A Burncoose day to place out the plants for planting out in new areas in the garden.
Magnolia ‘Satisfaction’ adorning the cash point.
Placing out by the old walled garden.
Magnolia ‘Shirazz’ offset nicely by Ilex mutchagara.
A clump of Rhododendron moupinense on the drive.
And also of Rhododendron racemosum.
Magnolia (Michelia) macclureii is just into flower on the drive. The third or fourth time it has performed.
Rhododendron moupinense now out.
Three more yellow magnolias (and 10 Matsumae cherries) added to the yellow magnolia collection in Tunnel Field. Only one or two casualties from last year’s planting and all settling in well.
An Italian grown batch of agave have just arrived in the nursery.
Magnolia ‘Pickard’s Snow Queen’ in flower.
Sophora ‘Sun King’ full out now.
Correa nummularifolia is new to the catalogue.
An odd contrast between Corylopsis pauciflora in flower and the Russian cypress, Microbiota decussata, with its brown foliage.
Then a visit to Hayle to a farm which now produces compost from green waste collected by Cornwall Council’s green recycling system. This is the green waste compost into which we have potted circa 20,000 of our herbaceous plants. So far the peat grown and green waste compost has produced broadly similar plant growth and plant root systems. It may be fine for growing non ericaceous plants despite its obvious drawbacks in having poor water retention (i.e. needs more watering) and loose soil at the top of the pot which may be an issue in transit. We will know more by September. The green waste compost is guaranteed weed seed free due to the shredding and mixing process it goes through before being mounded up in a huge heated pile. It is a third of the price of bought in peat compost and ‘just down the road’ as they say in Cornwall.
A typical pile of virgin green waste as delivered in by the council.
Compost mix down to 40mm ‘bits’.
And then 20mm bits as we have used with fertiliser mixed in.
The 10mm mix was too thin to use and too hard to keep wet.
A heating pile of shredded green compost with plastic and metal removed during the sifting process.
Then an inspection of the remarkable progress made by Cressy Knuckey since her arrival to run the propagation department last summer.
Rhododendron seed of scores of varieties now sown.
A fine crop of pricked out Puya seedlings. We have never managed results like this before.
Azalea and rhododendron liners in profusion – just potted.
Dodonea viscosa seedlings from seed off our own stock plant.
An excellent crop of home produced scented rhododendrons nearly ready for sale.
Camellia cuttings looking excellent – the best crop we have ever produced and more varieties as well.
Our new hydroponic propagator. Cressy has managed to get cuttings to callous up after only a week! I will report further on progress with propagating very rare plants in this way as time goes on.
2021 – CHW
Filmed more topical tip video clips with Karol & Asia in the greenhouse. Four different ways to propagate Hoya carnosa tested us a bit when the microphone batteries failed. Hopefully the expletives do not make it into the video clips. In the last 10 days we have completed 18 more video clips and two promotional vlogs of 10 minutes each plus two drone overflies of the garden and magnolias. Last year (2020) visitors to the Burncoose Nurseries website and YouTube spent 68½ weeks (24-hour days) viewing our 600 or so video clips of how to care for, propagate and grow the plants which Burncoose sells. These seasonal topical tips and ‘how to care for’ videos have been made over the last five years with a huge amount of time and effort, but it is demonstrably worth it.
Clearing the fallen beech tree at Higher Quarry Nursery which fell around Christmas. The second time this has happened but fortunately no other tree is left that could repeat this.
Many small rhododendrons and the nursery bed fence smashed up, but a few have survived.
Now the worry is these two other adjacent elderly beech trees which will need the tree surgeon this summer.
Magnolia ‘Bishop Michael’ now out low down and a good colour.
I cannot resist more pictures of Magnolia sprengeri ‘Dusty Pink’.
Magnolia ‘Pink Sensation’ just out. An Ian Baldick introduction from New Zealand previously called ‘Ian’s Giant Pink’. It is not that ‘giant’ as yet?
The quince is now covered in flowers with the old fruit.
Magnolia ‘Philip Tregunna’ in its pomp (unfrosted!).
Magnolia campbellii subsp. mollicomata ‘Charles Raffil’ – not perhaps the best example of the Raffil Group that I have seen.
The first properly out elderly tree of Magnolia sargentiana var. robusta (unfrosted).
Magnolia ‘Bishop Peter’ just out in Rogers Quarry. The colour will still improve.
The young Magnolia ‘F J Williams’ above Crinodendron Hedge is now fully out and excellent!
Rhodoelia parvipetala has just been planted out. A wonderful contrast between the white undersides of the leaves and the reddish-pink bark on the newer growth.
Thirty-three people visited the gardens yesterday which shows that families are beginning to exercise.
2020 – CHW
James Williams has sent pictures of his Magnolia campbellii subsp. mollicomata ‘Lanarth’ (ie a seedling from the true ‘Lanarth’ from Lanarth) which has had a few years off flowering but this year is superb outside the back door at Tregullow. It is quite a small multi-stemmed tree as it should be but rather taller today than any of the Lanarth plants. The flowers are however a very close match to the ‘true’ ‘Lanarth’ in colour. Having a few years off full on flowering seems to be a characteristic of ‘Lanarth’ generally. Hot summers help!
Magnolia ‘Mr Julian’, raised by my father but only registered recently. Superb in the sun today.
Camellia reticulata ‘Lasca Beauty’ just coming out under the Magnolia x veitchiis.
Different coloured flowers on Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’ var. ‘Burncoose’. This happens when some get windblown.
An old Magnolia campbellii subsp. mollicomata is multi-stemmed and has been pollarded back but still some absolutely wonderful flowers. The typical mollicomata shape which is a bit like a lightbulb as the flowers open.
Sadly we have lost the label of this Prunus with a very upright habit. Flowers just going over.
A young Magnolia ‘Betty Jessel’ just coming out in Kennel Close. The original plant is nearly over today. Planted 2014.
Magnolia ‘Rebecca’s Perfume’ is indeed strongly scented and a bumble bee was trying a flower. This is Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Amabilis’ x Magnolia ‘Mark Jury’. Planted 2015.
Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’ x Magnolia ‘Pickards Ruby’ – nice white edging to the petals as you would expect from a Ruby. Planted 2015.
Magnolia dawsoniana ‘Chindit’ flowering properly for the first time. Planted 2015. I cannot find the history of this in the new Eisenhut reference book.
Magnolia ‘Purple Sensation’ just coming. 2010 planted and 15-18ft tall already.
The first large leafed Rhododendron sinogrande seedling which I have seen out this year.
The view back down the garden from the top path.
Amazingly difficult to photograph and very high up is Magnolia ‘Lanarth Surprise’ a recently registered seedling of some note. Again variation in flower colour due to wind.
A fine show on Camellia ‘Ruby Wedding’ today.
2019 – CHW
The first year that the American bred magnolias (mainly Gresham and Pickard’s hybrids) in Forty Acres Wood have been worthy of full public viewing. Twenty plus years since planting and the flowers wiped out in some recent years by frost they are now collectively quite a sight but, individually, not that wonderful. The size of the magnolia planting area can be seen in these photographs. We will need to cut down some trees on the drive so that you can look across at them properly from far.
Magnolia ‘Frank Gladney’ (Magnolia campbellii x pink Gresham hybrid)
Magnolia ‘Crimson Stipple’ (Magnolia soulangeana ‘Lennei Alba’ x Magnolia x veitchii) – Gresham Hybrid
Magnolia ‘Eleanor May’ (Magnolia mollicomata ‘Lanarth’ x Magnolia x soulangeana)
Magnolia ‘Fire Glow’ (Magnolia cylindrica x Magnolia denudata ‘Sawadas Pink’)
Magnolia ‘Pickards Crystal’ (Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Picture’ x unknown)
Magnolia ‘Manchu Fan’ (Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Lennei Alba’ x Magnolia x veitchii) – Gresham hybrid
Magnolia ‘Pickards Snow Queen’ (Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Picture’ x unknown)
Magnolia ‘Pink Flamingo’
Magnolia ‘Delicatissima’ (Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Lennei Alba’ x Magnolia x veitchii Rubra) – Gresham hybrid
Magnolia ‘Tina Durio’ (Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Lennei Alba’ x Magnolia x veitchii) – Gresham hybrid
I missed Magnolia ‘Sulphur Cockatoo’ (Gresham hybrid), Magnolia ‘Pickards Firefly’ and Magnolia ‘Pickards Ruby’ which were over or not out yet. It is still quite a collection of American bred magnolias.
This is Jaimie’s hybrid on Bond Street in its second year of flowering. Much darker than last year when it did look like a x veitchii hybrid. Now it does not!
This week’s vlog is a short introduction to Narcissus cyclamineus at Caerhays.
2018 – CHW
A fine calm day at last.
Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red is again coming out. Earlier flowers blown away.
Camellia ‘Desire’ has popped open above Bond Street
Camellia x williamsii ‘Golden Spangles’ with its yellow variegated leaves is good too by the Fernery.
Camellia ‘Jury’s Yellow’ has dropped most of its frosted flowers and is ‘full on’ again.
A Rhododendron arboreum uprooted and blown fully 25 yards in the gales onto Bond Street path.
No name but a compact habit with a tinge of C. Sasanqua
Camellia x williamsii ‘Water Lily’ just out.
Camellia ‘Lady Clare’ back in action too.
An unnamed Camellia reticulata seedling with a large fly warming itself on a petal.
The UK Record largest Camellia x williamsii (never named) outside the front gate was first out in November and now just has a few flowers left after the gales. It will have ‘a few’ well into April too.
Camellia ‘Sode-gashuki’ is back on song too after the first flowers opened on this bush in November.
Plenty to see already despite The Beast and Beastly ‘Emma’.
2017 – CHW A drab day on return but the magnolias outside the back yard are simply perfect! Magical even.
This one is on the mound through the arch. An unnamed seedling between Magnolia campbellii and Magnolia mollicomata.
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’ at its best. Note the darker colouring as the flowers first open, then lighter as they open fully.
What other tree gives this sort of dramatic show? Breathtaking!
2016 – CHW
Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’ has survived yesterday’s gales reasonably but by no means completely intact.
Off to the greenhouse to show Asia how we used to sow rhododendron seed in boxes of soil with a light dusting of chopped moss on the surface when I was a child. If a rhododendron seed is to have a chance of germinating in the wild it needs to fall on damp bare soil. This sort of shady spot is very likely to have moss growing on it anyway and so we are trying to recreate the ideal environment to encourage germination by these tiny seeds which come like dust in profusion from the seed pods collected when brown and opening last autumn. They have been kept in dry but not warm conditions over winter and not in the fridge (although tougher rhodos who are used to cold may like this). In an envelope in the potting shed with no heating in reality.
Camellia forrestii has delicate white strongly scented flowers in the greenhouse. I have never seen this in flower before and never remember it in the garden here. Clearly it is rare as not in Hillier’s and it looks tender. However its name suggests it was a George Forrest collection so I need to dig further. Forrest found it in the Shweli Valley where he describes ‘mile upon mile’ of the valley hillsides being absolutely covered with clumpy bushes of 2-3ft ranging to 10-20ft and varying in colour (like here) from white, to shell pink and crimson.
A new plant of Tilia endochrysea is coming into leaf in the greenhouse with bracts opening to reveal tiny reddish leaves. Quite breathtakingly beautiful, new to us and very odd. A novelty indeed!
Asia has picked out and potted the first of last year’s rhododendron seedlings. Most of these are Rhododendron desquamatum and Rhododendron heliolepsis.
Nearby are well potted seedlings from last year’s sowing of seed from our Michelia crassipes (now Michelia laevifolia I believe). Not bad in 12 months.
Azalea malvaticum which is basically white is ‘sporting’ a pink twig or two in slightly different areas of the plant to last year.
Acer kawakamii (now renamed as Acer caudatifolium) has leaves and tiny inflorescences appearing early as is now the norm although it is always one of the first acers to leaf up.
At the bottom of the Auklandii Garden more (somewhat hidden) evidence of yesterday’s gale. A large Prunus incisa has gone over as has one of the three 1920s planted podocarpus species. The podocarpus might reshoot if cut off and up righted again.
1935 – JCW
Daffs fairly well on. Cydonias give us a lot of flowers.
1934 – JCW
Daffs late in and outside the Tin Garden. A fuschia or two just moving a little, the best thing has been R lutescens.
1928 – JCW
Much as in 1918. I picked a half open sinogrande.
1919 – JCW
Daffodils well ahead of the above, the following Rhodo’s are open now other than hybrids of which there are many (say 15 kinds some in numbers) 21 species of which the best are argenteum, oleifolium, moupinense, sutchuenense, the three arborescens, ciliatum, lutescens.
1907 – JCW
Far later than the above. Some G Spur, H Irving and Caerhays. Several Camellias, Nar maximus just breaking spathe – one Cam reticulata open. Rho praecox half open.
1904 – JCW
Dauntlep open but nothing else in the way of Sir W, Horsfieldii or Emperor.
1901 – JCW
None of the above open except Dauntlep.
1898 – JCW
One or two each of Sir Watkin, Emperor, Horsfieldii out also Dauntlep, one or two H Spurrell, most of the Golden Spur and R praecox seedling. Jacko but two inches high and so Weardale, nearly all the Italians out, there has been a week of cold and frost.