2021 – CHW
A hurried early morning visit to Burncoose for meetings.
Our Burncoose stock plant of Abutilon vitafolium var. album ‘Veronica Tennant’ by the mist houses.
The pink decorum above the shop is just coming out.
A very nice Caerhays sort of thing happened today. Bob Tregunna had been going through his eldest brother’s things and thought we might like to keep and put on display his medals. There was also an album of photographs from 1981 showing the Queen Mother’s visit here and the magnolia planting by Georges Hut with a line-up of estate staff to greet her. Philip did the actual planting of course!
The medals which Philip Tregunna won from the RHS included:
• 50 year long service award*
• A J Waley Medal for his work on rhododendrons – 1968
• What we think is the Corey Cup medal which went with the award for breeding of Magnolia ‘Caerhays Surprise’ in 1976
(* The award is undated. Philip was head gardener here from 1956 to 1996. He started work here well before 1956 but went away on national service prior to returning to Caerhays. I guess the award was made 2000-2002 as, in semi-retirement, Philip continued to work in the house and greenhouse.)
2019 – CHW
A cuttings collecting day here with Enkianthus, Staphylea and others with softwood new growth. About 30 different things to set.
Rhododendron yuefengense flowering in the Higher Quarry Nursery Bed. A very distinct leaf shape and a species I first saw at Tregrehan. The plant came from Glendoick.
To Tregullow to look at the garden there. A regular occurrence when we lived nearby at Burncoose for 20 plus years. Much pruning of huge rhododendron clumps in progress after the February/March gales.Picea breweriana making great headway by the stables. A slow and awkward tree to get going which needs careful staking initially. A variable plant if grown from seed but this is a good form.
The Daily Telegraph has a picture of a 16ft tall Echium pininana growing outside. This beats the 14ft one growing at the Welsh Botanic Gardens in a biome featured in the papers before Chelsea. I suspect ours outside the library window are easily a match for the new Guinness Book of Records entry but am disinclined to prove it. I think that in this record echium year there will be many competitors for the prize – such as it is.Then the rare plant sale at Tregrehan where it rains hard for an hour and a half as Justin and I set up. A good turnout none the less and we sell 50 plants in the first two hours from the 150 which we took.
Back to a lunch for nine including Gerard and Nicky Clinton and, of course, a garden tour.
Another pinkish Rhododendron royalii hybrid has one flower.
A viburnum species above Hovel Cart Road which is unnamed on the planting plans is looking good beside the newly collected (relatively speaking) Quercus oxyodon.
2015 – CHWMore wanderings and Photima villosa var koreana is flowering nicely in full sun. Photima villosa is a dull and common plant but this is much better with trailing branches of flowers.
Then Magnolia ‘Porcelain Dove’ a hybrid between Magnolia globosa and Magnolia virginiana growing in full sun along from George’s Hut. Exceptionally good and a ‘must have’ for magnolia collectors.
Nearby on the other side of the path is I think our only surviving plant of Magnolia globosa from Eisenhut in Switzerland. Two died in this spot but now we have the first flowers or buds anyway. Magnolia globosa is short lived but this is the Chyverton form with delicious furry golden indumentum to the new growth. I may be wrong but I think it is the Indian form of Magnolia globosa rather than the Chinese. I tried to propagate this with material from Nigel Holman’s plant eight or ten years ago but failed.
A check on Magnolia virginiana in a thicket shows no buds anywhere near out.
Similarly Magnolia rostrata (Tom Hudson form and rather different leaves from our old original plant – now dead). No sign of any flower buds this year but the plant is at least 20 feet tall and tucked away beside the podocarpus clump.
Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’ is also a Magnolia globosa x Magnolia obovata cross. We await Magnolia globosa being full out.
Rhododendron ‘Lems Monarch’ is absolutely superb but will need plenty of room.
Another larger Magnolia sieboldii much as yesterday.
An original clump of Rhododendron griersonianum much used by JCW in his and many other people’s hybridisation work as it sets regular seed and flowers late and over a long period.
The battery on the camera runs out but I manage one last picture of the Embothrium above Mr Roger’s Quarry. Still full out weeks after the first one on the drive. Embothriums used to grow in numbers in Lower Rockery but died out of old age 30 years ago. Most of our newer plants today are in their prime after only 25 years growth. A hard plant to get going but glorious when it does. A quick visit to the Royal Cornwall Show earlier in the day as Lizzie under the weather with a cold. Burncoose have won a Large Gold Medal but I hear David Knuckey was one of the judges! Stand looked good with many of the Chelsea plants and Stewartia rostrata (wrongly named!). Justin is in his usual selling mode with no prisoners.
1927 – JCW
Griersonianum is at its best.
1915 – JCW
Fortunei hybrids by Park are going over, Azaleas (white, yellow, red) are about their best, good too in the Drive. Madame Lemoine lilac good for a week, all but the Waterer rhodo’s are over now. Loder’s White good yet. Viburnum plicatum and mariesii good.
1913 – JCW
We are picking daff seed but most of it bad in the stem. Azaleas, deciduous good some of them, picked the first Harrow hybrid sown in 1908, R boothi open for the first time and plicatum and laburnum good. R baylei remains good. Auklandii over. Roses nice. I go back tomorrow.
1905 – JCW
Picked some Caerhays seed nearly all bad. Ponticums well out, also Viburnum plicatum, moved a lot of bulbs. Solanum crispum our best thing.