2021 – CHW
The customary pilgrimage to Will Caws’ secret 40 acres of chalk downland at the base of a steep valley where normally there are several species of orchid as I have seen over the years.
Due to 300 sheep grazing and a very dry spring we failed to find a single bee orchid this year and the pyramid orchids were few and far between. Nibbled or trampled by sheep as they must have been for centuries on this sort of farmland.
A day to look at thistles and try to match up the Latin names. I am astonished to find seven separate genus names for ‘thistles’ before we even start at the species within each genus. So this is not going to be an easy quest. Several thistles have common names which are perhaps local (eg milky dysel) and not, therefore, necessarily correct, even before we get into the botanical names and identification. I doubt we will get far today but we are getting into the thistle flowering season.Cirsium, Carolina, Onopardon, Centaurea, Carduus, Sonchus and the gloriously named Silybum! Interesting that several of these genus are not unknown to the Burncoose catalogue and there is clearly rather more to most of these genus than just ‘thistles’.SILYBUM marianum is the milk thistle and is uncommon so little chance of me finding this growing locally here. More is the pity!
This is Cirsium palustre, the marsh thistle, which is quite common here in the water meadows and has spread invasively up into White Stiles field. It is a native biennial and, if left on its own and uncut in its first season, it can easily achieve heights of 6ft or so as here.
Another pilgrimage to Ventnor Botanic Garden. For a garden with this title they really do need to do more proper labelling. Some new planting near the entrance was relabelled but a two year old planting of New Zealand things have lost their tiny original labels.Many wonderful things full out:Fuchsia boliviana
Jaimie has found two 15 to 20 year old plants of Magnolia macrophylla in Forty Acres wood. These are wonderful pictures of a flower from Magnolia macrophylla subsp ashei which he cut today. The dark purple central markings within the flower are normally hidden when on the tree as they were at Lanhydrock 10 or so days ago. Very blue indumentum on the undersides of the huge leaves. Quite the magnolia find of the year!
2017 – CHW
First flowers out on the shy flowering evergreen Cornus hongkongensis.
The interpretation panel for the newly restored Battery Walk Arch is up in the beach car park.
These are the wonderful coloured cliffs at Alum Bay.
2003 – FJW
(Handwritten note attached to Garden Book page)
Quercus turneri, above Auklandii Garden: a challenged wisdom tells us that it does not set acorns for 60 years. The plant at Caerhays has flowers on this month, shows signs of small fruit.
1975 – FJW
Rain fell at 7am – drought since Chelsea time. Driest June since 1925? In the evening very heavy and spectacular thunder – no damage.
1934 – JCW
Much as in 1931 and 1932.
1931 – JCW
Eriogonums and Griersonianum are excellent. Fuschias opening. American Pillar good. Maddeni flowers very fine. Styrax japonica just open. No Auriculatums open.
1924 – JCW
Some Auriculatums hybrids are opening. Styrax hemsleyanus is just over but quite suddenly Discolor are nice. Hybrid Escallonia not open yet.
1922 – JCW
Just a day or so behind 1917. Styrax wilsoni – daisypetallum – langllangense and japonica have flowers on them but hemsleyanus is over. The Wilson Discolor in the Beech Walk is just now flowering again fairly well for the first time since 1915.
1920 – JCW
All the above are over and I start for the Gott match tonight.
1917 – JCW
Lilium giganteums start. Wilson’s Fortunei’s at their best, Lonicera tragophylla is good. Azalea arborescens would be fine if we had a group of it, Mikado is over. Dracoenas just over. Escallonia pteroclaydon is good.
1915 – JCW
Abelia floribunda V.G. Rosa Brunonis are good, Lilium giganteum open but only a few bulbs now, I found the best pink form of Wilson’s Fortunei in the Beech Walk I have ever seen. L tragophylla good. Azalea viscosum on the wane.
1907 – JCW
Just back from Scotland, a very wet cold summer. All daff seed but Recurvas has just been picked. Roses good yet , have been very good. Rhodo’s have grown well. One or two Lapagerias open. Maddeni nearly over. Cinnabarinum a few flowers left, Keysii open. A few azaleas open.