2020 – CHW
I speak at length to a close friend who has been in bed with a touch of the corona for five days. Now is the critical phase but, thankfully, he seems to be on the mend.
A frenetic day trying to write to all our shooting clients asking if they are prepared to honour their shooting deposits due (mainly) on 1st June. If they will not then they leave the whole risk of rearing birds for the season entirely with us and we will have to adjust the numbers we raise in line with what they tell us. Just another example of the enormous cancellations paperwork trail. Justine is inundated with calls from our holiday let clients wanting to cancel (refund) or delay/postpone their holidays. The wedding cancellation/delay issues are a nightmare for Sue too but at least these can be dealt with from home. The first demands for rent holidays or postponements from tenants creates a lot of work too and the maintenance team have had to be furloughed (health issues) so the gardeners have had to fit a new electric pump on the sewage treatment plant at Portholland which is overflowing. No electricians or engineers available of course but we do collect a pump left outside the shop for us. It is the smaller day to day issues and problems which mount up but still have to be dealt with somehow.
Meanwhile Edwina and I have knocked up a few articles for the Caerhays website which will go live soon. One is about climate change or the lack of it in the garden here over the last 120 years. As we stand today climate change is the least of our worries.
The package announced by the chancellor yesterday for the self-employed gets the usual treatment from the bastards at the BBC. Not an incredibly quick response to a very difficult financial/fairness issue but merely more opportunity for those ‘left out’ to gripe and criticise. Many self-employed businesses could actually carry on working perfectly safely but it appears much of the country think they are ‘entitled’ to a government paid holiday. The ramifications of this for the future work ethic and social security handouts is enormous. As Corbyn’s farewell stated yesterday he has now got all the nationalisation which he wanted. The greatest setback in history for the free market economy without (yet) a communist takeover. Why do not the BBC do a Trump and at least blame the Chinese a bit before Boris nationalises them too!
Off to Forty Acres Wood in the sunshine to see if the yellow magnolias were out. Unbeknown to me the overnight frost in the centre of the wood had browned everything off. Little on the ground to see at 7am this morning.
On the main bank I find clumps of unusually pale wild violets.
Some newish magnolias in Kennel Close.In a magnificent Michelia year Michelia ‘Touch of Pink’ (it is purple really) stands out.
This camera got dropped recently and is performing badly as you will see.By far the worst frost damaged genus after hoheria is drimys. Here Drimys winteri largely defoliated and with what will soon be complete leaf drop. A severe prune back in a month or so to rescue it I fear.
2017 – CHW A nice young clump of Camellia tsai below the Rookery in full flower. A bit late out for this but full shade here.
2016 – CHW
Easter Sunday. To Burncoose for family Easter lunch with my brother and a very fit Mrs Piper. There has been a serious cock up with the export quotes and orders. Basically the office have not done any since early January and I find a file deliberately hidden away with over 40 to do. What plonkers we look to our potential customers. I am not feeling in a charitable mood as everyone pathetically blames each other / not my responsibility. Better not say any more here but they will all be done by the end of bank holiday Monday!Amid the heavy showers (some hail) I manage a quick trip to the Top Lodge to look at one or two new magnolias here. A couple have died and a few struggle.
Along the top bank above the drive we planted, in 2008, alternate magnolias and birches with good bark. Some of the birches are shaping up nicely but the labels have mainly not survived the exposure and then the rain drives me back to the car.Rob and Tim have cut up the fallen pine and macrocarpa from the Wednesday northerly gale. A neat job and we now need to plant other trees or conifers in this exposed gap.
Annual Caerhays Gardening Weekend starts badly. Harvey Stephens, who runs the Savill Gardens, has decided to compete with Caerhays in the magnolia classes at the Boconnoc Cornwall Garden Society show (Jim Gardiner judging).Caerhays thinks it owns the magnolia cups after 10 years and outside competition, especially from Windsor, unwelcome! Harvey is Cornish (although Nadia his wife is not) and started working life at the Probus Demonstration Garden with Jaimie so perhaps he can just be forgiven. Windsor hold another of the four Plant Heritage National Collections of Magnolia. Anyway he brings gifts including a Mahonia, so after we inspect this and Nadia’s Russian vodka we lose the competitive edge.
1987 – FJW
Another very bad gale – more damage at Burncoose than here. Irroratum blown over. Magnolias show they were blasted by January cold.
1967 – FJW
Hale from above and oil menace growing.
1964 – FJW
Robusta in Donkey Shoe at its best – Irroratums have been good. ‘Mr Garden’ has been excellent but is now over. Poor magnolia year. St Ewe hedge just past best.
1934 – JCW
No real cold for a long time. 3 or 4 magnolias show some flowers. Mag denudata has the most bloom.
1923 – JCW
We are a long way ahead of 1917.
1912 – JCW
The Barbatums, Mrs Butler x, Thomsonii x, are at their best and so the Arboreum. Rho fargesii, the big quarry plant, is most beautiful. Anenome alpenina good, daffs at their best.
1908 – JCW
No Reticulata but stuff has moved well in the last week. ½ of (Narcissi) King A open.
1907 – JCW
Well ahead of 1900, 1901, 1902 and 1904. Citron is opening. Monarch open and nearly all King A.
1904 – JCW
Picked a Cam reticulata well out, only half King A open.
1901 – JCW
Jacko shows colour and Cardinal is picked, two flowers hardly open.