A visit to Burncoose; the first for a couple of months because of the shooting season here which ended on the 1st February. All looking good and tidy with several major improvements undertaken over the winter months.
Our liner order arrives from here France today. Very well packed but it will take someone a day to unpack it ready for potting.
A new bay in construction for our green waste compost.
A new rainwater collecting tank on the side of the large order packing shed.
The new roof of The Copper House is nearly finished. The new chimneys stand out well.
New paving slabs laid outside the sales point.
The office gutters feed into this new emergency water tank.
The new lean-to glasshouse in the walled garden is complete and double the size of the older one.
The 6 main tunnels in the walled garden pristine, well stocked and ready for spring sales.
The bottom glasshouse is now a weaning house for rhododendron cuttings and seedlings.
An air blower as it was near freezing last night. All larger tender plants now moved to the new top lean two greenhouse.
New netted screens to reduce wind blow into the Acer areas.
Good new labelling all round as well.
Additional beds for herbaceous plants and a new bed for deciduous azaleas.
2022 – CHW
Two things to look for today. I had expected to find Rhododendron sutchuenense in flower but they are not quite out yet. In the diary in the 1920s they were very often full out before now. Secondly I had stupidly forgotten to go and look at the huge (seedling) Magnolia campbellii above Crinodendron Hedge.
Camellia x williamsii ‘Debbie’ now has a few decent flowers on several plants.
The Magnolia campbellii seedling is about 25% out. The flowers are still smaller than usual (or last year) with signs of being blown open early in the colouration which has stripes of darker/yellowish colour which will fade as the flowers develop.
Still plenty of tight buds low down.
The very last few flowers on Clethra pringleyi.
AND obvious deer damage lower down the shrub.
2021 – CHW
My Labrador, Nicky, is a greedy individual but he has now taught the rest of the pack to eat camellia flowers on the ground and even off the bush. They must taste nice and not just for the pollen. I do not ever remember dogs doing this in the past. Perhaps Nicky is just bored of me photographing them and is just expressing his displeasure?I think this is Semiarundinaria fastuosa below the old dog kennels. We saw it flowering here in the summer and some of the clumps growing on an old stone faced earth bank (hedge) here are now dead. Other new young clumps already have flower buds. However younger clumps look fine still. I have taken a full set of pictures in case the whole lot dies.
Camellia x williamsii ‘Mary Jobson’ now full out despite the biting east wind.
Compare the leaf form on this Ilex cornuata to the one a couple of days ago. Some flower buds as we saw three months ago too but no berries.
Frankie removing camellia stumps to make way for a new rhododendron planting area later in March or April.
No mess as the ground is suddenly dry. Frankie is the brother of the former head gardener here, Philip Tregunna. All Tregunnas do a fantastically neat job!
Sadly the east wind has blown a couple of Magnolia campbellii flowers half open and, inevitably, when out prematurely, they are white not pink. The rest of the higher up buds seem ok for now.
On the 1980s plans this is shown as Camellia ‘Christmas Daffodil’ which I cannot find in any of the three pictorial reference books. Possibly, on the plans, it could be Camellia ‘Daintiness’ but this is not correct. The flowers have irregular darker pinkish blotching in the petals. [Problem solved! It is C. x williamsii ‘Hiraethlyn’. We have young plants in the greenhouse which I photographed in the diary earlier in the year and I have sorted the muddle on the plan. ‘Hiraethlyn’ is a Bodnant hybrid from 1950. I had considered C. ‘Apple Blossom’ or C. x williamsii ‘Burncoose Apple Blossom’ but the latter is a mounded tight bush.]
The snowdrops once from the Vean are a fine clump.
Cyclamen coum has naturalised itself in assorted colours all over the bank and these are now showing up well alongside the first primroses.
Despite the cold this is a clump of campion which has, so far, escaped the previously mild winter.
I gather that Magnolia campbellii subsp. mollicomata ‘Sidbury’ is out in Penvergate. Just half a dozen small flowers blown open in the east wind. Magnolia campbellii ‘Lamellyn’ on the drive will not be far behind.
2020 – CHW
First seed cones on a young Sciadopitys verticillata above Magnolia ‘Mr Julian’.
Jaimie’s hybrid ‘Maisie’ just coming out. Early I think but I cannot offhand remember the parentage behind the cross.
Prunus conradinae (hirtipes) nicely out in Kennel Close.
As is Prunus x incam ‘Okame’. Is ‘Okame’ better than Prunus ‘Kursar’? Not much in it today I think. Both excellent.
Camellia cuspidata already fully out. Or is it Camellia tsai as I always thought before Tom Hudson corrected me?
Michelia ‘Fairy White’ just opening nicely as it was last year.
Not many days ago I photographed Magnolia zenii as still dormant. Suddenly it has sprung out.
The east wind on Thursday/Friday has also suddenly brought the yellow form of Magnolia campbellii into flower. The buds are yellow and the reverse of the tepals remains yellow for a while before fading to white. I need a nice day to photograph this properly.
2019 – CHW
A search for magnolias out or showing colour. Eight photographed here before I ran out of time. There are loads more nearly there. As early as it has ever been looking in the garden diary for today which shows 1962 and 1988 as being fairly early years for a little colour.The first excellent and darker Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ seedling in Old Park is just out. Look at the colour in a fallen petal!
This Old Park Magnolia campbellii (one of two) had been in too dark a place to flower properly. After recent clearance it is starting to perform. I confess that I have never been here early enough to see it like this (if it was) before.
The original 1913 Magnolia campbellii is now full out, indeed, and ‘Spring has Sprung’ as far as the Great Gardens of Cornwall and Caerhays are concerned. About a fortnight earlier than last year when ‘The Beast’ was nearly upon us.
Michelia (properly Magnolia) ‘Fairy White’ is now absolutely full out and a picture.
Another elderly and very pale Magnolia campbellii is now full out by Tin Garden.
So is the equally elderly Magnolia sprengeri ‘Elongata’ which is particularly early. Note the markings on a fallen petal.
First colour on Magnolia ‘Red Lion’ – a sister seedling to ‘Star Wars’ and a better colour I suspect.
The magnolia above the Top Wall, a Magnolia ‘FJW’ seedling, is now full out and quite a sight from the front door.
2018 – CHW
A trip with Jaimie to refine our planting plants for when it finally dries up later this month. Lots of good rhododendron to find places for from the frames.First blown open flower on Magnolia ‘Bishop Peter’. As early as usual!
Loads of flower to come soon on Sophora microphylla ‘Sun King’ which we planted out last spring in a very sheltered spot at the top of the garden.
A few more frosted flowers on Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybing White’. ‘Dog shit on sticks’ says Jaimie and he is not far out although I am not sure if he coined this phrase for this magnolia himself.
New growth emerging on one of the non evergreen embothriums.
Some self sown seedlings of Rhododendron grande which we collected years ago by the greenhouse are a mixture of colours as they flower for the first time. Planted out three years ago by Georges Hut. The old plants are still going and dropped seeds into the cold frames below. They still do! Either of these worth a name? Probably not but worth watching as they come out properly in February. That is really the point as no other big leafed rhododendron species flowers this early.
2017 – CHW
A large commotion outside the front gate with crows mobbing something. It turns out to be a buzzard with a dead pheasant it is eating half way up the Magnolia dawsoniana. Only the wings and breastbone are left.
Last year we had bluebells out by the end of February. They are certainly coming on quickly again now amid the magnolia skeleton leaves on the ground. These are mainly Spanish bluebells with some natives in between.
‘Spring comes to Cornwall’ (or England) as the Great Gardens announce that six record Magnolia campbellii trees in six Great Gardens (Caerhays, Tregothnan, Heligan, Trengwainton, Trebah and Trewithen) all have 50 or more blooms out already. A month earlier than last year’s announcement of ‘spring’ and an all time record early year.Last year the launch involved decorating a carriage on a Great Western train to Paddington with magnolias. This year’s launch sees a Great Gardens delegation with magnolia flowers arriving at 10 Downing Street to present them to the PM with six Cornish MPs in attendance (including Sarah Newton); ‘Cornwall is open for business, come and see our gardens now’ is the cry. Toby Ashworth of The Nare hotel is sponsoring this PR extravaganza with my brother and Jonathan Jones from Tregothnan also present as part of the presentation team.I manage a turgid interview with Radio Cornwall who introduce me as ‘the head gardener’ although the interviewer lady came to my office in the castle on arrival. Also Westcountry TV at Heligan with Tim Smit’s son joining in the interview. So all the fun of the fair on the media front. It remains to be seen tonight what coverage we get on national and local TV and if the newspapers pick up on it.
Red faces all round if it snows in the next 10 days and all the magnolia flowers perish!
2015 – CHW
Second year of flowering of two now evergreen species of Polyspora (ex Crug Farm Nursery) white camellia like flowers. Renamed as previously Gordonia. A welcome addition to the garden and well worth propagating. Tregrehan have grown these plants for 20 years with no difficulty with cold.
1998 – FJW
Jamie picked first Magnolia flower ( Tin Garden pale Campbellii)1994 – FJW
First hard frost since November1991 – FJW
More snow after very cold 5 days – garden looks sad.1967 – FJW
Saluenensis past their best. Williamsii at peak. Macabeanum open above Rogers Quarry. Indecently early year.
1925 – JCW
Argenteum ¼ open. Barbatum a few, some Lutescens, Flavidum none, Sutchuenensis a few, hybrids of Sut’ se several, a few blood red Arboreums, E darleyensis is the best thing.
1916 – JCW
A few daffs open, quite ½ the ciliatum, Moupinense over, pink Arboreums show colour, best red hybrids wane, also Barbatum, R flavidum is very nice, Rendles scarlets moving, Argenteum ½ out, Sutchuenense some open, P pissardi injured by the gales. R praecox going over, Prunus conradinae over.
1908 – JCW
Only one seedling trumpet open. Some N cyc and hybrids found, no crossed daffs, R praecox shows colour, C coum very good, a few roses yet, Clematis balearica useful, heaths starting.
1906 – JCW
Some Caerhays and Lent Lily just open, P pissardi well open. Made my first cross mon x min.
1902 – JCW
Heavy snow three inches everywhere.
1897 – JCW
Forsythia is out, snowdrops going back, several Caerhays single opening.
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