2021 – CHW
A colchicum in flower outside the anteroom. A brief moment before it gets eaten by the pheasant poults.
A good long trip around the garden with the new head gardener and his wife from Antony Woodland Garden.Viburnum cylindricum has been exposed in the clearing for our new planting. Interesting bark and a decent plant now that you can actually see it in some light.
Acer x conspicuum ‘Red Flamingo’ looking especially fine with its young new growth in the sun on Sinogrande Walk. Even better than the Acer x conspicuum ‘Phoenix’ at Burncoose opposite the mist houses on the main drive.
On Monday a visit to Tregrehan to exchange Schima, Torreya and rhododendron cuttings for cuttings of 15 new camellia species for Caerhays. Most were either wild collected by Tom himself or by others also in the wild.Here are the highlights and rest are detailed here if you are interested.Lapageria rosea var. albiflora climbing through camellias and up a high wall. To die for! If only we could produce even 50 and sell them for shitloads. Sadly the cuttings and layers take two years and are impossible to bulk up. You can see one unripe seed pod has formed.
The 15 species of camellia cuttings collected today were:
Camellia sinensis (the tea tree)
Camellia brevistyla var. robida
There are a good 20 more species to collect cuttings from another year. We ignored the Vietnamese species which are struggling at Tregrehan after The Beast and even before. Nearly all the above are Chinese species.
Here is the elderly Camellia sasanqua in its full glory – four days after it first came out.
2016 – CHW
To Burncoose to photograph the gift wrapping of the five plants on special offer from our website for Christmas.
Mary’s trunk photographs and ours are very different. Werrington has Rhododendron loderi ‘King George’ and Burncoose has Rhododendron ‘Cornish loderi’. The flowers prove it even more!
I mentioned how squirrels have recently killed a mature nothofagus and nearly also a mature aesculus. Here is the proof!The old monkey puzzle above the Tennis Court has been felled and cleared up. Very little damage to any nearby plants. If the trunk was worth anything it appears to have vanished!
The new multispan tunnel for growing on herbaceous plants is now built and potting is commencing. Cost £10k which is about double what I was originally told.
2015 – CHW
The newish bamboo plantings in Kennel Close have grown so well and look so superb I thought it might merit a whole day trip to record them properly. They all came from Stams Nursery in Ireland and were planted as groups of three or five in 2011. They were deliberately allowed room to spread and were intended to cut out underdraft and wind from the main garden. Although fully exposed to the westerly gales and some frequently nearly leafless after a ‘salty’ winter they are now firmly established, spreading out and doing their job. These were all species and varieties entirely new to Caerhays acquired as a result of a visit to Picton Castle (thankfully not National Trust) in Wales. There they have a series of ponds with well manicured clumps of bamboo reflecting in the water. The clumps are established and the culms (stems) trimmed up each year to show their colour, texture and nodes. Bamboo classification and (re) naming has been an even bigger and more moving and variable game for the ‘bottom spankers’ than the ‘tree creepers’ so do not worry too much if you are a ‘spanker’ and think these are wrongly named by the Irish. Just enjoy the differences and how well they look. Come to think of it few of the culms are big enough for any serious ‘spanking’ but when I come to see any being cut off and pinched I will naturally assume they are being used for growing runner beans and not by elderly Tory MPs in need of stimulation.