2023 – CHW
Torrential rain again today in what has been a spectacularly wet week as we try to cut perfect flowers for the CGS Show tomorrow. A catch up from last summer’s drought and a dry January/ February but not good for garden visitor numbers. A few bedraggled and wet stalwarts here today.
Fame at last! The Newquay Voice newspaper (which I have never heard of) has published pictures of the Malus planting in the Old Kitchen Garden as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy.
2022 – CHW
The leaf on the trees and the rhododendron season rushes on after the rain a night ago.
A potful of Narcissus ‘Dailmanachii’ by the clock in the back yard. Pink trumpets.
These two bulls have just been let out of their winter sheds. They had a tremendous fight and made a fair mess in the field as you can see but have now settled down.
If you have been pondering on the demands of our own chief medical officers and the World Health lot, the apparent unpreparedness of our hospitals and the general medical panic just have a read of this interesting article in The Spectator last week. If this retired professor is actually going to be proved, even partially, right then do we really have a pandemic or just a bad bout of flu-like deaths?The Spectator – The corona puzzleKarol has been arguing for days about this sort of idea with his usual penchant for sinister conspiracy theories and I had just laughed up to now. Are the death certificate statistics being arbitrarily misconstrued or fudged in reality? Time will tell, as the professor says.I could easily describe my current mood as ‘seething’! Many City friends working from home have rung recently. Almost no one has actually ‘furloughed’ anyone and very few of them have actually read or understood the new employment rules. Let alone any thought about the real long term consequences of course. Still an exciting holiday to them!Smart London/City panic from those with enormous incomes/bonuses who are ‘working from home’ because they can and they can afford or have access to the technology. I suggest to those who ring that a huge cut in directors’ salaries/bonuses is essential to avoid socialism for a generation but only my brother seemed already to ‘get’ this and was talking to his colleagues in Savills.The rich twits from the City are as bad a lot of panic struck non thinkers as the NHS supremos. Fat chance of a pay cut for the latter.When Barings went bust 36 years or so ago and was sold for a ‘quid’ to a Dutch bank (curtesy of Mr Leeson’s gambling in the markets) a Barings director asked the then governor and the Accepting Houses Committee if their bonuses would still be honoured even though they were bust. Needless to say, the Bank of England did not bail them all out. I hope the reaction to demands for City bonuses is to be treated in the same way now.Greed and panic / self-interest is, I suppose, entirely predictable human nature, BUT, as I say again, for heaven’s sake stop and think and calm down. Even if the BBC, and their plaintive drivel, is still alive and well in eight to twelve weeks, can we not hope for some common sense by then? Even an admission of unnecessary scaremongering and bankrupting the country perhaps?This pack of purple South African plums from Tesco has a clear ‘best before’ date of 5th March. Nearly a month later they are delicious. At least the crisis may put paid to this sort of food waste and profiteering by the supermarkets.
Today a brief examination of five Stachyurus species and one named variety. The clock change has caused the usual hassle but Karol was on time for the videos.
2018 – CHW
A raw cold day with north wind. Magnolias are starting to appear but the camellias remain the best thing in the garden today.
The full out Magnolia dawsoniana in watery sunlight.
2017 – CHW A trip around with some northern friends.
The first flower on new Magnolia ‘Burgundy Star’ which will be a good seller in due course.
The contractors are setting up at Old Park to start restoring the old dog kennels and the kitchen garden wall on Monday.A glorious day with the three 50 year old magnolias by the kennels looking superb. One is clearly a true Magnolia mollicomata while the other two are Magnolia sargentiana robusta seedlings. The best of the three is the one nearest the kennels.
There are at least 20 mature magnolias in Old Park and this is the second (and best) flush after the early ones were blown away. Needless to say the camera has run out of juice again so much bad language.Some friends come to lunch which ends in musical chairs over lunch with telephone calls and rushes to the loo. When we emerge to go around the garden a visitor has slipped over and seriously hurt his leg. One and a half hours later an ambulance eventually arrives and he is stretchered away. Not one we are liable for I believe.
First ‘yellow’ flower of the year on Magnolia ‘Sundance’. Another record as usually late April?
An unnamed evergreen symplocos species. Not Symplocos dryophylla but not that different.
Rhododendron ‘Red Admiral’ still putting on a good show six to eight weeks after first showing colour.
2015 – CHW
A few magnolia questions
i) What is the best form of Magnolia denudata ?
We can see today:
It may be that you prefer white to pink and, if so, my view is that the white Magnolia denudata ‘Dubbel’ at Burncoose with its extra tepals is certainly better than denudata (pure – also white) or denudata ‘Gere’. Personally I think ‘Forrest Pink’ is the best especially since it is not too early in the season.
ii) Which magnolia has the biggest flower?
The contenders today are:
Magnolia ‘Atlas’ from New Zealand
Magnolia campbellii alba ‘Trelissick’
Magnolia campbellii alba seedling from main ride.
Our plants came from the breeder Vance Hooper three years before they went on more general release. In 10 years or so they are only just starting to get going and the flowers are arguably smaller than in New Zealand.
Below are two of the four plants we have and it will be interesting to see those compared to Magnolia Black Tulip (bred by the Jury family in New Zealand) in a week or two. Otherwise I conclude excellent colour but slow to perform. In the light of other New Zealand comparisons one can only expect it to get even better.
iv) Why has Magnolia ‘lolanthe’ got such an odd drooping shape?
Our plant has had many young pheasant poults roosting in its branches which may have bent them downwards over the years. It is however a distinctive shape and Harvey says the Windsor plants are the same. Clearly a more general question for other enthusiasts?
A few other things of note in a whistle stop tour before leaving for Cheshire to plant up a fernery and the start of hopefully a long term project to renovate an old quarry.
2002 – FJW
Easter Day – 320 round garden – WET.
2000 – FJW
(Hand written note attached to Garden Book page)
Walk with Jamie:
Rockery – Rho martinium + aperantum tapetiforma
Best value from Az Ostava (over) and Rho ‘Shamrock’
Hovel Cart Road- Survival rate very high
Hoheria sexstylosa very vigorous
Tom Hudson’s Acer triloba 648 excellent.
1994 – FJW
6 House martins seen.
1941 – CW
Very bad south east gale, counted over 90 flowers off Mag sargentiana.
1929 – JCW
Corylopsis very nice. R planetum opening. Lutescens is the best rhodo. Magnolia kobus with 500 (?) flowers open is far the best thing here. There are possibly over 1000 to open. The late form is not out, the Wilson denudata shows colour. Fargesii is very nice in three places.
1926 – JCW
Planetum long over. Maculiferum – Pink Triflorum – Berberis fascicularia – are our best things. Corylopsis are all over. Bob’s heath never so good.
1925 – JCW
No bloom on Rho planetum. Not so far on as in 1923.
1923 – JCW
Rho planetum has been the best rhodo out of say 75 species and many dozens of hybrids, perhaps a wild hybrid between Fargesii and Calophytum, the maddeni x begins slowly to open.
1914 – JCW
The show at Truro. We were short of whites and reds and too full of yellow. Rhodo and daffs both missed being at their best by some days – I bought nothing. No new seedling daff of merit. The last show.
1913 – JCW
Daffs are going back, trumpets and yellow stuff are scarce, de Graafs mostly open, cherries opening.
1910 – JCW
A spot or two of Blackthorn. Poets just starting, dry sun by day, cold at night.
1903 – JCW
This was the first day of the show, we had de Graaf and Weardale there but there were hardly any others, and but a few poets, the flowers had many of them been over cooked I thought.
1901 – JCW
The following show colour – Commodore, Griflamme, Firework, Dante just picked, Jacko, Glory of Leiden just shows colour, also G Bell, Emperor and Horsfieldii have for sometime, one Princep Mary open, the first C reticulata.
1898 – JCW
Oak in leaf. Plenty of blackthorn out. Jacko begins to open. Cherries show colour but only just.
1897 – JCW
I saw the first swallow.