Then came gales and rain after three nights of frosts. Another problem for the magnolias this year but the wind is in the south west so will be over the top of them and they should get through it.
I had forgotten where we had planted this large Cinnamomum japonicum and had been looking for it for the last three days as it is a new introduction into the Burncoose catalogue and needs to be photographed! It was in Old Park nestled in by an old Quercus acuta and a Quercus phillyreoides.
Tree surgery on more sweet chestnuts in Old Park. Some felled, some with just dead branches removed. All under a statutory felling order.
One forgets what a frost pocket Old Park is where the valley is much narrower. Here a Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’ which will not be wasting any energy this year on its flowers!
One day on and the beech tree above Higher Quarry Nursery is nearly dealt with. The Aucuba hedge will hopefully reshoot but not many plants left this end of the nursery bed. Not that much rot in the centre of the trunk of the beech tree. An unusual direction to the wind (NE) caused it to topple prematurely.
For the last fortnight we had been wondering why the lake was still so full. The sluice gate hinges had rusted off and the sluice had dropped down preventing any water from flowing except over the top of it. New metalwork and a new wooden cross beam now while a rope does the job for the moment.
A load of laurels for planting out as shelterbelts in the Rookery and below Hovel Cart Road.
Just two flowers on Magnolia ‘Big Dude’ this year. They are certainly large!
A pink form of Camellia granthamiana which may not be correctly named as granthamiana normally has pendant white flowers. The leaf looks correct though.
Camellia ‘Drama Girl’ just coming out with its gigantic flowers.
The Magnolia campbellii which took 43 years to first flower is just out in the mist and drizzle. Very pale in colour and quite small flowers but they are the right shape.
The first acer into leaf that I have so far seen this year – Acer tegmentosum ‘Joe Witt’.
Michelia doltsopa rushing out in the mizzle by Georges Hut.
The original Magnolia ‘Delia Williams’ now full out but no blue sky today to see it properly.
This is the second flowering of Jaimie’s latest magnolia hybrid. A cross between Magnolia campbellii and Magnolia ‘F J Williams’. In the mist the flowers seem a good colour but not (yet) exceptional. The flowers are variable in colour due to wind and frost. It will be another year or two before we can say with certainty that this new hybrid is good enough to perhaps be worth naming. It is not unusual for quick growing magnolia seedlings to settle into a pattern of properly flowering three to four years after their first light flowerings. M. campbellii crosses are notoriously slow to flower as we know.
2020 – CHW
In my absence undertaking a planting job on the Belvoir Estate and visiting a new client in Ascot Jaimie took yet more wonderful pictures of Magnolia ‘Mr Julian’ and Magnolia ‘Caerhays Splendour’ as well as a few others while starting to cut the flowers for our entries at the Rosemoor show next weekend.
This is the original and true Magnolia campbellii ‘Alba’ between showers. Now full out.
Early flowers out on Magnolia ‘Caerhays Surprise’. Perhaps a fortnight before expected most years.
Magnolia denudata ‘Double Diamond’ battered by hailstorms earlier this week in Kennel Close. There is a large tree at Burncoose but this is its first flowering here.
The oldest Magnolia sargentiana var. robusta absolutely perfect in the Ririeii Opening.
A load of plants ready to go out at Belvoir in a lakeside setting which you can see a glimpse of here amid the showers and in a gale.
2019 – CHW
First very early flowers on a single plant of Rhododendron augustinii. A pale form.
First flowering of Magnolia ‘Sentinel’ in the Isla Rose Plantation. Nothing, as yet, to get very excited about. I need to research the parentage as this is a new one to us.
Magnolia ‘Tina Durio’ does have some pink markings or veining on some of the inner tepals just as they open out.
Camellia fraterna with much earlier and larger flowers than last year. The flowers seem to turn into the plant and are not easily appreciated. A pretty species none the less with leathery leaves which are a pale green.
Rhododendron moupinense at its best. First odd flower photographed a good 10 weeks ago but not on this plant.
The New Zealand bred Magnolia ‘Cleopatra’ just coming out.
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Pink Cloud’ is another misnamed one really (like Magnolia zenii ‘Pink Parchment’). Just a hint of pink in the bud before it opens a conventional white. Battered in the wind I fear.
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Wildcat’ has extraordinary rose-like flowers.
2018 – CHW
I had thought this was frost damage or splitting on the trunks of Hydrangea aspara spp. robusta
Then I see it also on hydrangea villosa nearby so it’s a natural phenomenon and not serious damage.
A week on from snow and a hydrangea clump with plenty of new growth.
Then a further quest for Camellias to encourage people to visit the garden which is suddenly far from dead, depressed or devastated. Although a north wind with cold showers for Mothering Sunday the Camellias are coming into their peak. A little late due to the snow but none the worse for that.Camellia reticulata ‘William Hertrich’ is excellent.
Camellia reticulata ‘Lasca Beauty’ is just opening.
Rhododendron ‘Mrs J.C.Williams’ is just opening.
Camellia ‘Dream Castle’, which was cut back 2 years ago, is restored to its full glory.
Camellia ‘Dream Boat’ is a new one to us. Better when fully open.
A rather better flowerd Camellia ‘Galaxie’ then we looked at the other day.
Schefflera macrophylla untouched by frost or cold of -9oC!!
Camellia ‘Grandiflora Alba’ just coming out again. Loads of buds and only the odd flower frosted earlier.
Camellia ‘Cornish Snow’ still with a good new show of flowers. Again this started flowering in December.
First flowers on a young Rhododendron calophytum. They will soon fade to white but the blotch is nice.
Camellia ‘Mrs D.W. Davis’ with its droopy habit and huge flowers is just out for the first time this year.
Syringa reticulata already in leaf/growth a week on from the icy winds.
Camellia ‘Silver Anniversary’ out again too. Just the first few flowers lost.
The dainty Camellia ‘Cornish Spring’ is a great show below Burns Bank.
Masses to see and admire on a rather unmotherly Sunday. Lizzie has had to rush to Cheshire where her mother has had a stroke.
2017 – CHW
The first Rosemoor Show is a disaster. The tent erected collapses so the classes are stuck in various rooms. We stage the magnolias on Friday night and they have flopped badly in the heat by the time of judging. No cup this year (first time for five years!). This is what they originally looked like! A confused show with a few nice things which were new:
Acacia potaczeki was attractive and new to me.
Pieris formosa var forrestii ‘Rowallane Spike’ – flowers as its name implies.
Illicium simonsii won a cup (Trewithen). The flowers are rather hidden in the foliage.
Grevillea williamsonii – not my namesake but nice enough.
Then on into the Rosemoor garden which looks better every year. More work, more planting and even better labelling. Mulching is the key and the new beds are nicely planted with the rare and the common for all types of gardener.
A few things to consider obtaining for the 2018 Burncoose catalogue:Leucothoe fontanesiana Whitewater ‘Howw’ – large flowers, tall growing and an attractive habit. The best flowering leucothoe I have seen albeit with variegated foliage.
Prunus laurocerasus ‘Castlewellan’ – a great deal better than our erratic ‘Marbled White’.
Schefflera delavayi growing well with a little leaf yellowing over winter.
Pittosporum dallii – looks more like a pseudopanax.
Chionodoxa forbesii ‘Blue Giant’ would make an easy spring bulb pot sale with little effort.
Rhododendron Nimrod Group was very fine. A Rhododendron barbatum cross?
Forsystia x intermedia ‘Goldrush’ – huge flowers on this excellent form which was also for sale in their garden centre. I saw this last year too.
Xanthocyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’ – a superb and rare tree but could you ever grow it into a saleable state in a pot? (Recently reclassified as xanthocyparis rather than chamaecyparis.)
Aucuba japonica ‘Dentata’ – for shape and density as a large evergreen this was quite a surprise even if you do not like aucuba!
Chionodoca ‘Pink Giant’ – a good light pink form too which appeared to self sow itself.
And a few more novelties in the show itself when the judges eventually finished (late!).Magnolia (Michelia) maudiae – much larger flowers than I have ever seen before from Tregye.
Rhododendron vialii – almost a vireya but what a red!
Our Camellia ‘Lipstick’ is well worth propagating – no prize for this though.
Camellia ‘Sweet Jane’ a new Camellia transnokoensis hybrid so probably very tender. Better just opening than full out as you can see.
2016 – CHW
Berries linger in profusion on a sorbus tree (one of three in a row) above The Hovel. I think this was a Werrington plant from 40 plus years ago and the name may come to me. The original is in the Chinese Garden at Werrington. I have watched these berries since November and the pheasants as well as other birds have ignored them completely. On balance I do not think I will taste one.
The newish unnamed magnolia nearby (photographed last Sunday) is now full out and, despite being in the teeth of Wednesday’s northerly gales, there are still some good flowers. It is nice but my confirmed view is that it is not worth naming and registering as I had suspected previously. It may of course improve with age and it has been partly blown open early.
Evergreen Azalea ‘Shin-sekai’ with its white ‘hose-in-hose’ flowers is out very early by Red Linney. The last survivor of a once large clump.
The last few flowers on Rhododendron ‘Winter Intruder’ hang on in the sun. It must be nearly two months since I first pictured this group of young plants coming out below the drive.
Azalea ‘Greenway’ has a few rogue flowers out two months early. I saw this too on a plant near Trewithen House in early February and at Burncoose.
Magnolia ‘Pickards Garnet’ (possibly ‘Pickards Ruby’) has taken a heavy wind battering. The inside of the tepals will be white when fully open as are the tips now.
Magnolia denudata ‘Forrests Pink’ has also been more or less blasted away. Interesting to remember that we saw secondary (and darker) flowers on the same tree only last October.
The Meliosma flexuosa up Hovel Cart Road has still got most of last year’s leaves on the small tree. Bizarre! So we will not easily see the wonderful orange downing on the new leaf buds as they open soon which are one of the best features of this new and rare tree which we have yet to see flower.
The tangled mess that was the Higher Quarry Nursery bed can now be inspected in safety. The huge beech tree has pulverised everything including the rare Lyonia ovalifolia in the middle of the nursery. I guess this may well reshoot if cut back to near the base. That is about all that is left of it anyway. I see that my three Rhododendron calophytum have only been hit by twigs so those at least can now be moved as planned to a newly cleared site for them above the veitchii. It will take four men at least three days to carefully clear this mess and save whatever small rhododendrons that have not been crushed. The nursery bed fence will need to be completely rebuilt and quite where to have the bonfire is not obvious as yet without doing even more damage. We cannot have a fire in the nursery and expect to carry on using it for this purpose since the fire will sterilise the soil for decades. The only positive which comes from this disaster is that the nursery will, in future, have much more daylight and plants will grow better in it.
Above Higher Quarry Nursery and the mess are two rather delicate semi evergreen azaleas: one pink and one mauve. I have now idea of their names so need to consult the planting records again. Planted pre 1997 anyway.
Adjacent I find the first pieris of the year in flower.
Below Donkey Shoe is another storm casualty I mentioned on Wednesday. One of three mature Pieris ‘Charles Michael’ which has already had to be cut up to clear the path for visitors.
Another small Magnolia ‘J C Williams’ has a slightly blasted bud but what a colour. Its colleague was pictured on Sunday but had blown open prematurely and was far too pale and pink. This one is more like it yet no colour on the original tree on the drive.
On the bank at Hovel Cart Road is Lindera cercidifolia (planted 2002) coming nicely into flower and growing well in full sun. According to the reference books this is now Lindera obtusiloba (seen in bud last week). To me its growth habit is quite different to Lindera obtusiloba as are its flowers. Need to check the leaves later on. I suspect there is a good botanical muddle amongst the new lindera species found fairly recently mainly in China and introduced to the UK via the USA and Crug Farm. An interesting and appealing genus of which half are evergreen and half deciduous. Lindera megaphylla has been a survivor here for 100 years as has Lindera communis which now looks sick. ‘New Trees’ again records Lindera communis as ‘new’ when it clearly is not. I lose track of how many times we can prove this. If only the authors had consulted us a bit more before publication of such a valuable reference book! So called experts disagreeing is great fun.
2015 – CHW
My father named two very early flowering Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ seedlings ‘Bishop Peter’ and‘Bishop Michael’ (two bishops of Truro from the 1980s). Peter is darker purple and sometimes the first magnolia to show colour in the garden by Georges Hut; but not this year although it is full out today. There has been much recent debate as to what has happened to the much paler ‘Bishop Michael’ and where he is today? Michael used to be in Rogers Quarry but was cut down 15 years ago to make room for the Magnolia campbellii Alba and a much darker but more true to type and later flowering Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ seedling. However scions must have been sent to Eisenhut in Switzerland for propagation since there are very pale upright growing Lanarth seedlings at Caerhays and Burncoose. At Burncoose the plant is on the edge of the front lawn at 8 to 10 feet. At Caerhays the newer plant, which is undoubtedly also ‘Bishop Michael’ (although just labelled Lanarth), is 10 to 12 feet with 30 plus flowers full out. Both plants are worthy of proper naming and registration with the international Magnolia Society. The original ‘Bishop Peter’, in keeping with its parentage, is slow growing and compact but no more than 15 to 18 feet tall after 50 years. Jim Gardiner wants plants of each for Wisley.
2000 – FJW
Magnolias at their peak. Very good year indeed.
1958 – FJW
Cold continues 8-10 degrees of frost.
1931 – JCW
We had a frost last night which cleared the best lot of bloom we ever had on Rhodo’s on this day in March.
1928 – JCW
A frost on Friday night (9th) cut out almost all our argenteum blooms and some others but no hope in the ground.
1915 – JCW
A late daff year, a few trumpets red 32 and 197 trumpet open. The first buds of Auklandii x Arboreum opening, a bud or two Mrs Butler x Arboreum, several opening. Thomsonii x Arboreum just about there. Prunus pissardi moderate, too much bullfinch and a bad bad year for them. Some reticulatas show colour, many Lady Clares open.
1912 – JCW
(see 1897 the earliest year) CJ Backhouse over, many coloured flat eyes open and Magnolia halleana (stellata) is good. The red ribes are opening, Berberis darwinii shows colour, Prunus pissardi is well over. R ciliatum good, R barbatum going back.
1909 – JCW
None of the 1905 things open, plants have been at a standstill for a long while and we have a cold north gale now.
1905 – JCW
Narcissi King A open, also early de Graaff and white Princeps.
1899 – JCW
Narcissi horsfieldii one flower open, M Mume ditto, all G Spur, many Rho praecox, Mag halleana several, Dauntlep well out, flowers of 23, all the Italian.
1897 – JCW
Some Narcissi Emperor out, CJ Backhouse, M mume, K Spurrell (nearly), all the Golden Spur and Rho praecox seedlings. Jacko out.