2021 – CHW
The tree surgeons are felling a few supposedly dead or diseased sweet chestnuts in Old Park and trying (fairly successfully) not to hit any of our new planting. The tree featured here was around 120 years old and had dead branches in its crown as anyone (apart from the Forestry Commission) might expect in an elderly sweet chestnut starting to decay and reach the end of its life. As you can see here there is no rot in the base of the tree which was not “diseased” at all in its crown. Yes, the regrowth from the base did have some Phytophthora ramorum infection, but this regrowth had already been removed a year ago. The original Forestry Commission contention was that dead crowns meant a new notifiable sweet chestnut disease. This was not the case, but we got caught in the fallout and a compulsory felling order. It seems odd that, at a time when every aspect of climate change / carbon neutral government policy wants trees, veteran trees, and more tree planting, the Forestry Commission is destroying veteran trees rather than letting nature take its slow course. A compulsory felling order here but the Forestry Commission still cannot issue a straightforward felling licence application made over a year ago.
Filming today with (ITV owned) Two Four Productions for a series of Cornish coastal programmes on Channel 5 next year. An estate, a farmer, and a fisherman through the four seasons. Today ‘Spring has Sprung’ and we film the Magnolia campbellii which is looking at its very best in the sunshine between showers. The crew return in a week or two to capture the magnolias generally at their best.
The New Zealand Magnolia ‘Lanarth’ in the distance over the top of a clump of camellias.
2020 – CHW
Asia and I visit Antony Woodland Garden with Sir Richard Carew-Pole.
The enormous Quercus suber must be the largest in the UK. Certainly bigger than Tregothnan’s.
Frankie Tregunna and Ross Collins both have huge machines clearing the old Tin Garden pheasant pen to make way for a new planting around the Tin Garden shed to commemorate my father’s life and his plants. The family want to donate seats etc and we will have a few pictures in the hut for visitors to admire. In the dry weather it should take only three or four days to clear the rubbish, dig out all the roots and work up the ground for planting this year – even next week!
So who says that there is nothing to see in the garden. Already things are breaking out again. A half decent Camellia x williamsii ‘Monica Dance’
The first phase of the new rhododendron planting above Higher Quarry Nursery is complete. A Schefflera rhododendrifolia is in the centre. Some of the big leafed rhodos still look cold and frumped up but a fine sunny day to plant.
A nice Camellia x williamsii ‘Elsie Jury’ looking nice nearby.
Camellia ‘Inspiration’ (Camellia reticulata x Camellia saluenensis) is just out on the castle wall. When I look it up I am even more confused with Camellia ‘Salutation’ (same cross) which I photographed a fortnight ago. I have always known this plant as ‘Inspiration’ but the reference books say that I have it the wrong way around. ‘Salutation’ is light pink and ‘Inspiration’ darker – apparently? ‘Inspiration’ was once also known as ‘Delia Williams’ (my mother). This is the weaker growing of the two hybrids anyway with sparser flowers and slightly insipid foliage.
Like last year I have largely missed Magnolia campbellii ‘Sidbury’ but there are a few decent smallish flowers left. A good tree though. I need to get to see the original at Sidbury in Devon one day.
Strong north wind makes camera shots difficult so today’s pictures will be even worse than usual. Anything moving does not come into focus! It may however dry the ground out and not before time too. Plenty of snow in the Midlands.A grafted Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’ is flowering for the first time just below Hovel Cart Road. Absolutely true to the original ‘Diva’ flowers so we now have three flowering plants 10 to 20 years of age which are all true. Most of the seedlings and a few bought as ‘Diva’ (eg front lawn at Burncoose) are not divas even if they may be sprengeri.
2015 – CHW
Following a visit to Mount Congreve gardens in Eire in 2005 we were sent three scions of the yellow flowered Magnolia campbellii by their head gardener. This had been seen in the wild in Bhutan but the only known plant in cultivation was at Mount Congreve. The Caerhays plant has five buds at 8 to 10 feet tall. The outer tepals are indeed a good yellow as they open but quickly fade to pure white. The New Zealand Magnolia ‘Strybing White’ also has greenish-yellow outer tepals but these flop and droop quickly without the shape or form of Magnolia campbellii. So we have something new and different but not perhaps quite as staggeringly different or unique as myth and garden rumour would have had us believe. The Mount Congreve plant grows near the estuary and when we saw it is was in bud with yellow buds exactly as the Caerhays plant is today.
1996 – FJW
Early Magnolias frosted and slow. Tregolls Road stellata shows flower but not Nursery one here.
1968 – FJW
First flower on the Donkey Shoe Robusta – has been cold and raw but not much frost.
1961 – FJW
Donkey Shoe Robusta and Old Gent at their best. 2 perfect days.
1960 – FJW
Donkey Shoe Robusta began to flower.
1934 – JCW
Not a sign of a flower on Magnolia denudata Wilson.1933 – JCW
Very few daffs open, R praecox very good – no Magnolias show bloom. Rho sutchuenense is in flower, Rho lutescens is quite fine, cold and all.1932 – JCW
Five weeks of rain left cold. Rhodo’s kept going but absence of buds prevents a show. No magnolias yet. Rho praecox and Erica hybrids are very good.1928 – JCW
A bad year for Rho praecox. Mag denudata Wilson has but one flower open. Lutescens is very good indeed.1926 – JCW
Rho praecox nearly over. Some Sutchuenense are good, more Calophytums, Magnolia kobus one is well open, Magnolia denudata Wilson never better, Barbatums good, Rhodo red hybrids good, Sutchuenense hybrids in Beech Walk remarkable, over 70 species of Rhodo’ show flower, Fargeisii group the best of all.1925 – JCW
Very near 1923, Rho Praecox is good for the season now, Reticulata has been open for weeks but flowers miserable also Lady Clare. No magnolias yet.1923 – JCW
Sutchuenense turning back, Kobus not open, Daffodils well on, yellow trumpets just about their best, heaths are more or less open, Berberis fasicularis is the best thing out, Subhirtellas in the Old Park are starting.1922 – JCW
Sutchuenense ½ open. Rho praecox ruined by the heat of last year. Wild daffodils are very good. Mag halleana (stellata) and kobus are just starting. On the whole a late season.
1914 – JCW
Blood red arboreum hybrids just at their best and so the Barbatum, Prunus pissardi and Rho praecox also Rho lutescens, Rho argenteum ⅔ open.