2023 – CHW
A VIP tour of the gardens at Osborne House with the head gardener, Toby Beasley. Today entirely in the walled garden.
The potting shed beside the main walled garden.
2022 – CHW
A single seed pod on just one of the young Magnolia ‘Caerhays Splendour’ on the bank.
So back home again after a particularly unsunny and wet fortnight in Seaview. To compound the misery we had lunch 10 days ago at a friend’s house with four others and have ended up in the consequent COVID isolation. One of the guests arrived feeling (helpfully) unwell and then tested, not unexpectedly, positive. If it had been fine we would have sat outside. He will be and is fine after his two jabs but Seaview is an elderly village community who take isolation seriously. That put an end to all the planned entertaining and socialising completely so we have been cooped up (garden visits aside) seeing nobody. No trip to Edgbaston to the cricket tomorrow either. What a ‘holiday’! A delight to get home!Seaview has quite a bit of youthful COVID in the yacht club staff but they have not shut of course. The ‘locals’ are unamused but I suppose that the club have a financial point with ‘freedom’ (of sorts) only a week away.Conversely several people have arrived here off ferries and hovercraft who have been ‘pinged’ to isolate by the test and trace app as being in the proximity (whatever that means) of a COVID positive. They are of course furious that their holidays have been unnecessarily ruined (while many football followers take no notice) but resigned to compliance.Learning to live with COVID is the new ‘normal’. Fortunately neither of us does have COVID after isolation. Two jabs works?We have been far too conditioned into obeying the draconian rules but rules matter in a local community. Freedom now beckons and common sense can now prevail!Now home and the positive effects on the garden of a good lot of rain in the last fortnight are plain to see. Secondary new growth everywhere.
Buddleia loricata just going over.
This plant, Centaurea nigra or Lesser Knapweed, is really why we have decided not to cut the grassy banks outside the front door. The clumps are only just starting to flower but covered in butterflies, bees and wasps already. The Flora of Cornwall suggests that this is a Centaurea nigra subspecies which is rare in Cornwall but less so in the Scillies. The flowers do not have rayed florets around the flower (as here) and the photograph in the book appears to match exactly what we have growing here – C. nigra s.s.
Lesser Knapweed is however a common native perennial UK plant. I hope that I am right that this one is the rare subspecies.
Will Caws brought in a leaf and fruit to Rope Walk today asking what it was. It was a fully ripe fruit of Eriobotrya japonica which had probably formed last autumn and survived the mild winter to be ripe today after a long dry spell. The only time we found fully ripe fruit on the Burncoose tree was five to six years ago in late October after a late warm summer.By coincidence Michael sent me pictures of E. japonica fruiting in his garden at Caerhays as well today. The pictures show shrivelled fruits as well so I guess this one is also an overwintered survivor.
While I have been away Jaimie has been keeping me updated with news at home.Clematis uncinata has grown right through a tall Camellia sasanqua and up the castle wall behind it. It is now in flower and very nice it is too. The seeds were given to us by Peter Moore who probably collected them originally in the wild.
A trip to Osborne House by East Cowes to photograph the herbaceous planting combinations in their huge walled garden. Constantly trying to avoid numerous busloads of small children with their irritable teachers all over the gardens.Achillea filipendula and asparagus setting seed was a novelty combination indeed. You will see the rest which I took on our website soon.
2017 – CHW
Another clump of Rhododendron ‘Harrow Hybrids’ on Hovel Cart Road is nearly over with petals strewn around on the ground. Slightly darker red than the one on the drive when first out but fading pinker.
Nick Macer from Pan-Global Plants arrives for a tour. We had not met but Jaimie had showed him around before. He trained at Wakehurst.Mahonia oiwakensis has a delicate reddish bronze hue to its new growth and Nick is a mahonia lover. Sadly I am not!
2015 – CHW
The oldest plants of Hydrangea sargentiana remain alive, just, in the Auklandii Garden but have long since died out near Rookery Gate and Donkey Shoe. They live longer in shade. This group was planted in 2008 and already has plenty of flower although smaller and more compact than I remember the originals. Next to it is Viburnum betulifolium now full out three or more weeks after I photographed the bud. This too was planted in 2008. The best clump at Trewithen is grown up a wooden trellis which displays its berries to best effect in the winter.
Amazing how plants have moved on in a fortnight. Good to be back! The wonderful Roy Lancaster introduced climbing rose species is nearly over on the front arch. I have no idea of a name? The hips are even more impressive than the flowers.
2002 – FJW
First hot day of the summer.
1980 – FJW
Wet summer. Flowers on 3 Camellias – Midsummer’s Day, Konron Jura and one in ‘White Piece’.
1919 – JCW
Plagianthus lyalii is just opening, R brunonis is good. Escallonia pteroclaydon is fair. L giganteums are going over. The Romneya is coming on.
1918 – JCW
Plagianthus lyalii is very good indeed. There is very little else, and a fine lot of rain after a very dry bout.
1915 – JCW
Two years old stuff all out of their pans. Plagianthus lyalii did half the D and L’s. Yesterday, not really open. Buddleias have hardly opened. R r remains poor, too damp. Mitraria fair. Very little in the hard wood way about.
1898 – JCW
No real start in [bamboo] Nitida yet. Many seedlings planted in the new ground, say one third. Everlasting peas open. Put in from 207 to 218, new things of E’s.
1897 – JCW
Nitida has lately started to grow properly. All Engelhart’s bulbs are planted. I speciosum at its best.