First flowers out on the Camellia x williamsii ‘J.C. Williams’ hedge around the Rockery.
Daffodils in mid-November.
Nerine by the Drawing Room.
The very last flower for this year on Romneya coulteri.
Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ still in full flower.
I was asked yesterday what the difference is between Camellia japonica ‘Gauntlettii’ and Camellia japonica ‘Nobilissima’. This is a discussion we have had before! ‘Nobilissima’ is not out yet!
2022 – CHW
Camellia sasanqua ‘Setsugekka’ developing into a large shrub.
Autumn colour in a now fully grass cut Kennel Close.
Mahonia oiwakensis is now 15 feet tall with 3 upright stems. Only one flower easily photographed. A Taiwanese species.
The yet to open terminal flowers on Aralia vietnamensis. About 18 feet up in the air. Previous flowers have been frosted before opening.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Sekiyo’. A large flower for a sasanqua.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Showa no Sakhe’.
2021 – CHW
Autumn colour in Kennel Close.
Acer rubrum ‘Red Sunset’
Acer takesimense at its best with yellow and red in each leaf.
Acer japonicum nearly leafless.
Tilia endochrysa turning yellow.
Acer sterculiaceum subsp. sterculiaceum not that exciting!
More leylandii have been burnt.
But plenty more still to go.
Cornus iberica with good reddish-black autumn colour.
Cornus hemsleyi with very similar colouration.
2020 – CHW
I have a vague recollection of the British Mycological Society (BMS) finding a species of fungi in Forty Acres Wood which was then unknown in the British isles around 40 years or so ago. No one can find the paperwork so we approach the BMS whose online records for fungi fund at Caerhays since 1991 are pretty minimal online.The response from the BMS was very helpful and a huge list of fungi found here on a visit between 12th and 14th May 1982 has emerged. Too dull and specialised to list again here but the following comments were made: I have had a look through the records for Caerhays and as far as I can see most of the records came from the 12 to 14/5/1982. Most of these are the same record entered from different sources and given different dates. I have attached a spreadsheet of all the records.
Among the rarities three were aquatic hyphomycetes which are microscopic fungal spores found in foam in woodland streams. I think Bob Lees was there in 1982 and he was interested in this rarely recorded group.
However there was a record of Dischloridium laeense which grows on Australian Tree Fern (Dicksonia antarctica) . Paul Cannon and Paul Kirk seem to have collected this on maybe more that one occasion in 1982/3 and I wonder if this was the fungus you were looking for. The only UK records I have found are in Cornwall where besides Caerhays it has been recorded at Trengwainton and Penjerrick House Gardens. It is of course limited by the occurrence of the Dicksonia. There is still more to this as there are no tree ferns in Forty Acres Wood. My recollection was that the new fungus found was tiny, semi tropical and perhaps spores had dropped from an aeroplane. More digging needed.All this information will help with proving biodiversity and qualifying us for the new ELMS environmental grants from 2024.The National Trust at Lanhydrock are closing their plant nursery which has supplied their plant sales areas in their principal Cornish gardens of which there are several. Staff redundant and everything must go by the end of the month or be composted.Clare and I visit and purchase around 3-4,000 plants at minimal prices. Other growers have beaten us to it for the best Daphnes and banksian roses but we still find plenty that are full grown 2/3L plants at near liner prices.The folly of the National Trust beggars belief. At a time when plants are selling so well on the internet and in garden centres they will now have to buy everything in to sell that they once grew themselves in the huge walled garden beyond Lanhydrock House.
The first snowdrop flower in a glasshouse.
200 Hostas for £1.00 each.
200 Primula florindae for 50p each.
Most sensible businesses would have held a proper auction as Trewithen did a few years ago when they closed their nursery. The auction sale there raised a tidy sum. I would not be surprised if the nursery reopens in a few years’ time but then the National Trust is currently more interested in BLM issues than their members or their historic houses or their longstanding staff.
2019 – CHW
A few curiosities, new plants and autumn colours.Schefflera delavayi with huge flower heads not quite yet out.
Another Schefflera delavayi with even more flower heads and a spreading habit. Greener leaves too.
This is the true Michelia compressa (Magnolia compressa) bought in the UK. Tom Hudson’s plant has leaves like this and tiny flowers.
This is a supposed Michelia compressa acquired from overseas which, it now transpires, is something rather different! Not exactly hardy either by the look of it. We did not know this when the plants first arrived a few years ago.
Hydrangea ‘Fireworks’ with a decent flower or two still by Georges Hut.
2018 – CHW
Magnolia grandiflora still has plenty of buds even if the flowers that were open were blown away in the gales.
Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’ with a great show outside the back yard.
The flowers are not quite out on Sarcocca hookeriana var. digyna. It will not be long.
2017 – CHW
The elderly Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ on the top wall is full of flower and doing rather better now that it has more light following the removal of the ilex oak branches from above. A good covering of petals on the ground and a pleasant scent. A bit different, as we saw last year, from the newer forms of ‘Narumigata’ which we saw two weeks ago.
Hedychium gardnerianum with masses of very ripe seeds for Asia to grab. This clump survived the deer attack which ruined other clumps in the garden.
Camellia x williamsii ‘November Pink’ is full out on time. An absolutely enormous plant which is looking a bit in need of a hard pruning to rejuvenate it. Dare we risk this?
Ripe seed pods on Rhododendron fargesii which also need collecting.
Next year’s flower buds already showing on Rhododendron sinonuttallii.
This stewartia has been wrongly named over the years as Stewartia sinensis and Stewartia pseudocamellia both by us and various visiting experts and tree measurers. I am convinced by the bark that it is Stewartia monodelpha which has flaking bark exactly like this in RHS/Belgian articles from 2007 and 2009 (S. sinensis has peeling bark and S. pseudocamellia has different coloured flaking bark). S. monodelpha has five petioles around the flower that are longer than the flower bud. You can see this even here on one unripe seed. Seed is plentiful this year but the large tree is in danger of falling over as you can see. Could we rope it back to a nearby oak?
Rhododendron davidsonianum has some pale secondary autumn flowers. I have not seen this before.
Whatever next! An elderly Forsythia (?) ‘Lynwood’ nearly full out in mid November. What does this tell us? Another absurdly mild winter? I think I planted this 45 years ago.
Stewartia rostrata has dropped most of its purplish black leaves and the autumn colour is gone leaving just the ripe seed heads on the drive ready for gathering.
2016 – CHW
The same large clump of Rhododendron ‘Cornish Red’ that flowered last autumn is out again. The flowers look a bit premature and are not quite fully formed.
A light blue hydrangea still full out by Four in Hand.
Enkianthus perulatus is a superb red in autumn here shining in the sun. Perhaps the best of all enkianthus for autumn colour. I was late getting to many of the others but not here. Note the seed pods which still look unripe and un-swollen. Not much here yet for Asia to collect.
An FJW Rhododendron decorum hybrid outside the front gate with the odd secondary pinkish flower. This is near pure decorum and not likely to be anything special or worth a name but, for a 2007 planting, quite a nice size and shape. The leaves are pure decorum in shape.
Syringa pinnata has a nasty huge sucker from the rootstock or roots well below the graft. Now that the leaf on the true plant has fallen the remaining leaf on the syringa rootstock shows up clearly. Needs to be sawn off below ground level soonish and any regrowth sprayed off before it takes all the energy from the grafted plant which is doing well.
The buds on Camellia x williamsii ‘J C Williams’ will be showing colour in a few more days of sunshine. I need to inspect ‘November Pink’ for a flower tomorrow.
Rhododendron weyrichii has a nice autumn display in the Rockery. Many of the deciduous rhododendron species have this additional feature as we have seen recently. They should be planted more widely for autumn colour. This is still a rather good autumn colour year with lots of new surprises to admire.
The Cordyline australis by the front door is now multi-stemmed and in rude health. Many of these specimen Cornish palms have died recently from some disease. Truro and Falmouth roads look denuded with the old dead stumps.
Rhododendron ‘Polyroy’ has three secondary but well-formed flowers out by George’s Hut on two separate plants of the five in the clump. It is an excellent Millais hybrid in both seasons (polyrandrum x royallii).
2015 – CHW
A big tidy up by Donkey Shoe by Jaimie and Michael. The Cornish Red has been trimmed back hard on the inside. A clump of camellias planted in the late 1970s have been cut back leaving only the reticulatas. Quercus hansei can now be seen properly.
Also a new clearing of a laurel clump on the edge of the Rookery has been completed. The stumps will be removed when dry in the spring ready for a large new planting of more choice plants. The laurel is no longer needed here as a shelter belt but it would seem that a spring may rise here. A large old Meliosma pungens had died here; probably from being waterlogged and this has been burnt up as well. Not a place for rhododendrons and certainly not Alan Clark’s Vietnamese introductions.
2000 – FJW
Corn being ploughed back in at Treluckey – large fields of maize uncut.
1990 – FJW
Picked first noblissima from outside front door – Sasanqua full out. A great deal of berry on the holly – rhodo’s have not enjoyed 1990.
Freddy swept into the world.
1965 – FJW
First flower seen on Nobleanum in drive – camellias very late. George B’s Sasanqua only just moving into flower.
1916 – JCW
C sasanqua fair. Lapagerias good. Two martins yet here, several red starts about. Saw a nice flower of R Thomsonii in the wood. E darleyense has begun and E Lodonodes.
1905 – JCW
C sasanqua good. Lapagerias fair, a very few daffs moving.
1901 – JCW
Just as the above with I alata even better that it was, some heather are in flower, and C sasanqua is well out.
1898 – JCW
A few more seedling daffs up, a Christmas rose in flower. Lapagerias very good indeed. Iris stylosa open.
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