Daphne bholua ‘Mary Rose’, the finest of all the bholuas perhaps, and definitely my favourite, has finally opened up in the two pots outside the front door. Unlike other named forms which are now nearly over ‘Mary Rose’ has been in bud but showing colour for weeks.
The original 1913 Magnolia campbellii at its finest in the sun.
Magnolia campbellii ‘Darjeeling’ still, slightly surprisingly, in tight bud.
Another Rhododendron rireii flowering for the first time.
Camellia reticulata ‘Royalty’ just opening.
Rhododendron moupinense now just out.
First flower out on Magnolia campbellii subsp. mollicomata ‘Werrington’. A good colour this year.
Prunus conradinae now full out in all its late February glory.
Magnolia sprengeri ‘Copeland Court’ nearly died in the Beast of March 2018 and subsequent dry summers. Pruned back to a thick stick of trunk it has two rather insipid flowers and may be recovering.
At last, a decent low down flower on Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybing White’! The flowers on the top of the tree have been destroyed in recent gales.
One of the elderly Michelia doltsopas really is starting to come out properly.
Ian Baldick’s Magnolia ‘Ian’s Red’ is showing colour and promises a fine show but this one is very susceptible to frosts.
A rather more decent flower and bud today on Magnolia ‘Bishop Peter’.
The Magnolia campbellii seedling above Crinodendron Hedge is the best magnolia display by far today in the garden. How many thousands of flowers?
I am very fond of these old fashioned double flowered daffodils which never set seed (no reproductive parts I assume) and multiply only from bulb offsets. No idea of the name. Some above Burns Bank on the path and many more by the Petrol House near the pond.
First flowers showing high up on Magnolia ‘Shirraz’. It never used to be anything like as early out as this until around five years ago.
This arrived in the middle of the lawn over the weekend. Not a ‘joke’ for the public so quickly locked in the summerhouse. No doubt we will find the source of this joke in due course and retaliate in kind with a gnome or two. Wherever could we reasonably put this?
2020 – CHW
A magnolia which often gets frosted is this campbellii seedling on Bond Street surrounded by Camellia ‘JC Williams’. A good dark colour showing up well today.
This is a home grown Magnolia x veitchii seedling (x veitchii is supposedly Magnolia campbellii x Magnolia denudata but I have my doubts as to the historical accuracy of this) below the drive which is flowering for the third time and, this year, in profusion. Quite nice but rather early for a veitchii and the flower shape is not quite like our other x veitchiis either.
Magnolia ‘Red Lion’ full out on Bond Street. I prefer this to its sister seedling, the ever popular, ‘Star Wars’.
We intend to clear the old kitchen garden of trees and rubbish as soon as it dries up. In 2014/5 we obtained HLS grants to repair and stabilise the walls with a view to then clearing the conifers which my father planted here in the late 1950s when the area ceased to be a vegetable garden and quickly became a pheasant release pen. Not many conifers have survived but there is plenty of Lonicera nitida and 30 to 40 year old self-sown saplings of ash and sycamore. Frankie Tregunna will bring his large swing shovel with Ross Collins dragging out the felled trunks. We intend to leave the bases of the two glasshouses intact and the apple store shed may one day be restored. A tree fell on it some years ago. When cleared we will include this in the public access into Old Park Wood but what to plant? A lot of lime was probably used in the vegetable growing but although 70+ years ago it may still not be ideal for rhododendrons or more susceptible ericaceous plants. I am tempted by the idea of a Chilean garden but it is a bit of a frost pocket and a bit too much in the path of westerly winds to try to grow Chilean Nothofagus which are very prone to blowing over as we know to our cost. There are probably quite enough magnolias already below the Kitchen Garden and adjacent (restored) Dog Kennels.
Magnolia ‘Athene’ looking good in Giddle Orchard above the Kitchen Garden but a huge fallen oak to clear up here as well.
Pseudocydonia sinensis early into full leaf on the drive as it always is. No flowers or fruit as yet on this 20 year old shrub.
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’ by the arch is nearly out. This has happened more or less overnight with a bit of help from the wind.
The first flowering of the young Magnolia ‘Caerhays Splendour’ on the bank outside the front door is now at its best.
A big clump of Erica arborea full out and strongly scented as the evening draws in. Showing colour on New Year’s Day it is only now at its best.
2019 – CHW
The glorious weather continues. We are a month earlier magnolia wise than I can ever remember. Magnolia ‘Theodora’ just coming out here.
A young Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’ just out on Hovel Cart Road. The shape of the flowers and tepals is very distinct. Still few Magnolia mollicomatas out and no Magnolia sargentiana robustas.
Magnolia ‘Judy Carlson’ just opening.
Magnolia ‘Leda’ – likewise.
Serena’s plaque is now up at the Isla Rose Plantation beside a young oak tree.
Camellia ‘Midnight Variegated’ has light irregular white blotching.
2018 – CHW
The last ever consignment of Glendoick nurseries bare root rhodos has arrived and are now lined out in Rookery Nursery for growing on. How many will die before they eventually get planted out? Glendoick are stopping mail order or growing in open ground as opposed to pots so visiting their Scottish garden centre is the only option now for rare rhodo species.
Jaimie has just provided pictures of the dare devil tree surgeon operating last week on the half blown down abies at Donkey Shoe. Rather him than me! I once tried tree climbing under instruction as a student at Alice Holt. My very long hair then got caught up in one of my very poorly executed knots and I had to be rescued from agony by the instructor. Never again and that was 40 years ago.
The new Isla Rose Plantation sign is up.
An old honeycomb dug out, presumably, by crows from a wild bees nest. Perhaps squirrels but would they not have chewed it up on the ground? No sign of any bees in residence.
Flowering yew trees from a week ago and photographed then by Jaimie below Burns Bank make a pollen cloud on a fine still day. Early or not? We saw the cephalotaxus nearly in flower three weeks ago and their similar ‘pollen cloud’ last March or April.
The two new holiday lets at Tregaire Barton are a month away from completion. Then a month to furnish and ready to let mid to late May for the first visitors we hope.
2017 – CHW
Blink or sit in meetings for a day or two and you can quickly miss what is best in the garden. A westerly gale turns a magnolia from being perfectly out to over in a matter of hours.The true Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ has 11 flowers on it this year on the bank opposite the Georgian Hall. Only the third time it has flowered since planting in 1955 but the soil is poor and its positioning on a hot bank is not ideal. Still this is its best showing so far. A good colour which I should have captured here in the blog six days ago.
A smashing display of wild Cyclamen coum above the gents’ loo.
And the first coloured primrose which was once a cross with my mother’s Primula ‘Wanda’ (dark purple) which grew in a line on the edge of the border opposite the front door.
These are the Narcissus cyclamineus seedlings and hybrids which Ron Scamp gave to Dad. One is well worth a name he thinks amid quite a variety of slightly better growing forms with larger trumpets than the true species which still thrives in the Auklandii Garden.
Suddenly a carpet of primroses coming out everywhere where the grass was so carefully cut last summer late in the season when they had seeded naturally and were dormant.
The snowdrops are now over again for this year. So pretty yet so fleeting.
2016 – CHW
Off to see the Exeter Chiefs play Bath today as VIP guests of Tony Rowe, the CEO/owner. It may be a rather liquid day.Just time for a few pictures. Seldom do you see the aucuba so well berried at this stage in the year at Red Linney. Clearly the pheasants do not like these berries.
Azalea ‘Amoena’ has been showing for a while but this smallish plant is now full out. Another evergreen azalea which has often graced the stand at Chelsea now out three months early.
Rhododendron kiyosumense (a form of Rhododendron reticulatum) has unusually retained much of its leaf but is now coming out. Not unusual after a non winter like this I suppose. A newish deciduous species to us and quite nice. Much smaller growing than Rhododendron reticulatum.
Azalea ledifolium (formally ledifolia ‘Alba’ just to confuse you) is also now coming out months early. We saw the odd flower weeks ago but now, slowly, the full monty is appearing on this dense growing evergreen azalea which is so prone to whitefly.
Looking across from the drive to Giddle Orchard through the new gap there are three magnolias in the distance but sadly a bit windblown and frosted.
This clump of daffodils were bought in eight to ten years ago and supposedly special at the Hovel turning but I cannot remember the name. They have multiplied well and are a good show here.
Fist common garlic with a flower out. Clearly an all time record as well.
Above the Hovel is a plant which has pride of place by the pond at Burncoose but I had forgotten we had snuck one in here too.Ribes ‘White Icicle’ is perhaps the nicest of these foul smelling plants. There is an old clump of Ribes praecox in the top of the Rookery but otherwise we are ‘ribes free’! One might argue this one is late by ribes standards and I think we should get some more for dark shady areas on the drive.
The unnamed and unidentified cotoneaster at the Hovel turning has featured twice this year in the diary hoping that someone might help with a name but no joy. It is fully deciduous which ought to narrow it down and here are some remaining berries at the top of the plant.
Coming down the drive I am quite staggered to notice and elderly oak tree genuinely coming into leaf in late February. Remembering the ditty about the ash leafing up before the oak (a soak) and oak before ash (a splash) we are arguably on for a very small ‘splash’ this summer. What a nice prospect that would be after the endless wet! I cannot believe we will see leaf on an ash until late April.
‘Mother’s’ magnolia on the lawn is coming out or been blown out. Dad and mum both planted magnolias in the 1960s which they hoped to name one day but in full sun and absurdly poor soil. Dad’s struggled for a bit and then died. We have come to call this Magnolia ‘Delia Williams’ but the original is a much larger and older plant by the Acer ‘Senhaki’s. This plant is, this year anyway, much darker than usual so we will have to wait and compare flowers when it comes out. No hint of colour yet on the original.
2005 – FJW
4th night of frost and pond ⅓ frozen over.1997 – FJW
First Magnolia flower out.1993 – FJW
Very dry February – but also very warm. Magnolias well out until night of 28th/ March 1st. Cold frost.1988 – FJW
Richard John W came to lunch for the first time.1962 – FJW
Woke up to find heavy fall of snow.1961 – FJW
R.H.S stand – pink crino hedge, Robusta, John Pickthorn and Caerhays Pink showed up best. Giganteum, Mallotum, Thomsonii did not show well. Philip did a 1st class job.
1931 – JCW
The Stewartianums came out well in whites, creamy whites, creamy whites and pink kind and one or two of a better yellow than Campylocarpum. Argenteums open, Glandulosum shows colour. C speciosa remains very nice indeed, a few daffs opening.1927 – JCW
The first Argenteum buds are open perhaps there are not a dozen on the place. The Corylopsis near the frames are opening, also Armanthus delavayi. Bob’s heath is good.1925 – JCW
Sutchuenense x continue good. Berberis fascicularus very good, Barbatum nice, and so Irroratum and Arboreums but frost on those low down.. Erica hybrida very good since hols.1924 – JCW
A late year, Scarlet hybrids are mostly cut out by frost or very short of flower bud. Lutescens and Barbatum have used as best in cold bad weather. Only a few hybrid daffs are open.1921 – JCW
Scarlet hybrids have passed their best. Mrs Butler x coming on and a few Auk x Blood Red. Erica darleyense remains fine and so the other heaths, Argenteums have been splendid.1907 – JCW
Scarcely anything of ‘05 is within sight of coming, a late cold year.1905 – JCW
Much as above (‘03) excepting King A, picked a coloured incomp from Fire Grand x Max. Rhodo praecox very good, many double daffs open, but no Maximus yet.
1903 – JCW
King Alfred shows colour, a great number of seedlings open, no good ones except from Cyclamineus, Ciliatum opening and most of the early trumpets, several Camellias.
1901 – JCW
Several doubles, an odd Caerhays, one Maximus just opening, some days later than any year since 1897.