2023 – CHW
I was invited as Chairman of the Great Gardens of Cornwall to formally open the new Court Garden at Trebah. A £400k project. The walled garden was once a tennis court and underneath the new gardens are ground heat source pumps supplying energy for the visitor centre. Around 60-70 people attended and Robert Dudley Cooke, Chairman of the Trebah Garden Charitable Trust, kicked the festivities off with a long speech. Mine was shorter and produced a few laughs at the account of a coach load of German tourists walking straight though an Arnhem veterans and US 29th Infantry (who set off from Trebah for D Day and Omaha Beach) outdoor memorial service at the bottom of Trebah garden some years ago. The ribbon cutting with garden shears was a failure and I had to resort to scissors.
2022 – CHW
Tilia tuan var. chenmoui (TH 1075 from Keith Rushforth 2016) just leafing up.
Magnolia ‘Sunburst’ at its best. (Magnolia x brooklynensis ‘Woodsman’) x (Magnolia ‘Gold Stars’ x Magnolia stellata Rubra). By yellow magnolia standards not near the top but this small tree is now putting on a very decent show by the Fernery.
It is all very well for Her Majesty’s Opposition to criticise government policy but are not oppositions also supposed to put forward alternative strategies? Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland do have a policy which is to stay in lockdown and not advise people to go back to work even if they can. Clearly time will reveal who was right (if there is ever to be a provable ‘right’). Starmer and the Labour party have not quite said that they want to prolong lockdown but they cover themselves by saying the government’s approach is ‘too confusing’ and ‘contradictory’. They mean the same as Sturgeon really but are not convinced that is what the public actually want.Strangely all parties are forced to more or less agree that Rishi Sunak’s extension of the furlough scheme is good news as is the arrival of help for the self-employed. Where is their alternative policy?Political opportunism in a crisis is rather more revealing of the opportunists than what they actually say. The BBC too delights in reporting the end of political ‘consensus’ with repeated references to the government no longer carrying popular opinion with it in the polls. They of course do their utmost to achieve exactly that. Another nail in the BBC coffin given time one hopes.I was being thick about my earlier comments on the purple cut leaf beech which I described as a purple form of Fagus sylvatica ‘Aspleniifolia’. It is! However the correct name is Fagus sylvatica ‘Rohanii’. Part of the fun of writing this diary is sorting out little puzzles like this for oneself.Very good at Burncoose today were:
To Burncoose to sort out what to cut from here for Chelsea. A first flowering at Burncoose for Manglietia Chingii; now renamed as Magnolia conifera var. Chingii. This is what the label says but I will need to check with Tom Hudson as to whether it is correct. Very distinctive bark and we definitely have a plant here too near Tin Garden. The tree is 20-25ft tall. Some of what appear to be buds are in fact new growth buds while others are more rounded and are certainly flowers. These are mainly at the very top of the tree where it has been slightly defoliated by strong winds.
We can now reveal one of our two entries for the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year competition next week. The plants will also be featured prominently on the Burncoose stand.Fargesia murielae ‘Luca’ is an interesting novelty Bamboo bred by Frank Schnupper in Germany and exhibited in public for the first time in the UK at Chelsea. This variety is a real dwarf. It has an almost round shape an only reaches a height of 40 to 50cm with a maximum width of about 1m. ‘Luca’ is a perfect species for small gardens, foundation planting and in a pot on the terrace or balcony. ‘Luca’ does not develop spreading rhizomes and is therefore not invasive in the garden in the same manner as many other bamboo species and varieties. In addition, the plant is hardy and requires little or no maintenance. It is hardy to -20°.This plant will be available to pre-order by mail order only on the Burncoose Nurseries website later this week.
A trip to Belvoir Castle for a board meeting (six plus hours each way). Karol goes to photograph some of our planting over the last 10 years at Belvoir where we have created a woodland garden of some 25 to 30 acres. See for yourself how it is doing. Older pictures of the start of the gardening plan at Belvoir Castle are on the Burncoose website. The garden was opened to visitors last year and made a profit so everyone happy.
Meanwhile the first of the three lorry loads for Chelsea gets loaded and off we go!
Rather late in the day Crug Farm have delivered their February 2016 order. Many of the plants are extremely rare wild collected new introductions but they are mainly rather on the large side and will need a great deal of staking. The plants were delivered by Tuckermarsh nurseries from Tavistock (Mark Fillan) who I enjoyed taking around. He brought our order of Lithocarpus glabrata and three Styrax wilsonii as well. The latter died of old age outside the back yard recently although I cannot believe we have not planted out a few seedlings. Bond Street perhaps?
2015 – CHW
Yes I have cheated and written this yesterday. Currently en route to London so normal service will be resumed in a week or so.
Two puzzles for anyone who has managed to read this far:
No one has ever known the name of this large ancient clump of cotoneaster at the start of Hovel Cart Road. A bit like Cotoneaster microphyllus from a distance but not close up. Bearing in mind its location and age it may well be an original wild collected Chinaman. Every time you pose a question like this you suspect that you could find the answer in the planting records or archive but there simply is not the time to begin to try.
What is this 12 to 15 year old enkianthus? Its shape and habit would suggest Enkianthus cernuus. However it is not pure white and the location of the anthers and stamens in relation to the bell flower is incorrect.
The unknown magnolia from a few days ago has been tracked down in the planting record as ‘Coral Pink’. No idea of its parentage though. Different but not exciting.
1993 – FJW
Wet rough spell with hail – garden past its peak.
1990 – FJW
Rain came after very dry two months. Garden has hung on very well despite heat. Rhodo’s good (except for Rho orbiculare). Mags good. Camellias excellent.
1927 – JCW
A great block of buds showing bloom on Mag parviflora. The azaleas are about half open. Mag wilsoni is very good. The first flower for this year of Mag nicholsiana is open and is very fine. The last of the Zealanicum is at its best.
1916 – JCW
About half the Azaleas are open. Pink Pearl just open. No May yet. Sappho x Auklandii is very nice.
1912 – JCW
Azaleas of all kinds have been good but many going back. Pink Pearl going back. Auklandiii’s nearly over. Bluebells over. Primula pulverulenta good. C montana going back. May very good.
1900 – JCW
Iris pavonia just open, Azalea Altaclarence good. Auklandii good. A cold rough wind.