2023 – CHW
The Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ is only now full out by the side door. Much later than in recent years.
2022 – CHW
Work carries on in clearing the old Kitchen Garden. Coming on for halfway perhaps but rain is due and Frankie may have to pull out to avoid making too much mess. The stumps are burning away nicely and the granites which once held up metal posts for the espalier pear trees have been dug up and stockpiled to prevent injury or burst tyres in the future. Ross has got quite a pile of firewood (mainly) to stockpile and dry for a few years in the field.
A survey of the aftermath of the Beast after a week of awful weather. The wind has moved southerly and is just as strong but not so cold.Magnolia ‘Todds Fortyniner’ has survived better than expected.
All three are Camellia lutchuensis crosses and should be grown by all camellia lovers.
The four mystery and ancient hollies which have few if any lowdown branches have shed a few twigs in the gales. This has allowed me to photograph the leaves properly. You can clearly see masses of flower bud forming.
Ilex hookeri has (as you would expect) serrated leaves so this is a nonstarter.Ilex cyrtura – the leaf size is not as Galle describes and we already think this is the real name of the semi deciduous clump at Trewithen. Galle says it is an evergreen species but then this is a US book (perhaps we need to revisit our trees in the Rookery which were identified as I. cyrtura).
Ilex corallina – the leaf shape is about right but no mention here of recessed petioles on the upper side of the leaf which our leaves have. Mention of spines on immature leaves which we do not have the chance to verify. Problem too with the reference to flowering only on second year growth.
Ilex dipyrena – these twigs could not possibly be from I. dipyrena which has a leaf form rather closer to Ilex bioritsensis with five spines (the Owen Johnson identification of two of the four veterans as this is totally wrong).
Ilex insignis, another name used for these trees in 1965, does not register at all in Galle’s book! That does not mean it does not exist I suppose but Galle maintains that this is simply a synonym for Ilex kingiana which we are pretty clear we have identified properly already.
After my hurried and rather inerudite examination I have to conclude that we are probably looking at I. forrestii (syn. corallina). These plants were Forrest introductions after all and I would rate Philip Tregunna’s original identification before those of more recent, and very differing, identifications from various subsequent experts.
I thought I had better finish off the last part of the holly puzzle.
The contention has been that the two veteran trees below Rogers Quarry are the same as two of the three by the Podocarpus salignus clump.
There are no lower branches or even branches you could reach even with long handled pruners so I am forced to rely on windblown twigs as shown here. The leaves are inevitably smaller from 60ft+ up the tree than those from the plants we looked at earlier.
However I am reasonably confident that they are the same and therefore also Ilex forrestii (syn. I. corallina). The petioles on the leaf surface look the same as do the flower buds and shape of the leaf.
To settle matters further I went to the Rookery where former tree recorders say there are three elderly trees which have, again, been given different names over the years including Ilex forrestii and I. cyrtura.There is only one veteran still alive here and one self-sown younger version. I have pictured fallen twigs from both trees. The twig from the veteran is from the crown and has huge leaves while the twig from the younger tree is from near ground level with smaller leaves with some immature leaf serrations or small spines on the leaf edges as is normal.
2020 – CHW
It rains for 24 hours as Storm Dennis does its worst. Severe flooding to come in the water meadows tomorrow but I manage a few pictures before the heavy rain arrives.
The yellow flowered Magnolia campbellii is now full out and undamaged by Storm Ciara. We have stupidly forgotten to take scions of this for grafting in the batches taken recently but we can still rectify this.
Off to David Knuckey’s funeral at Camborne crematorium. David was a founding partner of Burncoose Nurseries in 1984 together with his son Philip and my brother and I. David just made it to Dad’s funeral on 19th January but died a week later. Very sad! One of the greatest and most successful exhibitors at RHS and other shows. His show stands were admired by hundreds of thousands of people over at least four decades.This is Karol’s new ‘video blog’ kit which we refer to as ‘vlog’! You will see these weekly on the Caerhays site and perhaps in this blog too if that is technically possible?
2018 – CHW
The garden rushes out and hence the need to record today exactly what is out for the ongoing historic garden diary.
The new plant sales area is very nearly complete.
The huge Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’ beyond the greenhouse is out early. BBC Spotlight get our press release about the naming of Rhododendron ‘Red Centurion’ and, typically, ring up wanting to do a piece on early rhododendrons. Red Centurion flowers in May!
The greenhouses are stacked high with new young plants and seedlings. We need to send a lot to Burncoose to make more space for potting on this spring. All excellent work by Asia.Magnolia grandiflora ‘Symons Select’ still has a good bud to come and three flowers currently out. Amazing!
2016 – CHW
Barbara Oozeerally and her husband have just left after a weekend of viewing magnolias to paint for her second major pictorial book on the subject. Absurdly early but we did manage to find her some new subjects:F J Williams, Bishop Michael, campbellii ‘Werrington’, Bishop Peter, Suzannah van Veen, New Zealand form ‘Lanarth’, Hawk, Shirraz, True ‘Lanarth’, campbellii ‘Sidbury’, campbellii ‘Lamellyn Pink’, Red Lion, Delia Williams.She gave us the most beautiful original picture of Magnolia sprengeri ‘Burncoose’ which is quite outstanding and will go in pride of place when framed.
All the above have been photographed already and are in this diary over the last few days.
Barbara will need to come back again once or twice more this season if we are to move forward. She is the most accurate painter of magnolias of the three or four artists commissioned by us (with very different styles) over the last 30 years to paint Caerhays plants. Helen Hilliard, Michelle Bennett-Oates and one other.
2001 – FJW
Back yard Magnolia shows colour.2000 – FJW
Giddle Magnolia has several flowers.1972 – FJW
George Stoddart came to stay at the Barton.1964 – FJW
Mild and dry to date – not so advanced in flower as 1948.
All the Hamamelis species have flowered together.
1948 – CW
Rhodo’s praecox, barbatum, argenteum, moupinense, sutchuenense and its hybrids, some thomsonii x arboreum. About six Cam reticulata species opening. Also the Japonica hybrids very good. Unspoiled as a long mild spell. A few early wild daffodil. None in Tin Garden. Prunus pissardi and conradinae. Snowdrops, aconites and cyclamen for weeks, a few lapageria. Colour on Mag sargetiana and robusta, no others.
1933 – JCW
Rhodo’s open are Caucasicum, Praecox, Mucronulatum, Moupinense, Triflorum, Thomsonii x , Barbatum, Lutescens, Sutchuenense near sinogrande, Prunus conradinae – pissardi – p yunanense – p triflora. Snowdrops very good, no magnolias yet.
1901 – JCW
Cold has been on for sometime, a hard frost last night, nothing much moved since February 9th.
1899 – JCW
Rhodo praecox shows colour, snowdrops going back.