘Horinji’ just out. These few cherries in Kennel Close have grown and developed very quickly. This is the third one out here this week.
Prunus ‘Horinji’
Prunus ‘Horinji’
Last year the team got rid of the ivy growing up many of the deciduous azaleas on the main drive. It was smothering them and several had to be cut back hard to get at and remove the huge ivy roots. However there remained five awful flowering clumps of ivy in good azaleas by Trevanions Holly and the Four-in-Hand. I have been moaning about these for months so today I got a billhook and did the business on the lot (without digging the roots). When anyone notices it dying off I will, of course, be told that I have only done half a job and they will be right!
Deciduous Azalea
Deciduous Azalea
Deciduous Azalea
Deciduous Azalea
Deciduous Azalea
Deciduous Azalea
First flowers showing on Rhododendron ‘Elizabeth’ which is early.
Rhododendron ‘Elizabeth’
Rhododendron ‘Elizabeth’
Rhododendron ‘Elizabeth’
Rhododendron ‘Elizabeth’
Likewise on Rhododendron ‘Tessa’ (moupinense x ‘Praecox’) which is a bit later than usual. It is more of an evergreen small shrub than Rhododendron ‘Praecox’ as you would expect.
Rhododendron ‘Tessa’
Rhododendron ‘Tessa’
Rhododendron ‘Tessa’
Rhododendron ‘Tessa’

2018 – CHW
To the Savill Garden for the RHS rhodo show. Click here to ALL see the exhibits we saw during the set up after six hours on the road and a dreadful journey to Windsor, with a few highlights below:

Camellia ‘Les Jury’ which we have just planted at home

Rhododendron sulphureum – Forrest 15782 – an especially fine form and better than I have ever seen before
Rhododendron sulphureum – Forrest 15782
Rhododendron sulphureum – Forrest 15782
Rhododendron sulphureum – Forrest 15782
Rhododendron sulphureum – Forrest 15782

Rhododendron tanastylum – extremely rare!

Rhododendron tanastylum
Rhododendron tanastylum

Prunus campanulata ‘Felix Jury’ – a must-get cherry

Prunus campanulata ‘Felix Jury’
Prunus campanulata ‘Felix Jury’
Prunus campanulata ‘Felix Jury’
Prunus campanulata ‘Felix Jury’

Buxus hyrcanus – unusual to say the least

Buxus hyrcanus
Buxus hyrcanus
Buxus hyrcanus
Buxus hyrcanus

Rhododendron intricatum – very dwarf!

Rhododendron intricatum
Rhododendron intricatum
Perhaps a dull list but a useful pictorial reference library for the future. A far better show than seemed even faintly possible only a week ago. Crown Estates won the three main challenge cups and deservedly so. We can only have been the odd point away from the magnolia cup. If only our Magnolia ‘Albatross’ had not been knocked or blown over!

2017 – CHW
A rhododendron planting day from three nursery beds – approximately 80 plants – mainly species.Azalea ‘Hana-asobi’ in full flower. Hose in hose flowers. Behind it is one of the last surviving Azalea ‘Shin-sekai’.
Azalea ‘Hana-asobi’
Azalea ‘Hana-asobi’
Azalea ‘Hana-asobi’
Azalea ‘Hana-asobi’
Lifting root balled rhododendrons from the Orchid House Nursery bed. We have cleared this bed now and will re-fence it in the summer.
rhododendrons from the Orchid House Nursery
rhododendrons from the Orchid House Nursery
We saw Rhododendron concatenans in flower before Christmas but these were odd secondary flowers. Here is the proper job!
Rhododendron concatenans
Rhododendron concatenans
Rhododendron concatenans
Rhododendron concatenans
Another plant of Rhododendron kiyosumense full out but a month later than the one on the drive of a similar size. This is a sub species of Rhododendron reticulatum from Japan and the reference books say that there are several forms.
Rhododendron kiyosumense
Rhododendron kiyosumense
Rhododendron kiyosumense
Rhododendron kiyosumense
The elderly but huge clump of Rhododendron loderi ‘King George’ is just coming out. Smaller plants are full out already as we have seen.
Rhododendron loderi ‘King George’
Rhododendron loderi ‘King George’
Rhododendron veitchianum just coming out in Donkey Shoe.
Rhododendron veitchianum
Rhododendron veitchianum
Rhododendron veitchianum
Rhododendron veitchianum
Rhododendron veitchianum
Rhododendron veitchianum
Schefflera alpina is hidden away in a glade but doing quite well. Does not look that ‘alpina’ to me!
Schefflera alpina
Schefflera alpina
Schefflera alpina
Schefflera alpina
FJW’s cross of Rhododendron moorii x Rhododendron euchates just out by Georges Hut. This is not the best form.
Rhododendron moorii x Rhododendron euchates
Rhododendron moorii x Rhododendron euchates
Rhododendron moorii x Rhododendron euchates
Rhododendron moorii x Rhododendron euchates
At last we have a Magnolia stellata ‘Jane Platt’ which is actually true to name and pink! Several times Burncoose have been supplied with non pink forms in the past leading to hassle and replacements.
Magnolia stellata ‘Jane Platt’
Magnolia stellata ‘Jane Platt’
Rhododendron sinogrande ‘Lord Rudolph’ just breaking bud. Judges at shows do not like us entering this one as we (and nobody else) seems to know its origins. The old plant here grew in a crater just inside the corner of Bramble Field gate.
Rhododendron sinogrande ‘Lord Rudolph’
Rhododendron sinogrande ‘Lord Rudolph’
Rhododendron sinogrande ‘Lord Rudolph’
Rhododendron sinogrande ‘Lord Rudolph’

2016 – CHW
A mad rush to clear up after yesterday’s invasion and prepare the rhododendron archive for viewing by the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia & Magnolia Group members who visit us tomorrow for lunch/tour/archive in this their centenary year.The magnolias and other flower arrangements outside the front door have survived from yesterday in good order but the wind is strengthening now. The glass vases are not vases at all but were part of the electricity generating equipment in the Engine House at the Pound which was built pre WWI to supply two plugs per house and electricity to the estate.
flower arrangements
flower arrangements
flower arrangements
flower arrangements
Outside the front door the arum lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica), which has not turned a hair all winter, now has five flowers out.
Zantedeschia aethiopica
Zantedeschia aethiopica

Beside it is a clump of dwarf narcissi which are just going over but have a superb scent.

dwarf narcissi
dwarf narcissi
A pot of double flowered daffodils with a reddish orange centre are looking good by the door but the label has vanished.
double flowered daffodils
double flowered daffodils

2015 – CHW

PRIMROSES
PRIMROSES

If ever there was a competition for the most irritating visitor comment on the garden it would have to be on completion of their garden tour: ‘aren’t the primroses lovely’.  Yes, of course they are, but how could you not gaze up in wonder at a magnolia or a bunch of rhododendrons!  So many visitors never look up!  Perhaps we should sell Easter tickets just for primroses just as the snowdrop gardens do in January/February.  Then everyone could just look at their feet.

I wonder why the three Vaccinium floribundum above the greenhouse which were doing so well have suddenly all died?

MAGNOLIA 'Big Dude' 03
MAGNOLIA ‘Big Dude’
MAGNOLIA 'Big Dude'
MAGNOLIA ‘Big Dude’
MAGNOLIA 'Tino Durio'
MAGNOLIA ‘Tino Durio’

Magnolia ‘Tina Durio’, a pure white, is the best plant in the clearing above the greenhouse.   There is a larger and more impressive plant in 40 Acres.  Perhaps a better shape than Magnolia ‘David Clulow’. The next plant to it is labelled Magnolia ‘Big Dude’ but it is not a very big flower and the correct plant is probably next to the big new Sequoiadendron giganteum.

RHODODENDRON arboreum (white)
RHODODENDRON arboreum (white)
RHODODENDRON 'Endslegh Pink'
RHODODENDRON ‘Endslegh Pink’
RHODODENDRON Edgeworthii
RHODODENDRON edgeworthii

The rhododendrons are starting to rush out after a mild and mainly sunny Easter weekend.  Rhododendron edgeworthii has sprung from nowhere and the huge Rhododendron arboretum (white) which is nearing the end of its life is having one last triumphant display on Burns Bank.  Rhododendron ‘Endsleigh Pink’ is an old hybrid but well worth its place.

BETULA albosinensis
BETULA albosinensis

Betula albosinensis above the greenhouse just large enough to start its bark peeling.  Two older specimens in Penvergate are much better and now 20 years old.  Very different at present from the Werrington ‘Chinese Garden’ and ‘Bowling Green’ (now called ‘ChinaRuby’) forms of Betula albosinensis which I remember growing at Donkey Shoe as a child.  The Werrington Forrest collected form (1910) had creamy white peeling bark flushed pink and maturing to coppery red.  Too early to say if any of these three will be ex Werrington but I did buy both forms from Thornhayes Nursery 15 to 20 years ago.  ‘China Ruby’ is now listed by Burncoose and probably qualifies as the ‘must have’ betula. Time to check the computerised planting records again.

A simply gorgeous day with 428 garden visitors and a coach load on top.  Much the same numbers as we used to get on our pre 1992 one (charity) day a year of opening.  340 on Easter Sunday so the marketing of the garden is working.

1980 – FJW
5000 came for the Open Day – traffic problems.

1958 – FJW
Savill and Findlay came + 1250 for open day.

1934 – JCW
Prunus sargentiana may have 70 blooms on and all that lot have flowered.

1932 – JCW
Mag sargenti has two blooms open. Camellias at the Gun room are very good. Pink Cherry wants a day more, not an early year.

1931 – JCW
Very nearly as in 1924 two of Wilson’s denudata are showing flowers, one is pink like the mother and the other is a pinkish white. Lutescens is good again after one knock out by the frost and then another by the wind. Pink pendulous cherry is at its best.

1924 – JCW
Poets just starting, yellow trumpets fair. Been cold and dry for a long while without rain. No cherry in drive yet. Subhirtellas nice also incisa. Mag denudata not open. Not much behind 1921.

1921 – JCW
Poet’s open and daffs on the wane. No yellow trumpets left but nice Leiden and a little colour. Rho amoena at their best. Cherries in Drive very good. Magnolia conspicua, denudata and stellata are all good. The red and white Auklandii types never so good. Bob’s heath in flower and has been for a month or more.

1916 – JCW
Just as the above (1915). R fastigatum is very good at Werrington, it has been cold since February 26th.

1915 – JCW
Many daffs open but no Poets, not the M de Graaf in the drive, all the trumpets and incomps are at their best. Prunus pendula just opening. R racemosum in the drive very good but not all out.

1911 – JCW
M de Graaf is opening, a fairly good lot of Reticulatas open, sharp frost last night which cut rhodo bloom. R fargesii stood it better than others.

1899 – JCW
Lovelace, Chanas, Sir Walter Scott, White Lady etc picked for Birmingham Show. Bob saw the first swallow.

1897 – JCW
I made my first visit to Appleshaw with PDW and bought my first lot of daff seedlings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*