2020 – CHW
So we rattle around the castle in glorious isolation. No sound of cars or people and just the cock pheasants purring as they fight over the hens. Down now to eight staff who have not been furloughed and the police are in evidence. They visited Porthluney Beach which has both car parks locked but there were still a few cars and walkers parked in the road doing their perfectly legitimate exercise. The police visited Mays and Griggs agricultural stores who were apparently only selling dog food and told them to shut. The Horticultural Trades Association advises that garden centres must shut BUT “can continue home deliveries and online ordering”. This is something of a reprieve for Burncoose Nurseries who are continuing to pack and fulfil the 143 plant orders received online yesterday. The travel to work to keep the economy going if you cannot work from home advice was always going to be hard to interpret in reality on the ground. Hopefully when things settle into the new routine ‘they’ will leave us alone with our mail orders.
Although KPK has closed in a panic many large building sites are staying open with social distancing etc. I fear we were too hasty – and unfair to the subcontractors. How can you furlough your staff with individual letters that they need to sign if someone is not in an office sorting it out. March wages are paid today across the estate businesses – £90k. Come late April we will mainly be paying 80% of this and will hope that the government can and does pay us on the same date. Will they? Not unless a lot of time is spent in offices applying online with every individual’s PAYE records to hand. Could our accounts team work from home? Possibly but in the mad rush to get home cloud connections Richard’s kit does not yet work and he is still waiting for his new laptop computer ordered a while ago. Bugger the guidelines – apply common sense and distancing to survive!
Even the dogs are puzzled and restless at the new people and dog free regime. They know it is spring and it is not just the cock pheasants feeling randy.
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Mags Pirouette’ on the drive. Is this better than Magnolia x loebneri ‘Powder Puff’ which grows in Forty Acres? I will go and see tomorrow but there is not much in it. Both very good.
A trip to the greenhouses to see what new is out.The first full out patch of bluebells in the sun and not even April yet!
A garden tour in the evening with Evelyn Boscawen and Jonathon Jones. Jonathon literally just back from Canada and off the plane with no coat. Raining and cold.Stachyurus praecox ‘Joy Forever’. S. praecox has shorter and chubbier flower tassels than Stachyurus chinensis. Flowering properly here for the first time. The leaves are yellow variegated.
Another sunny day. Only the third here for the whole month when I think about it.Rhododendron ‘Praecox’ is flowering much more profusely than usual and a very good form.
Here are a few half castes nearby which are nice enough too.
2016 – CHW
A ghastly day of high wind and constant rain. Not a day for photography or the garden Easter egg hunt organised for visiting children. The wind is SW so not too much damage to the magnolias in the aftermath. It is going to be a very poor visitor weekend which will cost us dearly in revenue terms.
Garden tour with Anna Lisa De’Ath, editor of Land Love magazine, and some shooting clients/friends who appear with their new two year old labrador bitch. This is too much for our six male dog pack in spring and the tour is disrupted by mass (attempted) rape while the bitch runs for cover toppling the owners and everyone else in the process. Below the Magnolia veitchii the orgy has to be ended. Not sure if this is what Land Love magazine is all about or whether dogs or plants will get a mention. Photography censored.
Magnolia ‘Vulcan’ is hardly showing colour at Caerhays but is full out at Burncoose as Anna Lisa gets the full love in tour. In New Zealand ‘Vulcan’ is a large erect flower with a reddish hue and is as well thought of as ‘Lanarth’. In the UK it is slow growing with a unique rose like flower from which the tepals uncurl. It is also a light-medium pink as it opens darkening later.For years there has been debate about whether the New Zealander’s had muddled the labelling on the plants sent to the UK. However the plant at Burncoose is now starting to get ‘true’ flowers at the very top of the plant and others are experiencing this too. So current thinking is that the New Zealand ozone hole and/or the tribulations of transporting the plants 12,000 miles bare rooted has caused this discrepancy in the plants’ performance between the two hemispheres. This is not the same issue as with New Zealand ‘Lanarth’ and New Zealand campbellii ‘Alba’ set against the true forms mentioned earlier!
1997 – FJW
First two days of rain since about March 3rd and least good this year have been the Camellias.
1988 – FJW
Very mild winter continues – Magnolia veitchii out – Oaks, Nothofagus Procera, some acers in leaf. Open day 1320 people came – warm fine day in defiance of prophecy. Bad mildew in heart of wood. Bulldozer done.
1967 – FJW
Most of the above had been planted out permanently by this date.
1960 – FJW
1st of our new Rho seedlings planted out in Orchid House nursery.
1951 – CW
Magnolia Diva about its best, also big Robustas and most of young ones. Large Mollicomata not out but others at their best. Campbellii the same but later than Robusta. Daffodils late and ground very wet, still hail showing. Blood Reds going over, also some of Saluenensis hybrids. Pink Auklandii hybrids coming out. Ririei still nice. Michelia only just showing colour. Lutescens very fine for weeks and ciliatum. One Lapageria flower.
1924 – JCW
This is very near 1914. The best Rhodo’s are the Hippophaeoides set but frost and the cold of May 1923 leaves bare of Rhodo bloom. Rho fargesii is very good.
1914 – JCW
R barbatum going over, also some Thomsonii x Arboreum hybrids. Mrs Butler x Arboreums are very good. Daffs have been much knocked about, show is in four days time. Many Reticulatas open, Lady Clare is going over. R calophytum from Coombe Wood opens. Pyrus caloneura open.
1902 – JCW
Jacko open and all the above without forcing but it is cold and slow weather.
1901 – JCW
The above show colour except G Bell, have picked a C J Backhouse.
1900 – JCW
Have put under glass to open Emperor, Empress, Horsfieldii, Victoria, G Bell as all showing colour.