14th May

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2020 – CHW

So now the teaching unions have instructed their members not to go back to work until the start of the September term despite what the government’s instructions are for June. The transport unions are trying hard to strike too but both have not yet had the legally required ballots.

While the PRODUCTIVE part of the economy struggles to adapt to the plethora of new rules, protocols and risk assessments and get back to work the UNproductive part of the economy tries actively to frustrate this. The unions claim it is not ‘safe’ of course and have used strong language to ridicule the government.

The fact that they have, in the main, been doing nothing for weeks on full pay and are entirely happy with the status quo is the reality. No 80% of full wages for most of them of course.

It may even be worse than that in that the Corbynista revolutionaries leading the unions hope and see the opportunity to bankrupt the country and cause the Marxist collapse of democracy that they always dream of.

Their outrage at the thought of a two year pay freeze to help pay for their idleness and intransigence over educating children was laughable in the extreme. Does it never occur to them that government largesse and handouts have to be paid for by working people in taxes and cuts to the public sector?

No, socialists genuinely believe that the ‘magic money tree’ is never ending!

What would have happened through this pandemic if Corbyn was in power and the unions running the country as in the early 1970s? No handouts for employers or businesses except in the state sector and renationalised industries one suspects.

I seldom indulge in social media but Karol has compiled a long sequence of Facebook clips showing nurses in hospitals (all over the world) dancing and flashing their tits, not socially distancing, and clearly having nothing to do but amuse themselves publicly. A Treliske nurse told me they still have more nurses than patients in her ward last week. ‘Health’ before everything of course.

Another of Karol’s conspiracy theory films shows the new hospital in Wuhan and compares this to the opening of the 2012 London Olympics. Here we see nurses pushing beds. Even a caricature of a sick Boris in a hospital bed. The whole shape of the dancing and lighting is very similar indeed to the shape of the Coronavirus which we see every day. A quite uncanny ‘coincidence’ and not something which I would have believed if I had not seen the film (I still do not!). Have a look here.

Azalea ‘Annabella’ is as close as I can get to this one. Jim Trudgeon’s favourite. Dad decided to cut the clump down to rejuvenate it, but the experiment on the first two killed them, so the clump has remained untouched ever since.

Azalea ‘Annabella’
Azalea ‘Annabella’
Azalea ‘Annabella’
Azalea ‘Annabella’
The ash tree has been felled without it hitting the treasured Meliosma oldhamii.
ash tree
ash tree
Rhododendron ‘Silberwolke’ – a very different colour when full out.
Rhododendron ‘Silberwolke’
Rhododendron ‘Silberwolke’
Rhododendron ‘Silberwolke’
Rhododendron ‘Silberwolke’
Rhododendron ‘Silberwolke’
Rhododendron ‘Silberwolke’
Rhododendron ‘Fantasia’ just showing.
Rhododendron ‘Fantasia’
Rhododendron ‘Fantasia’
Nice new growth on Schefflera delavayi but do the huge old leaves not look battered after the gales.
Schefflera delavayi
Schefflera delavayi
Schefflera delavayi
Schefflera delavayi
Azalea kaempferi still a fine show and a huge bush.
Azalea kaempferi
Azalea kaempferi
Azalea kaempferi
Azalea kaempferi
The view from Donkey Shoe today.
The view
The view
Rhododendron royalii ‘Caerhays Pink’
Rhododendron royalii ‘Caerhays Pink’
Rhododendron royalii ‘Caerhays Pink’
Rhododendron royalii ‘Caerhays Pink’
Rhododendron royalii ‘Caerhays Pink’
Rhododendron ‘Fabia’ has been slow to come out.
Rhododendron ‘Fabia’
Rhododendron ‘Fabia’
Rhododendron ‘Fabia’
Rhododendron ‘Fabia’
Neolitsea aff. polycarpa with its new growth and interesting bark.
Neolitsea aff. polycarpa
Neolitsea aff. polycarpa
Azalea ‘Klondyke’ showing up well on the main ride. It was pruned back off the path and hence no flowers in the centre of the bush.
Azalea ‘Klondyke’
Azalea ‘Klondyke’
Rhododendron ‘Ruby Hart’ – very dark but the plants are dying of old age after about 25 to 30 years.
Rhododendron ‘Ruby Hart’
Rhododendron ‘Ruby Hart’
Rhododendron ‘Ruby Hart’
Rhododendron ‘Ruby Hart’
Rhododendron ‘Kabarett’
Rhododendron ‘Kabarett’
Rhododendron ‘Kabarett’
Rhododendron ‘Kabarett’
Rhododendron ‘Kabarett’
Rhododendron ‘Germania’
Rhododendron ‘Germania’
Rhododendron ‘Germania’
Rhododendron ‘Germania’
Rhododendron ‘Germania’
Rhododendron ‘Norfolk Candy’ shot its bolt and flowered in December. Very little flower today.
Rhododendron ‘Norfolk Candy’
Rhododendron ‘Norfolk Candy’
Rhododendron ‘Norfolk Candy’
Rhododendron ‘Norfolk Candy’
Lonicera periclymenum ‘Belgica’ growing at White Stiles cottages.
Lonicera periclymenum 'Belgica'
Lonicera periclymenum ‘Belgica’
You have to be early in the year to see the three colours properly in the leaves of Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea Tricolor’.
Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea Tricolor’
Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea Tricolor’
Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea Tricolor’
Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea Tricolor’
Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag) growing by the pond. I wonder why I have never seen this out here before? Chelsea of course! We would normally be on the way tomorrow and away for 10 days or so.
Iris pseudacorus
Iris pseudacorus
Iris pseudacorus
Iris pseudacorus
Iris pseudacorus
Iris pseudacorus
Tamarix tetandra by the bottom lodge planted five to seven years ago. This species flowers much earlier in the year than Tamarix ramosissima which has always grown here.
Tamarix tetandra
Tamarix tetandra
Tamarix tetandra
Tamarix tetandra
Despite a heavy pruning this year Wisteria floribunda ‘Violacea Plena’ still has a few racemes of double flowers appearing on the new growth rather than the old wood.
Wisteria floribunda ‘Violacea Plena’
Wisteria floribunda ‘Violacea Plena’

2019 – CHW
Wisteria floribunda ‘Violacea Plena’ (syn. ‘Black Dragon’) seems to flower sparsely with its flowers partially hidden within its foliage. Wonderful flowers though when you see them close up.

Wisteria floribunda ‘Violacea Plena’
Wisteria floribunda ‘Violacea Plena’
Wisteria floribunda ‘Violacea Plena’
Wisteria floribunda ‘Violacea Plena’
This unnamed red evergreen azalea below the fernery is always covered in flower. Did Asia remember to propagate it last year?
unnamed red evergreen azalea
unnamed red evergreen azalea
unnamed red evergreen azalea
unnamed red evergreen azalea
In Old Park an excellent white deciduous azalea with a yellow throat. Again unnamed or unknown anyway.
white deciduous azalea with a yellow throat
white deciduous azalea with a yellow throat
white deciduous azalea with a yellow throat
white deciduous azalea with a yellow throat
A very late flowering huge Rhododendron sinogrande with equally huge flowers in the shade at the top of Old Park.
Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande
There must have been some frost while we were away last week. Just look at the bottom of the Gunnera bed below the old dog kennels in Old Park.
Gunnera bed
Gunnera bed
This unnamed rhododendron hybrid on Bond Street below the Four in Hand came from Trewarthenick and was grown 25 to 30 years ago there from cuttings from an elderly original plant. It is an outstanding show today and clearly a Rhododendron ponticum hybrid perhaps with loderi? If ‘Cornish Red’ will grow from cuttings so should this so Asia needs to get 50 or so down to Burncoose in a couple of months’ time.
unnamed rhododendron hybrid
unnamed rhododendron hybrid
unnamed rhododendron hybrid
unnamed rhododendron hybrid
unnamed rhododendron hybrid
unnamed rhododendron hybrid
unnamed rhododendron hybrid
unnamed rhododendron hybrid
To my surprise I find a clump of three plants on Bond Street which are the true Enkianthus cernuus rubens. Much larger bells and trusses than on the original Chinese plants in the Auklandii Garden but the anthers and stamens do protrude below the bottom of the bells as they should for this species to be true to name. I am not sure if I have ever spotted this lot full out before? As young plants isolated from other Enkianthus these are the ones to grow from seed or cuttings when Roundabarrow nurseries visit us next.
Enkianthus cernuus rubens
Enkianthus cernuus rubens
Enkianthus cernuus rubens
Enkianthus cernuus rubens

2018 – CHW
The Chinese TV crew are here again to film rhododendrons which are at their best. The programme series will start to be screened on Chinese TV early next year. The crew are visiting Exbury and Roy Lancaster before appearing at Chelsea again on 21st May on the press preview day. So more coverage then.Today was a non-speaking role with all the dogs rushing about. In and out of the front door, meandering through many rhododendrons under the drone camera, throwing sticks on the completely empty beach (China across the sea apparently) and walking up the drive. The dogs are the stars but when I enquire if this is appropriate in a country which can sometimes regard them as ‘food’ I am met with polite smiles.Along the way and without the filmmakers noticing I sneak a few plant pictures.

The first aerial layers are in place on a magnolia. Karol and Asia have been busy but we will need bigger ‘balls’ for layers on plants with thicker/longer stems.

aerial layers
aerial layers

First flowers ever here on Magnolia ‘Raven’. This has a reputation for excellence and is, as I remember it, one of John Gallagher’s (deceased) crosses grown by Kevin Hughes. Late flowering and a very dark colour certainly but, as usual, one must expect larger, better flowers in future years. This one has only been in the ground a year.

Magnolia ‘Raven’
Magnolia ‘Raven’
Magnolia ‘Raven’
Magnolia ‘Raven’
Rhododendron ‘Van Nes Sensation’ which I had not seen out before. One from Millais I expect. A delicate blowsy pink with a compact habit.
Rhododendron ‘Van Nes Sensation’
Rhododendron ‘Van Nes Sensation’
Rhododendron ‘Van Nes Sensation’
Rhododendron ‘Van Nes Sensation’
Rhododendron ‘Beauty of Littleworth’ now full out and without the pink tinge in the opening buds.
Rhododendron ‘Beauty of Littleworth’
Rhododendron ‘Beauty of Littleworth’

2017 – CHW
Very sad news. My partner at Burncoose, Philip Knuckey, has tragically lost his son Sam. The nursery is very shocked as he had worked with us in his youth and from time to time since.Another yellow magnolia. This one is Magnolia ‘Ossies Yellow’ after the American breeder, Oswald Bloomhardt. Quite an infusion of green in the tepals which you can like or dislike.
Magnolia 'Ossies Yellow'
Magnolia ‘Ossies Yellow’
Magnolia ‘Large Yellow’. Clearly a stupid name if the naming is correct.
Magnolia ‘Large Yellow’
Magnolia ‘Large Yellow’
Magnolia ‘Large Yellow’
Magnolia ‘Large Yellow’
Enkianthus curvus recurvus is now full out and properly recurved on the drive. Jaimie photographed another plant at Slip Rail which is quite different and only slightly ‘recurved’. I guess we now know which one is correct! The second plant is just labelled ‘Recurvus’ so possibly Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Recurvus’?
Enkianthus curvus recurvus
Enkianthus curvus recurvus
Enkianthus curvus recurvus
Enkianthus curvus recurvus
Jaimie's Enkianthus campanulatus recurvus
Jaimie’s Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Recurvus’
Sorbus folgneri ‘Emiel’ has a startling white underside to its leaves and as pretty a flower as it has berries as we saw last autumn.
Sorbus folgneri ‘Emiel’
Sorbus folgneri ‘Emiel’
Sorbus folgneri ‘Emiel’
Sorbus folgneri ‘Emiel’
Magnolia ‘Green Bee’ turns yellow when full out!
Magnolia ‘Green Bee’
Magnolia ‘Green Bee’
Magnolia ‘Green Bee’
Magnolia ‘Green Bee’
Azalea ‘White Throat’, a double, is just coming out on the drive as a young plant.
Azalea ‘White Throat’
Azalea ‘White Throat’
The more normal Rhododendron lindleyi without any pink in the flowers.
Rhododendron lindleyi
Rhododendron lindleyi
Salix moupinensis has attractive red new growth and is thriving in this damp spot where we have previously lost several rhododendrons. Not dissimilar to Salix fargesii?
Salix moupinensis
Salix moupinensis
Salix moupinensis
Salix moupinensis
A huge yellow flowering callistemon by the Hothead. We saw a white one at Eden earlier in the week. This one is very hardy and well established like the one at Burncoose above the house.
Yellow flowering callistemon
Yellow flowering callistemon
Yellow flowering callistemon
Yellow flowering callistemon
The original clump of Rhododendron tethropeplum in the Hothead raised bed is an absolute picture. Far more flower than usual.
Rhododendron tethropeplum
Rhododendron tethropeplum
Rhododendron tethropeplum
Rhododendron tethropeplum
A tail end flower on Rhododendron hanseanum above the wall.
Rhododendron hanseanum
Rhododendron hanseanum
The wisteria below the Playhouse if full out today. This has never been pruned at all and is 100 years old. It is not quite an ‘ordinary’ Wisteria sinensis as you can tell with a close up of the flowers.
Wisteria
Wisteria
Wisteria
Wisteria
Wisteria
Wisteria
Camellia ‘Giant White’ still has plenty of flowers. It has been out for at least four months now in full sun.
Camellia ‘Giant White’
Camellia ‘Giant White’
Camellia ‘Giant White’
Camellia ‘Giant White’
One of Jaimie’s hybrids above Crinodendron Hedge has a pleasant pink hue.
Jaimie’s hybrids
Jaimie’s hybrids
Jaimie’s hybrids
Jaimie’s hybrids
Jaimie’s hybrids
Jaimie’s hybrids
Rhododendron polyandrum beside it.
Rhododendron polyandrum
Rhododendron polyandrum
Rhododendron polyandrum
Rhododendron polyandrum
Rhododendron davidsonianum above the Main Quarry is the best show in the garden today. One of several big clumps in the garden but this one has never been cut back to reshoot and hence its height.
Rhododendron davidsonianum
Rhododendron davidsonianum
Rhododendron davidsonianum
Rhododendron davidsonianum

2016 – CHW
A trip to the greenhouse to see how this season’s germination is progressing. A nice Lupinus arboreus with blue (rather than the usual yellow) flowers greets me. Last year’s seedling.
Lupinus arboreus with blue (rather than the usual yellow) flowers
Lupinus arboreus with blue (rather than the usual yellow) flowers
At last the magnolias sown the first week of March are germinating strongly. Especially pleasing to see a profusion of Magnolia sprengeri var sprengeri seedlings (of a wild collected plant). These came from the Magnolia Society International seed list via S Spolberg.
magnolias sown the first week of March are germinating strongly
magnolias sown the first week of March are germinating strongly

Also good germination of davidia after two years and a fine crop of several rhodo species including Rhododendron lindleyi. Well done Asia. We have never, in my time at least, ever succeeded here or at Burncoose in growing davidia from seed.The enkianthus hardwood cuttings have been less successful but a batch of Enkianthus ‘Wallaby’ have survived. Care now to let them develop before potting on.

Enkianthus ‘Wallaby’
Enkianthus ‘Wallaby’
The Rhododendron fragrantissimum are in tight bud still and should be perfect for Chelsea.
Rhododendron fragrantissimum
Rhododendron fragrantissimum
Fagus sylvatica ‘Aurea Pendula’ stands out superbly now that the encroaching camellia has been cut back beside it. What a special tree. It needs some shade to avoid scorching the yellow young leaves. The non-pendulous golden beech is still not fully in leaf at the Four in Hand.
Rhododendron aberconwayi is another far too far on for Chelsea.
Rhododendron aberconwayi
Rhododendron aberconwayi
Rhododendron aberconwayi
Rhododendron aberconwayi
A wild clump of candelabra Primula pulverulenta is impressive in a wet area.
Primula pulverulenta
Primula pulverulenta
At Windsor last Monday we were told that they had the only true original plant of Magnolia sieboldii subsp sinensis. This surviving plant here from a clump of three or four has always been known to us as ‘sinensis’. I have sent these pictures to Windsor and others to see if they agree. The old plant still seeds prolifically.
Magnolia sieboldii subsp sinensis
Magnolia sieboldii subsp sinensis
Magnolia sieboldii subsp sinensis
Magnolia sieboldii subsp sinensis
Magnolia sieboldii subsp sinensis
Magnolia sieboldii subsp sinensis
The newly planted Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Ruby Glow’ are flowering away nicely.
Magnolia ‘Sunburst’ above the greenhouse is rather a mixed muddy colour.

2015 – CHW
If we go back to Chelsea 2012 we had a miserable cold spring and everything was late out.  In consequence and, as was the norm in the 1980s and 1990s, we had plenty of evergreen azaleas in bud to cut for the stand.Looking today there is plenty of deciduous azalea just showing colour but all the evergreens are over; some long over:

AZALEA 'Fedora'
AZALEA ‘Fedora’ – well over
AZALEA amoena
AZALEA amoena over by two or three weeks
AZALEA 'Greenway'
AZALEA ‘Greenway’ – nearly over
AZALEA ledifolium 02
AZALEA ledifolium
AZALEA ledifolium
AZALEA ledifolium – full out and just going over
AZALEA Black Hawk' 02
AZALEA Black Hawk’
AZALEA Black Hawk'
AZALEA Black Hawk’– too far out to cut
EMBOTHRIUM lanceolatum 'Norquino'
EMBOTHRIUM lanceolatum ‘Norquino’

Similarly the Embothrium lanceolatum ‘Norquinco’ is too far out to cut although looking splendid.

RHODODENDRON schlippenbachii
RHODODENDRON schlippenbachii
RHODODENDRON schlippenbachii 02
RHODODENDRON schlippenbachii

Conversely, a single plant of Rhododendron schlippenbachii is full out although the nearby clump and all the old original plants in the garden have been over for weeks and are now in full leaf.  Why should this home grown seedling behave so differently with its leaves only just starting?

ENKIANTHUS campanulatus 'Hollandia' 02
ENKIANTHUS campanulatus ‘Hollandia’
ENKIANTHUS campanulatus 'Hollandia'
ENKIANTHUS campanulatus ‘Hollandia’

Sadly the superb Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Hollandia’ will not make it for Chelsea either.  Better than ‘Vesta’?  Not as floriferous but a bolder colour and close indeed to the number one spot for enkianthus.

1935 – JCW
Mary and I start north.

1930 – JCW
Lindleyi and Dalhousiae hardly open. One or two Magnolia wilsoni and nicholsoniana blooms, also several soulangeana variants. Wasoni not yet open.

1926 – JCW
Lindleyi nearly over and so Dalhousiae and Auklandii. Griersonianum only in past open. Wilsons 1764 of 1903 is really nice say x x x ¾. I have seen a flower before but never realised its value.

1913 – JCW
R lindleyi open. No roses in the beds out or nearly out – montana rubra all over – white Broughtonii in Auklandii Garden very good and so is R royalei there.

1906 – JCW
I pavonia good. Auklandii very good. Roylei half open, Dalhousei very good also. Fortunei and a good lot of roses in the 3 big beds. Bluebells at their best.

1902 – JCW
Plenty of I pavonia open. Auklandii’s going back. Azaleas nearing their best. A week of cold. Maples very good.

1899 – JCW
No waterlilies yet, Auklandii at their best. Many Henonis have moved. A few young mitis. Some daff seed shows colour.

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