28th January

FJ Williams Profile Picture
FJW 1955-2007
CH Williams Profile Picture
CHW 2015-
JC Williams Profile Picture
JCW 1897-1939
C Williams Profile Picture
CW 1940-1955

2021 – CHW

A third day on the trot of rain, drizzle and sea fret. Digger to remove stumps delayed by the wet ground.

Masses of bud on Magnolia ‘Caerhays Surprise’ but no sign of movement as yet.

Magnolia ‘Caerhays Surprise’
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Surprise’
The badly frosted clump of Zantedeschia aethiopica has recovered and is now upright.
Zantedeschia aethiopica
Zantedeschia aethiopica
Most Echium pininana untouched by frost where sheltered from the wind.
Echium pininana
Echium pininana
Unexpectedly and contrary to what I had seen in the autumn the Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ by the Georgian Hall has no buds at all for this year. I fear some have dropped but the small tree looks healthy. Last year’s spring drought may not have helped. Good new growth either side of where last year’s buds were. This makes yesterday’s one all the better.
Magnolia ‘Lanarth’
Magnolia ‘Lanarth’
Magnolia ‘Lanarth’
Magnolia ‘Lanarth’
Aristolochia sempervirens (BSWJ 13600) in full growth already in a shady corner which it seems to be liking.
Aristolochia sempervirens
Aristolochia sempervirens
Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’ has had its leaves scorched even more in the recent frost.
Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’
Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’
Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’
Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’
Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’
Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’
Narcissus tiandrus full out now outside the dining room window.
Narcissus tiandrus
Narcissus tiandrus
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica full out. Not much scent in the drizzle.
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica and Olearia solandri growing together.
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica and Olearia solandri
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica and Olearia solandri
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica and Olearia solandri
Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica and Olearia solandri
Further foliage frost damage on the wall climbing Smilax discotis. That is what I have always known it as since I rescued it from the front of The Vean before the building work. Hilliers say this is a deciduous species but it has always been evergreen with us. Is it perhaps Smilax aspera?
Smilax discotis
Smilax discotis
The first or last flower on a white rose outside the dining room.
white rose
white rose
Some frost scorching but also some new growth on the Echium pininana seedlings outside the drawing room. These need thinning or removing before they cover the whole window.
Echium pininana seedlings
Echium pininana seedlings

2020 – CHW
Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybing White’ now has a few flowers that are fully open, as you can see against this overcast sky.

Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybing White’
Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybing White’
Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybing White’
Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybing White’
Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybing White’
Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybing White’
Illicium anisatum is out in flower already. We now have several species of Illicium and they seem to flower in spring, summer and autumn. Illicium anisatum is sometimes out as early as this but by no means every year.
Illicium anisatum
Illicium anisatum
The laurel pruning between Donkey Shoe and Higher Quarry Nursery is now nearly complete as you can see. Jaimie is worried that a smallish oak tree with a dead crown needs to come down on the corner where it will not make much mess now that the laurel hedge has been trimmed. When I looked at this last week the oak tree had got plenty of lower branches which still looked fairly vigorous and, unless the tree survey records anything different, I suspect it should be left there for a few years more.
laurel pruning
laurel pruning

2019 – CHW
Some newly planted camellias are performing beyond the Playhouse:Camellia japonica ‘Oo La La’ with a nice frill.
Camellia japonica ‘Oo La La’
Camellia japonica ‘Oo La La’
Camellia japonica ‘Oo La La’
Camellia japonica ‘Oo La La’
Camellia japonica ‘Carolyn Tuttle’. The other flowers damaged by today’s hailstorms.
Camellia japonica ‘Carolyn Tuttle’
Camellia japonica ‘Carolyn Tuttle’
Camellia reticulata ‘Mouchang’ has only two flowers. They are however at least 10in across and gigantic by camellia standards. Planted in 2009 the bush is 7-8ft tall with a spread of 6-7ft. The buds are huge too!
Camellia reticulata ‘Mouchang’
Camellia reticulata ‘Mouchang’
Camellia reticulata ‘Mouchang’
Camellia reticulata ‘Mouchang’
Camellia reticulata ‘Mouchang’
Camellia reticulata ‘Mouchang’

2018 – CHW

The new plant sales area outside the new shop is starting to take shape.

new plant sales area
new plant sales area
Magnolia ‘Todds Fortyniner’ has moved on more than a little in the last week.
Magnolia ‘Todds Fortyniner’
Magnolia ‘Todds Fortyniner’
Magnolia ‘Todds Fortyniner’
Magnolia ‘Todds Fortyniner’
A rather better plant of Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’ than the one we saw recently on the drive.
Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’
Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’
Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’
Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’
Rabbit damage to the base of a 12-15ft tall young Sequoiadendron giganteum.
Sequoiadendron giganteum
Sequoiadendron giganteum
Intense flowering on a newly planted Cupressus duclouxiana in the Isla Rose Plantation.
Cupressus duclouxiana
Cupressus duclouxiana
Cupressus duclouxiana
Cupressus duclouxiana
Cupressus duclouxiana
Cupressus duclouxiana
Trochodendron araliodes from Taiwan has some seed heads which are mainly still green.
Trochodendron araliodes
Trochodendron araliodes
Trochodendron araliodes
Trochodendron araliodes

2017 – CHW
A sunny day and mild to start with. The Rhododendron mucronulatums are nearly over but the new season’s growth is already evident. A very quick turnaround despite the recent cold.
Rhododendron mucronulatums
Rhododendron mucronulatums
Rhododendron mucronulatums
Rhododendron mucronulatums
Another honey fungus rhododendron casualty stands out. An old oak was removed from here five years ago and its decaying roots are causing the damage.
honey fungus rhododendron casualty
honey fungus rhododendron casualty
The Camellia reticulata seedling by Four in Hand has a few flowers opening in the sun.
Camellia reticulata seedling
Camellia reticulata seedling
Some snowdrop clumps are nearly over and some just emerging three weeks after their adjacent predecessors.
snowdrop clumps
snowdrop clumps
snowdrop clumps
snowdrop clumps
Lawn and park resplendent in the morning sun.
Lawn and park
Lawn and park
Then off to present the prizes at the beach to the field trial (Labradors) competitors. It had rained hard on them pre lunch. Four lady judges and everyone very happy as you can see. The winner had a yellow Labrador.
field trial (Labradors) competitors
field trial (Labradors) competitors
field trial (Labradors) competitors
field trial (Labradors) competitors
field trial (Labradors) competitors
field trial (Labradors) competitors
field trial (Labradors) competitors
field trial (Labradors) competitors
field trial (Labradors) competitors
field trial (Labradors) competitors

2016 – CHW
Echium pinnifolium outside the drawing room window has gone black after the minor frost (one night only) about a week ago. It will probably survive and go on to flower if we get no more cold but this shows just how tender this beautiful biennial really is. The others by the front door are still fine.
Echium pinnifolium
Echium pinnifolium


2000 – FJW
Dry January – light frost for 10 nights. Camellias good, no sign of Magnolias.1994 – FJW
Four flowers on – Mollicomata/ Robusta hybrid near back yard.1967 – FJW
Very early and impossibly mild. David picked two daffs. Saw a member of the Swallow family looking fit and well.1961 – FJW
Rain has been incessant since August.1959 – FJW
Garden behind – one or two poor Sutchuenense hyb’s. Mucronulatum in drive very good, scabrifolium coming. Weather mild after cold wet spell.

1934 – JCW
R mucronulatum bed is by far our best shrub in flower. Erica hybrida is opening on the Terrace. R moupinense is very good and so is R Ririei.

1928 – JCW
Very late year and very poor examples of any of the above plants and for the most part very few of them open.

1918 – JCW
Moupinense is open as to one third, bits of lutescens, scabrifolium, sutchuenense, Blood red hybrid and a fair bit of Nobleanum with a little mucronulatum. Erica hybrids very fine indeed. I saw the first lambs tails in flower.

1916 – JCW
Johnstone here and called off to Egypt before we got out. Prunus cerasus conradinae now is the best thing open. P pissardi has one third of the flowers out. R praecox very good, Erica hybrid excellent, R moupinense very nice. A few daffs are about, R nobleanum has every flower open and perfect. A very mild winter up to this.

1914 – JCW
Quite a late year so far from 1914. No sign of a trumpet daff here. C coum is nice, Aconite open but scarce. All the heaths coming to be nice.

1902 – JCW
I picked two seedling trumpets in the Kitchen Garden, cold and fine.