21st July

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

The first clump of Centaurea nigra (common knapweed) in flower on the bank.

Centaurea nigra
Centaurea nigra

Pale (with a red flash) and the more common pink form of Dierama pulcherimum.

Dierama pulcherimum
Dierama pulcherimum
Dierama pulcherimum
Dierama pulcherimum
Stunning new growth on Taxus baccata ‘Dovastonii Aurea’.
Taxus baccata ‘Dovastonii Aurea’
Taxus baccata ‘Dovastonii Aurea’
Taxus baccata ‘Dovastonii Aurea’
Taxus baccata ‘Dovastonii Aurea’
Not quite out yet is Meliosma dillenifolia subsp. cuneifolia but covered in flower this year.
Meliosma dillenifolia subsp. cuneifolia
Meliosma dillenifolia subsp. cuneifolia
The oldest Manglietia insignis now has a hole right through its trunk and only one side shoot which will soon snap off in the wind. I have missed the flowers.
Manglietia insignis
Manglietia insignis
Cornus kousa var. chinensis ‘Wisley Cream’ with the seed heads now swelling.
Cornus kousa var. chinensis ‘Wisley Cream’
Cornus kousa var. chinensis ‘Wisley Cream’
Cornus kousa var. chinensis ‘Wisley Cream’
Cornus kousa var. chinensis ‘Wisley Cream’
The best blue hydrangea clump in the garden Dad always maintained in shade above the Auklandii Garden. A better blue than Hydrangea ‘Benelux’ or ‘Nikko Blue’ I think? Perhaps or perhaps the perfectly acidic soil here? Dad never gave it a name.
best blue hydrangea
best blue hydrangea
best blue hydrangea
best blue hydrangea
Still plenty of flower on the Azalea indica clump also in full shade in the Auklandii Garden. Weeks since the first flowers appeared here and at least seven different forms in this ancient clump.
Azalea indica
Azalea indica
Azalea indica
Azalea indica
Cornus kousa ‘Samantha’ on Bond Street plastered in bracts.
Cornus kousa ‘Samantha’
Cornus kousa ‘Samantha’
Cornus kousa ‘Samantha’
Cornus kousa ‘Samantha’
Cornus kousa ‘Miss Petty’ with very few bracts this year also on Bond Street. Too shady perhaps but so it ‘Samantha’.
Cornus kousa ‘Miss Petty’
Cornus kousa ‘Miss Petty’
Cornus kousa ‘Rasen’ just going over but a good flowering year above the Auklandii.
Cornus kousa ‘Rasen’
Cornus kousa ‘Rasen’
Cornus kousa ‘Weberi’ a bit later and still at its best below the two M. x veitchii. Pink tints on the edges of the bracts.
Cornus kousa ‘Weberi’
Cornus kousa ‘Weberi’
Cornus kousa ‘Weberi’
Cornus kousa ‘Weberi’
Another clump of Rhododendron fortunei subsp. discolor in the Main Quarry just out.
Rhododendron fortunei subsp. discolor
Rhododendron fortunei subsp. discolor

2020 – CHW
Off to the greenhouses to see what is new.

Cotoneaster franchettii with berries forming already. Self-sown or bird carried seedlings.

Cotoneaster franchettii
Cotoneaster franchettii
Another pot grown Hydrangea aspera subsp. sargentiana with (as yet) darker florets than others we have seen recently and purple flowers.
Hydrangea aspera subsp. sargentiana
Hydrangea aspera subsp. sargentiana
Hydrangea aspera subsp. sargentiana ‘Gold Rush’ nicely in flower and nicely in leaf to go with it. A stunning plant which was one of our competitors in the RHS Plant of the Decade competition.
Hydrangea aspera subsp. sargentiana ‘Gold Rush’
Hydrangea aspera subsp. sargentiana ‘Gold Rush’
Escallonia ‘Iveyi’ in full flower. A hybrid named after Mr Ivey, a Caerhays gardener, and a magnet for bees and butterflies.
Escallonia ‘Iveyi’
Escallonia ‘Iveyi’
Escallonia ‘Iveyi’
Escallonia ‘Iveyi’
Digitalis sceptrum from the laurel forests and cliffs of Madeira is gorgeous in flower. A tender plant given to us by Windsor Great Park this year (John Anderson). Leaf looks a bit like Isoplexis as does the flower. A completely new species to me which is a shrubby plant.
Digitalis sceptrum
Digitalis sceptrum
Digitalis sceptrum
Digitalis sceptrum
Sorbus zahlbruckneri with fruit. The root ball on this was poor so it did not get planted out in the spring.
Sorbus zahlbruckneri
Sorbus zahlbruckneri
Crocosmia (or Montbretia as we used to know them) are invasive as you can see here where they have naturalised in long grass around a fuchsia border. Cornwall Council Highways send men out to spray off these beautiful plants in our hedgerows as they are on the ‘invasive’ and non-native list. Absurd! Why? They do not spray off daffodils which are a non-native species too do they? I have written before to the council but still see bare patches sprayed off on the A30.
Crocosmia
Crocosmia
Crocosmia
Crocosmia
Crocosmia
Crocosmia
A cyclamen flower in July?
cyclamen
cyclamen
Borago officinalis or culinary Borage is a common wildflower here but not a native apparently. We would normally see it flowering earlier in the year.
Borago officinalis
Borago officinalis

I then set off up Hovel Cart Road to hunt down the stock plant of a peculiar form of Osmanthus heterophyllus which Asia has propagated and is querying the name of as ‘Goshiki’ which has to be incorrect as this variety has variable mottled yellow leaves.

Along the way I discover two large Callicarpa species which I never knew were even there and both, in maturity, were in flower. Only one is on a 2006 planting plan, a Callicarpa cathayana which is not listed in Hillier’s or New Trees. The other is pre 1996.The first may well be Callicarpa dichotoma which has a compact habit as here and deep lilac pink flowers when they open. Bean seems to agree but says this species is tender. It is well protected here. Anyway I may stand corrected.

Callicarpa dichotoma
Callicarpa dichotoma
Callicarpa dichotoma
Callicarpa dichotoma
Callicarpa dichotoma
Callicarpa dichotoma
This may be the rather larger growing Callicarpa cathayana which I cannot, as yet, locate in the reference books. White flowers in profusion.
Callicarpa cathayana
Callicarpa cathayana
Callicarpa cathayana
Callicarpa cathayana
Callicarpa cathayana
Callicarpa cathayana
Finally I find what I now think is Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Sasaba’ which has most peculiar deeply cut leaves and numerous but very variable spine-tipped lobes.
Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Sasaba’
Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Sasaba’
Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Sasaba’
Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Sasaba’
One of the ancient original Hydrangea aspera subsp. sargentiana in the Auklandii Garden with huge leaves. The flowers are larger than on any other plant which we grow under this name as are the leaves which the slugs and snails gorge on despite their hairy nature.
Hydrangea aspera subsp. sargentiana
Hydrangea aspera subsp. sargentiana

2019 – CHW
The hydrangeas and Harrow Hybrid rhodos look spectacular on the drive.

hydrangeas and Harrow Hybrid rhodos
hydrangeas and Harrow Hybrid rhodos
hydrangeas and Harrow Hybrid rhodos
hydrangeas and Harrow Hybrid rhodos
hydrangeas and Harrow Hybrid rhodos
hydrangeas and Harrow Hybrid rhodos

2018 – CHW

Rubus phoenicolasius with its edible orange raspberries (the wine berry) for the first time. The pheasant poults ate them all last year before I had a chance to taste one. Well recommended to add to the cornflakes as we always used to add the Korean raspberries as children (Rubus tricolor).

Rubus phoenicolasius
Rubus phoenicolasius
Rubus phoenicolasius
Rubus phoenicolasius
Underneath the main clump of Podocarpus salignus a veritable carpet of seedlings have popped up in the drought. Most Cornish plants that I have seen (and the one at Burncoose) are female. Here separate male and female trees grow side by side and this is the end result! No way of sexing the seedlings of course.
Podocarpus salignus a veritable carpet of seedlings
Podocarpus salignus a veritable carpet of seedlings
Our squirrel cull has produced an unexpected bonus (67 to date and counting). The corpses have attracted large numbers of sexton beetles who live on carrion. I have seen these huge and colourful insects occasionally but never realised their role in the ecosystem. Perhaps there are more of them because of the drought. Rather like sea slugs eating a dead fish.
sexton beetles
sexton beetles

2017 – CHW At Burncoose today.

Cyclamen hederifolium out in the nursery already.

Cyclamen hederifolium
Cyclamen hederifolium

Odd to see mature seed heads on carpenteria so early.

mature seed heads on carpenteria
mature seed heads on carpenteria

Seed forming on Cardiocrinum giganteum in the show tunnel.

Cardiocrinum giganteum
Cardiocrinum giganteum

2016 – CHW
Trip to Burncoose to photograph more new plants for the 2017 catalogue:Hydrangea ‘Magical Amethyst’ – as its name implies
Hydrangea ‘Magical Amethyst’
Hydrangea ‘Magical Amethyst’

Hydrangea ‘St Moritzburg’ – quite nice

Hydrangea ‘St Moritzburg’
Hydrangea ‘St Moritzburg’

Crocosmia ‘Okavango’ – a nice orange

Crocosmia ‘Okavango’
Crocosmia ‘Okavango’

Rosa ‘Special Anniversary’ – quickly fades to pink

Rosa ‘Special Anniversary’
Rosa ‘Special Anniversary’

Tamarix ‘Hulsdonk White’ – just coming out. All other tamarix are pink.

Tamarix ‘Hulsdonk White’
Tamarix ‘Hulsdonk White’

Now off to dreaded Seaview on the Isle of Wight armed with a boot full of files to work through the next fortnight. Pray for rain and not a heatwave?

2015 – CHW

I have never really understood the origin of the very late flowering Harrow Hybrid rhododendrons. This is the best of several clumps and has layered easily on the drive. I can trace references to Mr Harrow in JCW’s notes in 1910 but nothing more specific. It must be a Rhododendron auriculatum crossed with a red to flower this late.

Harrow Hybrid rhododendrons
Harrow Hybrid rhododendrons
Harrow Hybrid rhododendrons
Harrow Hybrid rhododendrons
Harrow Hybrid rhododendrons
Harrow Hybrid rhododendrons
Cornus kousa ‘Gloria Birkett’ is just starting to drop. The bracts are enormous and have latterly gone a pale pink. This is a very impressive cornus in a prime position.
Cornus kousa ‘Gloria Birkett’
Cornus kousa ‘Gloria Birkett’
Cornus kousa ‘Gloria Birkett’
Cornus kousa ‘Gloria Birkett’
Cornus kousa ‘Gloria Birkett’
Cornus kousa ‘Gloria Birkett’

Also on the drive are two trees with attractive new growth. Quercus phellos has variable leaves with some irregular white spotting on older leaves. No sign of any acorns. Beside it is Tilia mongolica (bought from Duchy Nurseries at the end of a Royal Cornwall Show 15 or so years ago) with its unlime shaped leaves and pronounced reddish new growth. Not a huge tree by the look of it and we need to remove the two leylandii which are crowding it at present.

Tilia mongolica
Tilia mongolica
Tilia mongolica
Tilia mongolica

1933 – JCW
Ivey’s Escallonia is of the very best.
Ivey’s Escallonia is very good indeed. Some good Griersonianum hybrids to move near the Hovel after clearing all of the cotoneasters out.

1932 – JCW
Ivey’s Escallonia is nearly open, some fair Griersonianum, some useful Eriogynum. Big Mag parviflora is V.G. Romneya is good. Jasmine pillar V.G indeed. Fuchsia are starting to show a bit. Ungernii x auriculatum is opening.

1930 – JCW
Ivey’s Escallonia is the best thing today. Auriculatum, Decorums are good, some good Eriogynum. Fair R ungernii.

1926 – JCW
A few nice hybrid gladiolus. David Ivey Escallonia is very good. Decorum x Auriculatum good, one Auriculatum open. Plagianthus over, not much else except the Romneya and remains of Rambler Rose.

1924 – JCW
The Plagianthus are our best thing. The Auriculatum x Decorum very good but there is not much else but the American Pillars and the viola. This is the best growing year for rhodo’s that I have known.

1917 – JCW
Plagianthus lyalii is the best thing in flower. Wilson’s Fortunei hold on in the shade, and Auriculatum is moving and in two cases, open. The rambler roses are good all through the country, perhaps American Pillar is the best.

1916 – JCW
Rhodo ungernii – maximum, Wilson’s Fortunei, Keysii and a Viscosum all open. Primula lettonicera and Plagianthus lyalii are the two best things.

1915 – JCW
The Hypericum in the Cutting is very good indeed.

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