2023 – CHW
The annual trek to Busy Bees Garden Centre which was looking fairly well sold out with not much good stock left and rather a lot of tatty leftovers.
Leucanthemum ‘Real Deal’ – similar to ones which Burncoose stocks but not at all bad.
2022 – CHW
The hydrangea season is getting into full swing and the drive here is now full of colour although not that many varieties are full out as yet. Thank goodness we had heavy rain Sunday before last as they would otherwise be drooping in this heatwave.
Hydrangea ‘Ayesha’ can be blue or pink. Reliable flowerer.
A local tree surgery firm have been round to prune the old leaning Pittosporum tenuifolium tree in our Seaview garden.
Very efficient but, I suspect, unusual (and worrying for their normal work ethic) for them to find a client working on holiday with reference books everywhere on a desk.
The pittosporum is thinned but some of its roots have lifted and I expect it will keel over completely in the next real gale (possibly into next door’s garden). We had a beauty last night with flagpoles rattling and lots of rain and noise in ‘sunny’ Seaview. No sign of the ‘yachties’ early on this morning as the boatmen drain the day boats of water but a large dog turd right outside the Sea View Yacht Club.
‘Absolutely perfect’ as I go to the post box admiring the enormous runoff from gardens into the street. It is not only agricultural fields that cause this sort of erosion.
Then to a large seaside garden in Bembridge where we saw some interesting plants.
Just below the turning onto the main ride in a bare patch of soil where we dug out a dead Rhododendron sinogrande stump I see what I think is Stachys sylvatica or Hedge woundwort. This is a common native perennial which I must confess to not having noticed before. Quite pretty and one which needs to escape the strimmer too.
Later a visit to Trelissick Farm garden for a little outdoor socialising.
Beside it a very dark form of Dierama pulcherrimum.Most of these long established clumps are the conventional light pink colour.
2019 – CHW
Another photography visit to Busy Bee Garden Centre in the usual oppressive heat. Pretty ghastly but the show goes on and 100 new plant care articles now written since I got to Seaview.
The view of Ryde church from the centre. As ever huge new housing estates going up in the foreground.
‘Magical Mont Blanc’ which I guess we should stock soon as it is very good
On Sunday we went off to the Royal Isle of Wight County Show where I had been asked to judge the show gardens and deliver a lecture on styrax. A sweltering baking day in 31°C attended by around 10,000 people in two large very dry fields with terrible access to the main road.Bramley Plants (wholesale) have a good selling table with some interesting plants on offer far too cheaply but who would buy a plant on a day like this?
Rubus phoenicolasius, the wineberry, is a new plant to me but one which may well have merit in our catalogue if the prickles can be avoided. Rounded leaves and part raspberry, part bramble if you wanted to be critical. However the June flowers are quickly followed by large panicles of swelling fruit. The young pheasants ate them last year but it will not be long before they colour up in this heat and are ready for a photograph or two.
The wind turbine (our first of these horrors) is finally up but not quite yet generating power for the grid. Amazingly we only had four objections to the planning application and two were not within the legal range of objections (nasty rich landowner is not a valid ‘objection’ although it may well be a valid point of view). It took seven years to get it installed none the less and what a fight to get the connection to the grid. The government changed the rules last autumn so the subsidies available to the companies building these monstrosities have ended. Caerhays will never have another and we were very restricted to start with as they are not permitted in coastal Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and quite right too. However other estates nearer the A30 and the main power lines have increased their income phenomenally. The owners will survive another generation on the income however they manage things or ‘live it up’ but such is life! Merely jealous!
2015 – CHW
Visited Osborne House, East Cowes, owned by English Heritage. Rather better kept gardens than many of those controlled by the dead hand of the National Trust but £14.30 to get in! If you just want the gardens and landscape but not the house this is a bit much.
Walled Garden nicely done.
If you looked hard and walked a long way you could however find a lot of decent woody/woodland plants hidden away: Magnolia grandiflora ‘Goliath’ flowering in a three sided courtyard by the rather ancient loos
An unnamed pernettya/gautheria which was very nice but has no obvious identity in the reference books
A Staphylea holocarpa full of Chinese lantern fruit
Bupleurum fruiticosum just coming out. A really good coastal plant.
First time I have ever see a cone on the rare conifer Sciadopitys verticellata
All over the place were self sown Arbutus unedo which thrive in these hot, dry coastal conditions
Two outstanding Cork Oaks (Q suber) by the house (planted 1847) and four massive Cedrus libani behind them. Cedars and some conifers thrive here.
1974 – FJW
Dry until 2nd week in June – very wet since that time.
1940 – CW
During June and July I have taken over 2000 seed pods of the old Parviflora Magnolia, over 3500 from the big one, and 2000 off the others – about 1200 of the big Sinensis and 1000 of var Wilsoni. The top of Mag nitida has just died. Good rains lately but very dry June. Various Decorum and Discolor hybrids all very good now and earlier especially in the quarry.
1918 – JCW
Syringa on the Library has been very fine. Fortunei are over. The end of a long (2 months), dry weather, it has killed some rhodo’s – continued to August largest and killed much.
1916 – JCW
G Waterer came for the day. R brunonis at its best. Azaleas over except viscosum. Fortunei open, just at their best but only a few flowers.