2021 – CHW
An interesting little bit of our garden history and a nice puzzle!
We received an enquiry from Pam Hayward about the two attached photographs which were taken in very early colour and which are in the collection of an amateur photographer called Hugh Charles Knowles which is housed at the V&A Museum. The collection contains pictures of gardens and rhododendrons.
Both these pictures were actually taken by Lionel de Rothschild of Exbury between 1907 and 1914. The Caerhays visitors’ book records five of Lionel’s visits here between March 1921 and April 1935 but nothing earlier. Perhaps he actually stayed nearby; say at Heligan?
Anyway one of the two pictures is very clearly Caerhays. It is interesting to see the shelterbelt at the top of the old deer park only just established. The pink and white Rhododendron arboreums featured are still (exactly) there now in extreme old age. The Irish yew is not and neither is the enormous Virginia creeper to be seen on the main tower which I remember being cut down and removed as a child. The Magnolia grandiflora clump was also there until about 30 years ago when it nearly died in a cold winter.
Camellia ‘Cornish Snow’ is now shedding furiously below Donkey Shoe but there will be some flowers still to come out for weeks yet.
Rhododendron ‘Red Admiral’ is starting to come out by Georges Hut. A very good red indeed and a Caerhays hybrid. About its normal flowering time.
Heavy rain has caused another landslip on Porthluney Hill. Road not quite blocked but impassable to anything larger than a car. It feels like it has rained for the last three months. Everything sodden underfoot. It must dry up soon! Perhaps a fine dry flowering spring?
One of the young seedlings of Rhododendron grande which originally self sowed themselves in the frames by the greenhouse is out up Hovel Cart Road. A rather pale colour. This is not yet out at Burncoose nor are the older plants here.
2016 – CHW
Beaters shooting all around on the very last day of the season. Peace will soon reign!Swarms of snowdrops interspersed with daffodils by the Four in Hand and several sorts of daffodils nearby a good month early.
Now two magnolias out outside the back yard. The larger of these was showing colour on 2nd January so the progress of the flowers opening has thankfully been slow.
The restored Nash arch on Battery Walk is now virtually complete and finally the scaffolding and cladding has come down. An impressive feature from the car park and from Penvergate Wood.
2004 – FJW
Dry January. Seaweed left pond – 2 swans arrived.
1999 – FJW
Williamsii at their best – Wet January.
1997 – FJW
Very dry January – first rain for weeks today – snowdrops out and front gate Mucronulatum full out and had emerged from cold spell unharmed.
1995 – FJW
Very wet January – said to have rained every day in the month.
1994 – FJW
January mild and wet – Camellias – no Mag flower yet.
1979 – FJW
First snowdrop. Damage from blizzard of Dec 30/31 – very bad indeed.
1942 – CW
Hoofedicoat and white Narcissus out in Tin Garden – several Sutuenense hybrids and Blood Red – Arboreum in middle ride – Moupinense beginning. Cam reticulata species bud picked just opening – Rho Ririei – Camellia hybrids good and early double white – cut up dead Mag salicifolia below Engine House – over 30ft high – Rhus blown over in gale week before also one Camelia oleifera. Snowdrops good – some Lapagerias.
1931 – JCW
H mollis after three weeks in flower have gone over. Erica hybrida is very fine indeed and some of the Mucronulatum have been good.
1917 – JCW
A hard frost holds and we have had it on and off for over a month, the Hamamelis mollis alone gives us anything. We lately had a terrific easterly gale, it cut the boughs off the yew as if a man had worked his clippers for hours.
1913 – JCW
Just back from six weeks in Spain. A very early year it may be the earliest since 1897. There are seven or eight species of Rhodo’ open and about the same number of varieties, the early cherry and all the P pissardi which is the best plant now, several Camellias including one Reticulata.