A regular reader of this blog writes about squirrel damage to the buds on the magnolias in her garden:
And now I a bit of our magnolias which are doing exceptionally well after all this rains. The Harold Hillier is going to flower for the first time. We bought two years ago the magnolia J. C Williams and last year the only one bud was eaten by the squirrel. In fact the buds on Black Tulip, Apollo, Genie and Star Wars were also eaten. Taking into account that our trees are still small, the damage was devastating. We reduced the number of squirrels considerably ( we are close to 100 and the visiting fox is getting fat) in our area and this year J.C. produced close to 30 flower buds. Can’t wait.
They have my sympathies but have hopefully saved some buds from this year’s crop.
First flowers on a young Magnolia campbellii Alba Group by Donkey Shoe. A bought in grafted plant which is not true to our original Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba’. Quite a hint of pink in the tepals and therefore just a seedling of the true ‘Alba’. The shape of the flowers is more ‘Ethel Hillier’ or ‘Strybing White’. More stunted and less drooping than the true ‘Alba’ and with no pointed pyramidical centre to the flower as it opens. Not bad but a long way from the original. It could be the seedling ‘Ethel Hillier’ really or almost ‘Sir Harold Hillier’ which is yet another named ‘Alba’ seedling but nearer the true Chinese original.
The New Zealand form of Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ is at its absolute best today as is the true Magnolia campbellii subsp. mollicomata ‘Lanarth’ by the house. The two are very different. Karol and I make a vlog to go onto the Caerhays website (which you can see there) to explain the differences in more detail.
Arthur rang and mentioned a camellia near the Top Lodge with ‘double’ flowers on each twig. I find Camellia ‘Desire’ which is doing as he said. Several ‘twin’ flowers and one triple which seems a genetic mistake. Does ‘Desire’ do this in other gardens?
The view from the Drive to Giddle Orchard is impressive even on an overcast day.
Our best Cornus hongkongensis is blown over in one of the gales.
2019 – CHW
A trip to Old Park to view what I think is a poorish sister seedling (ie from same seedpod) of Magnolia ‘Caerhays Splendour’. The named plant is not yet showing. The buds here are not bad in colour but overall they fade quickly and this one is nice but not really worthy of a name.
2018 – CHW
A trip down Bond Street and across the moors to Penvergate.
A good show of daffodils above the Petrol House.
Then off to Tregrehan with Jaimie and Michael to look at camellia species and polyspora species. Tom Hudon’s analysis of polyspora is attached. Rather vital as we discovered they all look rather alike in flower. I am afraid I have made some horrendous errors in my diary about the identification of Caerhays camellia species all along. What I have been calling Camellia oleifera is in fact Camellia taliensis. A terrible mistake. Other issues will emerge as we go through the photographs of what we inspected.
So what have we learnt today? We do grow ancient plants of Camellia taliensis and Camellia cuspidata var cuspidata but we have lost our old Camellia tsai UNLESS this is the old plant which fell and is no reshooting on Burns Bank above the mounting block. No flowers on it this year.I am hopeful that Michael has pictures of Camellia cuspidata var cuspidata in Tom’s walled garden. I was too shocked at my longstanding error to take any.
Email from Tom hudon:-Hi Charles,
i thought the following paper would be interesting, as a follow up to the podo article.
I am sending some putative hybrid salignus material to Edinburgh next week for more DNA analysis.
That small plant of Podo. neriifolius you took came from Nth Vietnam.
I finally got round to looking at Toots camellia last night.
It came out as Camellia euryoides aff. As it had shrivalled somewhat it was hard to look at detail with the hand lens.
The camellia plant that looked similar near the walled garden turned out to be different and most likely Camellia fraterna.
When I was out last evening the Polyspora trees down the bottom still had exposed good white flowers and the temp. on the stump had been down to –4C.
So we can say that the Vietnamese speciosa and longicarpa flowers can withstand light frost for short periods.
Most tender plants look ok still, just hope we dont get a dumping tomorrow to break all the trees up.
I well remember your Dad laughing till he hurt when someone said they had been cold at –5C.
We then got the full chapter and verse of 1963…..
2017 – CHW
More murk and poor photographs.A trip to Old Park to view the first two magnolias out here. The first is a campbellii seedling from the same batch as we gave Lady Mary Holborow a plant when she retired. I think we dug it up from beside this one and I believe it has flowered at Ladock Rectory. This is not bad and the flowers will become larger and paler pink in due course.
Magnolia ‘F J Williams’ which featured in yesterday’s article is absolutely full out today. Not a huge tree but plastered in flowers. Here are five varied pictures of FJW in ‘his’ pomp. Today its arguably better than ‘J C Williams’, ‘Philip Tregunna’ or ‘Delia Williams’ magnolias put together but all these are yet to come out so I am probably talking nonsense!
2015 – CHW
Rhododendron moupinense full out but the clump is aged and dying. Must prioritise for cuttings in June/July. Many of these early season flowerers with dwarfish habit are short lived – 30 to 40 years.
1969 – FJW
Peacock tapestry started – mild after bad week.
1963 – FJW
East wind started again. No progress in the garden.
1961 – FJW
Flowers on Mag campbellii and kobus – Magnolias held back. Picked flower on Macabeanum seedling. First time this species has flowered here. Reticulatas nearing best – 30 flowers on big [?]. Flowers on George’s Michelia.
1955 – FJW
Nine or ten inches of snow on lawn. Church Hill drift still 3 ft deep on March 12th.
1929 – JCW
About a fortnight of cold has kept flowers back – no daffs in the Tin Garden, no ice on the pond.
1926 – JCW
50 or more Rhodo species show flower. Rhodo planetum is the best of them.
1925 – JCW
Not been out after tea yet, plenty of flowers but cold and rough.
1916 – JCW
The first turn after tea. A fair lot of daffs open well ahead of 1897 – frost now.
1912 – JCW
Magnolia halleana shows white.
1909 – JCW
Snowdrops on the drive and 20 Aconites, a good few Camellias open of different sorts. A few Tenby, Caerhays, Maximus and Jonquil seedlings open. Very near or in front of time.
1902 – JCW
None of the above. A few Minor, snowdrops and aconite at their best.
1901 – JCW
Prunus pissardi just open, a faint sign of colour on one Maximus but an odd H Irving and Tenby, but none of the above otherwise.
1899 – JCW
Nearly all the Maximus, H Irving and Tenby open, many Caerhays trumpets and one or two Cernuus, many R praecox, C indivisa open, some Italian trumpets.