2023 – CHW
Still 10 cygnets survive on the pond. I discover its still a bit early for most of the young Styrax and Stewartia to be out in the clearing beside Charlie Michael’s Nursery.
Stewartia? pseudocamellia ‘Ogishu’ just opening (ex. Mark Bulk).
2022 – CHW
Then off at 6.30 to the rare plant fair at Tregrehan.
On the Crûg Farm nurseries stand the following are startling:
Roscoea caultleyoides ‘Jeffery Thomas’
2021 – CHWOur planting records show six specie oaks planted in 1997 in Giddle Orchard:
Quercus lancefolia (two)
Quercus uxoris (two)
I assume these were a gift from Lady Anne Palmer to my father. I remember several Q. candicans planted in Bond Street.
So a trip to locate them
I am really not sure which species of allium this is growing outside the front gate. Perhaps Allium trifoliatum?
I see that the Welsh health minister has not been observing the (self-imposed and different) Welsh lockdown rules either but no mention of this on the BBC of course who continue to keep Cummings top of the news agenda. David Starkey has a good (long) video or two about the BBC’s ‘cultural Marxism’, as he calls it, in relation to Brexit and, now, on the response by the government to COVID 19.It really does make you think. Here is the latest video link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S8Js-tEmlg&feature=youtu.beI was sitting outside the front door when out of the corner of my eye I saw a brown flash go under Lizzie’s car. Keeping totally still a stoat emerged with its nose to the ground on the trail of something (possibly the partridges which have been roosting nearby or the sitting hen pheasant) and quite oblivious to me. It came to within 6ft of my feet and still never twigged. It ran off, still hunting, to the bed with the Rhododendron ‘Fragrantissimum’. I have seen no rabbits on the lawn this year – in fact never less rabbits here all over and fear they have all died from the new rabbit virus. The rabbit droppings which I see are small and unhealthy as you find when there is myxy about but the dogs have caught no myxy rabbits so far.Here is a picture of Schoolhouse Meadow where weed killer was inadvertently used on a spring barley crop instead of a fertiliser.
So the ilex and Photinia investigation continues with Tom Hudson.
We decide that all five of the ilex in the Rookery are Ilex kingiana. Nobbles on the trunks, a black hue to this year’s new growth and two year old stems developing a light brown ‘woody’ covering.
Tom has brought some of his holly species for us to admire.Ilex rubra from Mexico.
So we conclude:1. The two very ancient and huge ilex above Crinodendron Hedge which are too tall to inspect properly are very probably the same as two of the three ilex by the Podocarpus clump
2. Whether these four trees are Ilex latifolia, Ilex corallina or some other species is still just speculation at the moment. Is our young Ilex latifolia true to name? Probably as it has huge leaves and is mature enough to be producing berries. These are however nothing like the much smaller leaves on these four elderly trees. We know I. corallina used to grow here but we thought it had died out. I. latifolia has been stated by previous experts.
3. Ilex kingiana has naturalised itself in the garden and is thriving. Tom’s young plant which he brought a twig of was more or less identical.
4. We are no closer to being certain of the identification of the row of three Photinia in Ririei Opening and the one by Georges Hut. The first in the row (and fully evergreen) is very probably Photinia prunifolia. The other three are more like what we used to call Stransvaesia but may be Photinia glabra (two of them anyway). All four have some spines on newer growth.
5. Ilex ficiodes is probably correctly named
6. Is Ilex centrochinensis actually Ilex verticellata? Probably not but Tom is checking.
7. Photinia microphylla here is the same as Tom’s
8. Photinia nussia here is the same as Tom’s. Ditto Photinia nitakayamensis
9. The three Photinia villosa forms from Crûg are different and very probably correctly named
So no great revelations and more research needed. We ought to propagate Ilex kingiana. Asia has grown Ilex cornuta and Ilex dimorphophylla successfully in the last year. The lists we worked from are attached. Ilex draft & Photinia draft.
Sent: 31 May 2020 09:17
To: Charles Williams PA
Subject: LeavesDear Charles,
Another stimulating day looking at green leaves….I enjoyed it very much.
It is a good idea to concentrate on these background Genera which after all make up quite a chunk of the Asian Flora.Today would have been the Tregrehan Plant Fair day, tis ansome and peaceful instead, joy, as I have just done a round of the greenhouses, perfect morning, heavy scents in the air of Roses, Cordylines, Michelias, Honeysuckles, etcBeen doing some homework from Friday.
There are a few things which look interesting, I have listed below.The bioritsensis holly by the nursery a nice tree, didn’t realise it got that big.
It does fit with three small plants I have which have from Emei shan, Sichuan; have changed their names frequently, ciliospinosa was the previous synonym.The 2 large trees next to the Ilex kingiana and the Podo salignus trees definitely aren’t latifolia.
I’m not sure what it is though, one for Susyn to return to.
The small tree which was a gift possibly from Thomas could well be!
I have checked the leaf in the Flora of China and the numbers of veins, size/shape and the black tip to the teeth are all correct in the key.
Attractive small tree and worth noting.The 1st of the unknown Rosaceous trees I have sent an image to Keith Rushforth to have a look at.
I am pretty sure that the second tree by the laurels and the track is Malus rockii, I don’t know why Hillier don’t list it? .
Fits well in the Flora of China.
I have a small group of three growing here that came from just north of Lijiang in Yunnan.The large evergreen Photinia tree on the end of the row of 3 big trees by the Ririei opening is P. prunifolia not P. prionophylla.
Prunifolia has very characteristic black scales on the leaf underside and petiole which are easy to pick out with a hand lens.
I’m not sure whether it was me writing a name down incorrectly or not re the above.
The other 2 listed as P. glabra in your list, tricky to key from leaf only and don’t have brown scales on the leaves which the Flora of China said they should have.The Photinia glomerata a mystery as Hillier describes.
It will be interesting to hear back from Gary about the origins of the tree at Trewithen.The two old warriors we looked at last of all, amazing lumps still hanging in there.
With the ancient Manglietia blown out they may rejuvenate from their bare stems and leaf up with the extra light.
Thanks for the afternoon, still quite surreal sitting outside your front door in the evening sun with no one around.
Interesting small hollies you gave me, I do like the dimorphylla, hopefully not just for the great name.
Also the Fairy Lime which does sound like a genuine colour break. Mark Jury bred not Vance Hooper after looking up.
PS My turn next…..
2019 – CHW
Magnolia ‘Porcelain Dove’ (Magnolia globosa x Magnolia virginiana) was scenting the path. The white flowers soon fade to creamy but this is a superb magnolia. Neither of its parents are yet in flower and both grow nearby.
2018 – CHW
Fagus longipetiolata just in leaf with (initially) attractive and large coppery coloured leaves. The upper new growth twigs droop downwards. An excellent ornamental species.
Magnolia sieboldii ‘Colossus’ has a large flower but is really not that different to the normal species or to ‘Pride of Norway’ come to that. We now have about five different named clones of Magnolia sieboldii and none are that special really. Worth their place and flowering over four to six weeks between them though.
Renovation of the old hunt kennels has proceeded apace as well while we have been absent. The new roof is just about finished.Beginning to feel 80% normal after Chelsea. Dizzy spells have passed and the ten ‘thank you’ letters to our sponsors, suppliers and staff for the gold medal all thankfully done for another year. Many pages of handwriting involved.
Looking at the bank outside the front door today the mass of primroses have all vanished as have the massed ranks of bluebells. Instead we have grasses, and in the shade, a nice clump of campion. The key think now is not to cut the grass here until mid July to let the primroses, bluebells and other wild flowers die away and set seed on their own accord. If only the local councils would stop being ‘tidy’ and mowing roadside verges unnecessarily we would have many more wild flowers and more butterflies and insects feeding on them.
Two old original plants of enkianthus in the full shade of Magnolia x veitchii. One is Enkianthus campanulatus var albiflorus and the other Enkianthus campanulatus var campanulatus. I have only two or three more enkianthus in the collection to photograph and then you will have seen nearly all of them.
The towering 1950s Rhododendron falconeri, the last of the big leaf species to flower are just passing their best. Time for some layering here.
An odd and original gaultheria whose name I do not know. The plant died back but has rejuvenated itself. On the way along Rookery Path three rhododendrons in flower:
The double ponticum Rhododendron ‘Fastuosum flore pleno’
Compact yellow Rhododendron ‘Hotei’
A loderi type in great profusion below Rookery Nursery. The plants have collapsed on each other and loderis will not reshoot if cut back so all we can do is enjoy the mess.
Near Green Gate the original evergreen Azalea ‘Caerhays Lavender’ with its peculiar white then yellow new growth contrasting nicely with its light mauve flowers. Caerhays bred but no one knows by whom or with what. Anyway it is properly registered now.
The white malus with the disgusting scent appears to have rot at its base and is half dead beside the cash point. I think it is Malus hupenensis which I collected from Werrington 30 plus years ago as seedlings in the Chinese Garden there. My uncle Rob used to put it in a vase on the breakfast table when annoying relatives came to stay and wait in the corridor for a reaction. There are two similar seedlings at Burncoose.
This elderly azalea outside the back yard is not true to form as Azalea luteum nor is it big enough in flower to be Azalea ‘Klondyke’. Another mystery but rather a nice yellow one. Perhaps ‘Yellow Beauty’?
On the opposite side of the drive Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’ is in full new growth mode but STILL there are a few flowers. You could see Cornish Red coming into flower from the front door in January and here we are nearly in June still with a bit of a show. Few plants other than camellias and the odd rhododendron (Rhododendron keysii or Rhododendron lutescens perhaps) could begin to match this.