25th 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

2019 – CHW

One of the best cut things which we had on the Burncoose Chelsea stand was Rhododendron “Lem’s Monarch”. Here it is in its full splendour by Georges Hut looking exactly as behind the sales point at the show.

Rhododendron “Lem’s Monarch”
Rhododendron “Lem’s Monarch”
Rhododendron “Lem’s Monarch”
Rhododendron “Lem’s Monarch”
Rhododendron “Lem’s Monarch”
Rhododendron “Lem’s Monarch”
Calycanthus floridus ‘Athens’ with far more greenish yellow flowers than I have seen before on what is still a small plant. I first saw this at Chelsea 20+ years ago on the Mallet Court Nursery stand.
Calycanthus floridus ‘Athens’
Calycanthus floridus ‘Athens’
Calycanthus floridus ‘Athens’
Calycanthus floridus ‘Athens’
Calycanthus floridus ‘Athens’
Calycanthus floridus ‘Athens’
Aesculus sylvatica planted in Tin Garden has its first six flowers. This is another good addition to the Aesculus collection although the second plant in Kennel Close does not look so good after a wind battering as its first leaves appeared.
Aesculus sylvatica
Aesculus sylvatica
Aesculus sylvatica
Aesculus sylvatica
Aesculus sylvatica
Aesculus sylvatica
The younger of our two Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’ is growing in full sun. Its flowering is later than the much older plant by Donkey Shoe and, for now at least, the flowers are larger. What a simply wonderful magnolia this is!
Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’
Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’
Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’
Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’
Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’
Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’
A few Crataegus species in flower perhaps for the first time:
Crataegus combyi
Crataegus combyi
Crataegus combyi
Crataegus aprica
Crataegus aprica
Crataegus aprica
Crataegus aprica
Crataegus aprica
The new growth on two separate (but male) Cephalotaxus fortunei is (today) quite different but very attractive indeed.
Cephalotaxus fortunei
Cephalotaxus fortunei
Cephalotaxus fortunei
Cephalotaxus fortunei
Cephalotaxus fortunei
Cephalotaxus fortunei
Cephalotaxus fortunei
Cephalotaxus fortunei
This original Enkianthus campanulatus remained hidden above a camellia for decades without anyone seeing or noticing it. Usually I now miss it during Chelsea week but a few flowers remain and they are a good colour.
Enkianthus campanulatus
Enkianthus campanulatus
Enkianthus campanulatus
Enkianthus campanulatus
Cornus florida ‘Daybreak’ with exceptionally large white bracts offsetting the emerging green leaves with irregular yellow edging. The leaves develop pink and red striping later in the year which is also a very attractive and long lasting combination as we have seen before in this blog.
Cornus florida ‘Daybreak’
Cornus florida ‘Daybreak’
Cornus florida ‘Daybreak’
Cornus florida ‘Daybreak’

2018 – CHW
It is amazing what a difference a week away has meant in the garden. The grass has grown 6’’ and the laurel hedges 9-12’’. Still plenty of decent rhododendrons but we have undoubtedly moved on from the very best of this year’s spring season; late though it was and magnolia-less for the first six weeks.

The pure white or albino sport from the pink Azalea ‘Greenway’ by the cash point. This group was grown from cuttings taken from a white flowering branch on one of our older plants.

Azalea ‘Greenway’
Azalea ‘Greenway’
Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’ with a flower or two of a pure white reversion. Although still excellent today here we cut this for Chelsea a week ago but it flopped in the heat and had to be binned before judging.
Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’
Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’
Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’
Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’
Azalea ‘Gena Mae’ is a gorgeous orange double flowered variety with a yellow flare. About eight years from planting out. Bought from Glendoick.
Azalea ‘Gena Mae’
Azalea ‘Gena Mae’
I have never known the name of this ancient deciduous azalea by the Four in Hand but the yellowish orange flare against the dark red makes it a wow. It would certainly sell if we could propagate it in quantity.
deciduous azalea
deciduous azalea
deciduous azalea
deciduous azalea
Rhododendron ‘Glendoick Velvet’ is one I normally miss over Chelsea week. Very fine here with a hint of a yellow stripe amid the dark purple.
Rhododendron ‘Glendoick Velvet’
Rhododendron ‘Glendoick Velvet’
Rhododendron ‘Glendoick Velvet’
Rhododendron ‘Glendoick Velvet’
Reevsia sinica has shed what was left of its old leaves after the ‘Beast’ and is thankfully producing attractive red new growth. An unexpected survival.
Reevsia sinica
Reevsia sinica
Laburnocytisus ‘Adamii’ is a most peculiar mix of two separate plant genera. We had cut sprays on the stand at Chelsea which held up well for the week.
Laburnocytisus ‘Adamii’
Laburnocytisus ‘Adamii’
Laburnocytisus ‘Adamii’
Laburnocytisus ‘Adamii’
Laburnocytisus ‘Adamii’
Laburnocytisus ‘Adamii’
Enkianthus chinensis has huge flower clusters with yellow insides and large leaves. An excellent species. This clump of three below Slip Rail is the best form we have.
Enkianthus chinensis
Enkianthus chinensis
Enkianthus chinensis
Enkianthus chinensis
Aesculus flava in full flower. The nearest to yellow of any aesculus species.
Aesculus flava
Aesculus flava
Three plants, now 12-15ft tall, above Hovel Cart Road are labelled (as sold to us) Enkianthus cernuus rubens. Although a pleasant red they are not this species as the anthers and stamens do not protrude below the base of the bell flower. Quite nice plants but wrongly named.
Enkianthus cernuus rubens
Enkianthus cernuus rubens
Enkianthus cernuus rubens
Enkianthus cernuus rubens

2017 – CHW

Home in a state of total exhaustion. Swollen ankles, blistered feet and cricked neck. Thank goodness it is all over for another year except, of course, it is not.

Now to process all the orders and to write all the thank you letters over the bank holiday weekend.

But first a day in bed with the cricket to watch.

If anyone else says ‘how much we must have all enjoyed Chelsea’ I will have a seizure!

Anyway that is enough of plants so here is a wonderful picture of Isla Rose starting to pay attention. Perhaps I will not have a seizure after all.

Isla Rose
Isla Rose

2016 – CHW 

Rhododendron Society 100 Years
Rhododendron Society 100 Years – Courtesy BBC.

Coldish day where we seem to take more orders than we did on the Tuesday. Nothing much of note happens until the BBC turn up amazingly on time to film us in our tweeds on the RCMG stand with Joe Swift. Four huge cameras and about 20 people assemble for this great moment where we each have one sentence to say. I ask Joe if he knows what he will be talking about (the centenary of the Rhododendron Society) he says not really but they will tell him on autocue – he has no scope to say other than what he is told to. Amusingly the camera monitor then shows the spelling of ‘rhododendron’ incorrectly. Much pissing round and the big moment comes. We manage to get through without any retakes. The BBC clearly is in a rush to get something on air. Eley appears somewhat tongue tied and witters on about the number of members we have (750). Millais lets slip another statistic which proves how small the group is but it does not really seem to matter.

BBC Coverage of RCMG Stand
BBC Coverage of RCMG Stand
BBC Coverage of RCMG Stand
BBC Coverage of RCMG Stand
BBC Coverage of RCMG Stand
BBC Coverage of RCMG Stand

2015 – CHW

Azalea 'Arneson's Gem'
Azalea ‘Arneson’s Gem’
Azalea 'Arneson's Gem'
Azalea ‘Arneson’s Gem’

The plan is unnamed deciduous azaleas on the drive but Jaimie suggests I start at Hovel Cart Road.  An eight to ten year old clump of what I think is Azalea ‘Arnason Gem’.  On checking the photograph does not look quite right.

Azalea ‘Rosebud’
Azalea ‘Rosebud’
Azalea ‘Rosebud’
Azalea ‘Rosebud’

Then, amid the trash, I stumble into a good clump of the evergreen Azalea ‘Rosebud’.  This nicely replaces the old one on Burns Bank.

Lindera cinnamomifolia
Lindera cinnamomifolia

Next comes Lindera cinnamomifolia which is not listed in ‘New Trees’ but which has grown exponentially and will clearly become a tree.  I did see it in flower two to three years ago with small yellow linderish flowers but quite nice.Of course I cannot resist looking at the enkianthus which were not out pre Chelsea.

Enkianthus hirtinervus
Enkianthus hirtinervus
Enkianthus hirtinervus
Enkianthus hirtinervus

Enkianthus  hirtinervus (three plants) – has very dark flowers and is the last one to flower.  In my mind I think I have confused this colour wise with Enkianthus deflexus.  I cannot find this species at all in The Plantsman article on enkianthus dated June 2011.

Enkianthus chinensis
Enkianthus chinensis
Enkianthus chinensis
Enkianthus chinensis
Enkianthus chinensis
Enkianthus chinensis
Enkianthus chinensis
Enkianthus chinensis

Enkianthus chinensis is now full out (three plants) and looks about right.

However there is another older single plant of Enkianthus chinensis nearly over with much bigger bells. It still looks like the picture in The Plantsman but a better form.

1908 – JCW
Azaleas at their best, also Fortunei hybrids in the Old Park.

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