Over the bank holiday weekend many emails about the Plant of the Decade success:
‘much more distinguished than a tap on the shoulder from the president even though the BBC failed to acknowledge the democratic vote – typical’
‘an accolade for Cornwall, Burncoose and Caerhays’
‘just ordered three!’
‘even my neighbour next door whose plant looks great – so much so that he sent me a photo – then he voted for it too!’
The RHS email (late on Saturday evening) to confirm the award (in case we had not heard yet!) and to permit us to use the RHS Plant of the Decade logo on our websites.
Julie found her birthday on Saturday interrupted by requests to update the websites with the news but it was all changed rather more speedily than the RHS themselves could manage.
For the record and posterity here are a selection of our pictures of Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Kilimanjaro Sunrise’.
I wonder if we will ever be told the numbers who voted for each of the 10 Plants of the Year? I wonder too if the RHS will actually make a presentation to us and the breeder at Chelsea 2021 or at some other RHS event? In 2015 we got a plaque and a nice bit of engraved glassware.
A greenhouse area trip.
A newly bought in Styrax hookeri yunnanensis flowering in the frames. I am doubtful as it looks nothing like our home grown Styrax hookeri which has been here since the 1920s.
A new species of Maytenus – Maytenus magellanica arrived from Burncoose last week.
Parastyrax sp. Nova (15185) from Crûg was acquired last year. Very expensive indeed but it has made huge growth in a year.
Trevesia or Brassaiopis dumicola (KWJ12217) is possibly the most expensive smallish plant I have ever bought (£175!). Extraordinary and intricate leaves. I did see a Schefflera at Tregrehan with a similar leaf formation but not the nasty prickles on the stem which are like an Aralia or Zanthoxylum.
Zelkova abelicea with its unusual leaf formation. Planted out in the autumn. This is only a large shrub in the wild – Greece or Crete.
Sorbus dunnii from Roundabarrow nurseries – also planted November 2019.
Azalea ‘Fireball’. Wonderful dark new growth.
Still a few flowers on Magnolia ‘Peachy’.
And then a trip to look at newer plants in Kennel Close.
Ailanthus altissima ‘Purple Dragon’ still with purple new growth. Attractive!
Ehretia thrysiflora has purple new growth and leaves unlike any other Ehretia I have seen. I still wonder about this species which we grew from seed. We have however been given other plants under this name which are the same.
Ehretia macrophylla is more easily recognised as an Ehretia by its ‘raspy’ leaf. This was a gift from Windsor – John Anderson a year ago.
Zanthoxylum coreanum with buds coming and some good prickles!
Catalpa sechuanensis also has purple new growth and looks very like Catalpa x erubescens ‘Purpurea’ at present.
Paulownia kawakamii is now full out and flowering properly for the first time. Just the odd flower in previous years.
Sorbus gongashanica in flower.
Magnolia acuminata ‘Seiju’ with better flowers than a week or so ago.
Crataegus schraderiana is still not quite in flower. Attractive leaves.
Cornus ‘Venus’ has now developed a pink tinge.
Magnolia ‘Daybreak’ still has a few late flowers (much like ‘Peachy’).
Acer campbellii var. frangipanense with long flower tassels.
Sorbus wilsoniana with new growth and two flower heads.
More deer nibbling on a young Sorbus.
New growth on Quercus rugosa.
We need rain very badly and continue to water the spring plantings.
2019 – CHW
Time to catch up with the deciduous azaleas which are still out on the drive and elsewhere.
Azalea “Canon’s Double” is making a good show with plenty of flowers.
Trying to look these up in the Galle book on azaleas is a nightmare! I can only confirm four as actually being listed as Ghent hybrids but there are hundreds listed.
This very late flowering clump of deciduous azaleas on Hovel Cart Road is seldom seen. White with an orange flash and pink highlights.
Heavy thundery downpours are doing wonders for the development of the new growth on the rhododendrons and encouraging new growth too on the leafless michelias and other evergreens after the ‘Beast’ had passed through in early March.After much head scratching I now have a book on cotoneaster species. This ancient plant has the odd berry remaining and large white flowers on last year’s stems of new growth. It is Cotoneaster microphyllus I think.
Rhododendron radicans, one of the most dwarf and trailing species, is a shy flowerer.
2017 – CHW
A few extra hours sleep and a morning of Chelsea paperwork before a quick trip around the garden to catch up.
Magnolia rostrata has the odd flower out high up. More to come and some over.
Finally we get to the deciduous azaleas on the drive and a few conclusions are obvious:About a third are already over and a third are still in tight bud today. So I have missed plenty and must await plenty more.Many of the unnamed ones in huge clumps are very old (but still healthy) plants say 80 plus years old? My father had no idea of where they came from or the names despite a decade of research after he retired in our planting archive. Perhaps my great uncle (Charles Williams) bought these?
Very few bear any likeness to the relatively few varieties of well known deciduous azaleas available in the trade today. So I need help please from readers of this blog! Some of them are VERY FINE with several mixed colours, some are semi double in flower although this is irregular. It is a pity deciduous azaleas are such buggers to propagate from cuttings.The first one I come to is perhaps similar to what we had on the Chelsea stand as ‘Royal Command’ or ‘Golden Flare’.
Azalea mollis ‘Drim Oosthoek’
Azalea mollis ‘Apple Blossom’Rather pale single flowers and nothing special in comparison to the next huge clump beside the drive which looks pink from a distance but is full of much more intricate colours close up. In Galle’s book perhaps ‘Rère d’Amour’.
A delightful surprise – Exbury must have given Jaimie a plant of Rhododendron quinquefolium ‘Fire Arrows’. It is doing well. Very rare.
A side glance at Enkianthus deflexus now full out and with less of a purple tinge.
Next door is a fine clump of Magnolia sieboldii as on our Chelsea stand. Not all the flowers come out at once.
And on to one I planted which may or may not be a rather large flowered form of Azalea ‘Fireball’. It is in the shade so perhaps this explains the sparse and large flowers. Perhaps it is Glendoick’s ‘Crosswater Red’?
Beside it is rather a nice Cornus florida ‘Milky Way’ which enables one to see why it gets its name albeit only currently half out.
Then we get a yellow and pink deciduous azalea of some merit overhanging the drive.
I now attach a series of deciduous azalea pictures which are either red or orange or both. Some are outstandingly good but not a hint of a name to propagate them with. Can anyone help? Would anyone like to try to propagate these for us?
1990 – FJW
Rain absent again since May 15th. Drought may be the worst in catastrophe list.
1981 – FJW
Jim Trudgeon died.
1920 – JCW
Plenty of roses. The Azaleas are near their best. Zealanicum knocked out on Nov 15th frost. M wilsoni has been the best thing in the place. I found a Magnolia watsoni last night.
1917 – JCW
No roses off the wall excepting R hugnis. The azaleas are very good here, at the Hovel and in the Old Park. Standish’s Devonshire plants are the best rhodo’s we have. Zealanicum would be good but for the frost.
1915 – JCW
As in 1901,1905 and 1907. Azaleas good at their best by the Lomarias.
1907 – JCW
Much as in 1901.
1905 – JCW
Just as in 1901. A good lot of roses open. Meconopsis integrefolia has been out for two days.
1901 – JCW
One of the tree ferns three parts grown. Royali, Edgeworthi, Gibson, Dalhousi and Fortunei all well out. Auklandii nearly over. I have been moving some daffs, and picked nearly all the indoors seed. No sign of a waterlily flower. Eremurus open two kinds.