22nd May

FJ Williams Profile Picture
FJW 1955-2007
CH Williams Profile Picture
CHW 2015-
JC Williams Profile Picture
JCW 1897-1939
C Williams Profile Picture
CW 1940-1955

2021 – CHW

Susyn Andrews and Brian Schrire are finally able to get here to sort out the final identification of the holly collection. In a long but happy afternoon we catalogue every holly in the garden and await a few more formal confirmations of identity once Susyn gets back to her notes and files some of which may still be at Kew. Then my holly article will finally be ready for publication.

We start with the puzzle that has plagued us for decades and caused endless confusion. Four of the five ancient ilex are confirmed as Ilex dipyrena and the fifth as Ilex kingiana. Here is the trunk of one of the Ilex dipyrena.

Ilex dipyrena
Ilex dipyrena
We locate four other Ilex kingiana of varying ages, but mostly 60 to 80 years old, in Area 03 together with evidence of others on old plans which have since died.

These are pictures of the two elderly and gnarled Ilex dipyrena above the greenhouse which only have any leaves at great height.

Ilex dipyrena
Ilex dipyrena
Ilex dipyrena
Ilex dipyrena

We then move on to look at other plants and self-sown seedlings in the garden which turn out to have more or less characteristics of both I. dipyrena and I. kingiana to a greater or lesser extent. I. kingiana seeds heavily as here but we did find green berries under a younger plant of I. dipyrena thus demonstrating that cross pollination can and has taken place.This pictures shows Ilex kingiana in berry with a strong influence of I. dipyrena in the leaf shape.

Ilex kingiana
Ilex kingiana
Ilex latifolia in flower below Slip Rail with its identity confirmed.
Ilex latifolia
Ilex latifolia
Here we see Ilex x altaclerensis ‘Gold King’ reverting to Ilex x altaclerensis ‘Hendersonii’ all over the tree. In fact half the tree has green leaves. Both are female clones as you can see.
Ilex x altaclarensis ‘Gold King’
Ilex x altaclarensis ‘Gold King’
Ilex x altaclarensis ‘Gold King’
Ilex x altaclarensis ‘Gold King’
Ilex x altaclarensis ‘Gold King’
Ilex x altaclarensis ‘Gold King’
Ilex ficoidea in bud.
Ilex ficoidea
Ilex ficoidea
The old original Magnolia sieboldii subsp. sinensis.
Magnolia sieboldii subsp. sinensis
Magnolia sieboldii subsp. sinensis
Magnolia sieboldii subsp. sinensis
Magnolia sieboldii subsp. sinensis
We had always thought this to be Ilex x altaclerensis ‘Camelliifolia’ but Susyn identifies it as Ilex x altaclerensis ‘Wilsonii’. We guess the ‘Camelliifolia’ which was growing nearby must have snapped off at the base in a gale.
Ilex x altaclarensis ‘Wilsonii’
Ilex x altaclarensis ‘Wilsonii’
Malus x micromalus with pink buds as it should have. In previous years I had missed the buds and was slightly worried about the identification.
Malus x micromalus
Malus x micromalus
Ilex perado subsp. perado in flower.
Ilex perado subsp. perado
Ilex perado subsp. perado
Magnolia wilsonii (DJHC 98369)
Magnolia wilsonii
Magnolia wilsonii
Viburnum setigerum just into flower.
Viburnum setigerum
Viburnum setigerum
This is Ilex corallina (not Ilex verticillata) as demonstrated by the leaf ‘drip’ shown black here on an old leaf.
Ilex corallina
Ilex corallina
Ilex corallina
Ilex corallina
Then we find what we have stupidly missed on previous holly hunts. Quite how I am unsure. Above Rookery Nursery are three final Ilex cyrtura exactly where they should have been on old maps. We do indeed have this species which grows rather better at Trewithen.
Ilex cyrtura
Ilex cyrtura
Ilex cyrtura
Ilex cyrtura

The other major name change is that our second supposed Ilex cornuta is in fact Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordii’.Ilex opaca (we have two upon finding a second one below Hovel Cart Road) had its identity confirmed.

Ilex opaca
Ilex opaca

In the Rookery we find a variable big leafed ilex which is clearly a natural hybrid between Ilex perado subsp. platyphylla and an Ilex x altaclerensis variety. This needs further examination of the specimens collected.This is a homegrown seedling of Ilex kingiana in Penvergate which also has traces of Ilex dipyrena and merits further research.

Ilex kingiana
Ilex kingiana
Samples from the Trevanion holly and adjacent ‘Williams’ holly have gone with Susyn for final confirmation of their identities.

2020 – CHW
It is interesting how the authorities are responding to the most mild attempts to release us from lockdown and to prevent the normal economy of the countryside from moving forward.

Our holiday lets manager has had attempts to make spoof holiday lets bookings on our website to see if we would accept them. Also more formal calls from trading standards asking what our holiday letting policy is? If a family can get into a car and drive where they like (behaving responsibly) why should they not end up in a holiday let or a caravan site? Naturally we will not accept holiday let visitors until we properly can.

The beach café, which is open only for takeaways with lots of new rules, risk assessments and compliance with the specific government form which must be displayed to the staff and customers alike, has been reported to the authorities by a competitor café. A taste of the ‘new’ Britain which had been expected. The inspector and the police who turned up to investigate found it difficult to fault the new arrangements but we will see what develops.

Has the complainant not been visiting their local village shop for groceries during lockdown? What is the difference between takeaway food at a beach café and a village shop?

Still the government will not respond to the National Trust, Historic Houses Association and Kew Gardens who wrote earlier this week asking for a limited and controlled opening of their gardens. As Chelsea week comes to an end this looks increasingly bizarre especially with parks and parklands now open. The problem is that government rules ban ‘ticketed events’ and garden visitors generally buy entry tickets. By the end of next week I can see no point in opening the garden here with only a fortnight to go before we would have closed anyway. It is an early flowering season and the garden is nearly over.

We have become a ‘cannot do’ society.

A farm tour to look at the spring lambs and a video filming session today.

A good bit of layering on Rhododendron ‘Lem’s Monarch’ which we turned into a 10 minute topical tips film for the Burncoose website. Then a vlog of five rhodos for the Caerhays (would be) visitors to see on the small screen.

Rhododendron ‘Lem’s Monarch’
Rhododendron ‘Lem’s Monarch’
Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’ is not flowering well this year and the leaves always seem to look a bit off colour like this. Here are the flowers in three stages from bud to full out. Quite a colour change.
Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’
Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’
Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’
Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’
Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’
Rhododendron loderi ‘Venus’
A new crossbred batch of ewes designed to produce ‘longer’ commercial lambs as you can see here above Tubbs Mill in a group of circa 100 ewes with early March born lambs. One hermaphrodite lamb – what will the ministry of BAME classify that as! An excellent crop of lambs.
New crossbred batch of ewes
New crossbred batch of ewes
New crossbred batch of ewes
New crossbred batch of ewes
Sixty Dorset cross ewes with ninety-two lambs above the cliffs. These were born three to four weeks later and will not be shorn for a month or so. Hamish, the farm manager, said he would have gone mad by now if he had been cooped up for eight weeks.
Dorset Cross Sheep
Dorset Cross Sheep
Dorset Cross Sheep
Dorset Cross Sheep
An ancient clump of Azalea ‘Narcissiflorum’ on the drive are just coming out. Double hose-in-hose flowers and new into the Burncoose catalogue this year. No scent as yet.
Azalea ‘Narcissiflorum’
Azalea ‘Narcissiflorum’
An excellent show at the entrance to Hovel Cart Road.
Hovel Cart Road
Hovel Cart Road
The usual crop of yellow poppies on the bank below. I used to call them Icelandic poppies (as seen at Chelsea) but I have been corrected by Clare on this!
Yellow poppies
Yellow poppies
Syringa ‘Katherine Havemeyer’ is purple in bud, opening purple-lavender and then fading (as here) to pale lilac-pink. A double flower. Sadly the plant is nearly dead below the tower. Planted about 1991.
Syringa ‘Katherine Havemeyer’
Syringa ‘Katherine Havemeyer’
Syringa ‘Katherine Havemeyer’
Syringa ‘Katherine Havemeyer’
Syringa ‘Katherine Havemeyer’
Syringa ‘Katherine Havemeyer’

The incubators hatched just under 80% of the 12,000 eggs earlier this week to give us 9,562 live chicks. A good performance for a large incubator with 36,000 eggs in it. The final setting of eggs for this year on Friday or Saturday. Then the laying hens will be sold elsewhere as we never want to see this stock again in our future breeding programme.

A fledgling blackbird makes an unsteady appearance in a Mahonia.

Fledgling blackbird
Fledgling blackbird
Deutzia subulata given to us by Roy Lancaster and planted in 2007.
Deutzia subulata
Deutzia subulata
Abies firma is a new species to us planted at Donkey Shoe to replace an old Abies grandis which split in two two years ago. Very different new growth to the old leaves. The tree is starting to take off.
Abies firma
Abies firma
Abies firma
Abies firma
Abies firma
Abies firma
Abies firma
Abies firma
Abies firma
Abies firma
Daphniphyllum oldhamii with flowers which are fairly insignificant amid the yellowish new growth.
Daphniphyllum oldhamii
Daphniphyllum oldhamii
Daphniphyllum oldhamii
Daphniphyllum oldhamii
Daphniphyllum oldhamii
Daphniphyllum oldhamii
The first flower cluster ever on this six to eight year old Schefflera macrophylla and the usual velvety new growth. The larger one in Forty Acres has been flowering away for some years.
Schefflera macrophylla
Schefflera macrophylla
Schefflera macrophylla
Schefflera macrophylla
I have missed the first flower on Magnolia ‘Porcelain Dove’. Plenty of buds to come.
Magnolia ‘Porcelain Dove’
Magnolia ‘Porcelain Dove’
What I have always known as Rhododendron catawbiense ‘Album’ tucked away by the Aucuba omiensis.
Rhododendron catawbiense ‘Album’
Rhododendron catawbiense ‘Album’
Rhododendron catawbiense ‘Album’
Rhododendron catawbiense ‘Album’
Flowers still on Magnolia acuminata var. subcordata ‘Miss Honeybee’.
Magnolia acuminata var. subcordata ‘Miss Honeybee’
Magnolia acuminata var. subcordata ‘Miss Honeybee’
The Michelia doltsopas are now back into full leaf thankfully.
Michelia doltsopa
Michelia doltsopa

2019 – CHW
Mrs Williams and Mrs Clarke hiding (exhausted) in the shade outside the exhibitors ‘tent’.

Mrs Williams and Mrs Clarke
Mrs Williams and Mrs Clarke
Mary Berry and a BBC producer using our stand for filming. I have met Mary before and she is exceptionally pleasant.
Mary Berry
Mary Berry
We were also filmed by the BBC with a comedian, Ben Miller, who had a problem with the dry sloping bank in his garden. Soon (after six retakes) I sorted him out with our Burncoose logo in all the shots and four decent plants. Sadly I have no pictures.

2018 – CHW
While I have been away at Chelsea, Jaimie has been busy keeping up to date in the garden here. Enkianthus ‘Wallaby’ has proven to be rather a shy flowerer but I fear we have it planted in too much shade.

Enkianthus-Wallaby
Enkianthus-Wallaby
Jaimie has mulched the main Rhododendron williamsianum clump and removed the wire netting from around the group as they are now large enough to stand on their own two feet.
Rhododendron williamsianum
Rhododendron williamsianum

2017 – CHW
Judging started at 7.30 but they only get to us at 9.45. Not a long session and a quick vote without much fuss which is hopeful.Then the media frenzy with our celebrity, Gemma Arterton, and her sister who is even prettier. Gemma is perhaps best known as the Bond girl in ‘Quantum of Solace’. At least 50 press photographers and camera crews assemble half an hour before the photo call at 10.45.The bar is opened by our sponsor, Guy Hands, a little before this with a flurry of pink champagne. Gemma stays for nearly an hour and the press go mad. So does the drinks party and I have to retire under a tree to recover before the Queen arrives and the gala evening with yet more champagne.
Media Frenzy - 2017
Media Frenzy – 2017
Media Frenzy - 2017
Media Frenzy – 2017
Gemma Arterton and sister
Gemma Arterton and sister
Gemma Arterton & Guy Hands
Gemma Arterton & Guy Hands
Gemma Arterton & John Hill
Gemma Arterton & John Hill
Gemma Arterton & protea 'Little Prince'
Gemma Arterton & protea ‘Little Prince’
John Hill from Burncoose Nurseries, Gemma Arterton, Gabby Evans from the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme, Charles Williams from Burncoose Nurseries, Hannah Arterton and Guy Hands from Terra Firma
John Hill from Burncoose Nurseries, Gemma Arterton, Gabby Evans from the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme, Charles Williams from Burncoose Nurseries, Hannah Arterton and Guy Hands from Terra Firma
Details Above
Gemma, her sister and John
Gemma, her sister and John
Gemma, her sister and John
Gemma, her sister and John
Lucinda, Lizzie, Lorna
Lucinda, Lizzie, Lorna
Drinks with Lizzie
Drinks with Lizzie
Drinks with Charles
Drinks with Charles
Drinks at the Burncoose Stand
Drinks at the Burncoose Stand
Drinks at the Burncoose Stand
Drinks at the Burncoose Stand
Drinks
Drinks
Chelsea drinks
Chelsea drinks
Chelsea drinks
Chelsea drinks
Chelsea interview
Chelsea interview

Alan Titchmarsh visited The Great Gardens stand at Chelsea to promote their new book ‘The Great Gardens of Cornwall – The People & Their Plants’.In the picture are, from left to right: Lorna Tremayne (Heligan), Alan Titchmarsh, Lucinda Rimmington (Caerhays), Tim Hubbard (the author), Charles Williams (Caerhays) and Jonathon Jones (Tregothnan)

Great Gardens Book Chelsea
Great Gardens Book Chelsea
Alan Titchmarsh - Great Gardens Book Chelsea
Alan Titchmarsh – Great Gardens Book Chelsea

2016 – CHW
We do a stand group photo before Rob and Louisa depart with the lorry. Justin is erecting a model spitfire on the Tregothnan stand which looks about as ridiculous as the orient express. Apparently it came from the roundabout in Truro.
Chelsea group photo
Chelsea group photo
Chelsea Sunday - Tea Break
Chelsea Sunday – Tea Break

We get rid of the last plants and are effectively finished more or less by midday although we do not leave until evening.The night before we all went to the Blue Lagoon restaurant in the old fire station in Kings Road where we observed innumerable bright young things strutting their stuff. Highlight was the arrival of some film star (who Gerry was able to identify) in a private room with glass frontage which enabled us to look up the ladies’ very very short skirts – that shut even Justin up.

Wolfgang Bopp arrives to inspect the stand not realising that I already know he is the head of our judging panel as he has been for the past five years. He is surprisingly complimentary and asks about new plants – this is a good sign.

2015 – CHW
So back to normal and the first real foray around the garden for eight days.  It is staggering how much new growth has appeared in a week. The grass and trash which was ankle high is now knee high in places so it must have rained a bit.  Staggering too how much has gone over in a week especially the wisterias.Bees swarming the front door which Jaimie is trying to catch as they vanish through the vent and are now buzzing under our bedroom.  Big (paying) wedding on the lawn tomorrow so we do not want them in the bridal veil.Above all peace and quiet after London.  The dogs are happy even if it is only a photography trip.  Pure enjoyment all round and how we have missed it.
Enkianthus cernuus rubens
Enkianthus cernuus rubens

Our original and true to name Enkianthus cernuus rubens is now dead but, unknown to me, there are two further plants just below it.  These correctly have the anthers and stamens protruding below the rim of the bells.  The only species to do this.  These two plants have flowers which are not nearly so dark a red as the deceased one.

Rhodie didymum cross
Rhodie didymum cross
Rhodie didymum cross
Rhodie didymum cross

A clump of three Rhododendron didymum x ? hybrids by the Magnolia veitchii are covered in flower.  Never seen these as good.

Enkianthus enormous flowers
Enkianthus enormous flowers
Enkianthus enormous flowers
Enkianthus enormous flowers

Nearby is a very erect enkianthus with quite the largest flowers of any seen this year at Caerhays.  Presumably a form of Enkianthus campanulatus but no label.  Propagate this! Much larger flowers than the wonderful cut branches from Burncoose on the Chelsea stand.

Syringa yunnanense
Syringa yunnanense

Syringa  yunnanense bought this year from Glendoick is quite nice.  It is recorded here in 1919 but I have never seen it in flower before.

Laburnocytisus 'Adamii'
Laburnocytisus ‘Adamii’

We have two plants of Laburnocytisus ‘Adamii’ planted in 1991 which are currently full out.  A strange cross between a laburnum and a cytisus which ought to be genetically impossible but grows oddly as you might expect.  Some might call it horrid and I would agree but if you like bastards this is for you!

1934 – JCW
I have just caught the best Azaleas, that is the deciduous ones. Magnolia wilsoni is at its best.

1917 – JCW
C m rubra about out. R yunnanense is good in the big beds. Standish hybrids are good and so Sappho x auklandii, Roylei just opening, but a very few Azaleas open. Azalea amoena is good. Azalea mollis comes on. Augustinii over, Auklandii on the wane. Broughtonii section are good.

1913 – JCW
Montana rubra long over. R yunnanense continues good very, been out 2 weeks and is the best thing. Some Broughtonii hybrids hold on, Standish hybrids good. Some Yunnanense x Roylei are opening. R augustinii well over. Azaleas and Mrs Butlers in the beech Walk are good.

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