Copious seed heads on Pittosporum adaphniphylloides in the show tunnel.
Field grown Amaryllis belladonna below the show tunnel.
Osmanthus heterophyllus just out at Caerhays – the record tree.
First flowers that we have ever seen on Tristaniopsis laurina. Five years after planting out and two drought summers.
Acanthopanax aff. sessiliflorus covered in black fruit as usual.
Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’ with yet more secondary flowers. Two crops of these in reality.
Rhus chinensis just out in flower – a little earlier than usual?
2022 – CHW
Hydrangea aspera (from Lord Howick) in full flower today.
Rather small flowers this year on Gevuina avellana after the drought.
A few tail end flowers on Rhododendron ‘Pink Polar Bear’. They appear now after rain.
Flower buds nearly out on Camellia taliensis
In Tin Garden excellent secondary flowers on Rhododendron davidsonianum ‘Caerhays Pink’. I have not seen this on these plants before.
Huge ripe berries on Prunus laurocerasus which the pheasants are enjoying.
A good show of berries on several species of Crataegus:-
Crataegus wattiana – already shrivelling and over
Crataegus ellwangeriana ‘Fire Ball’ – best show so far
Crataegus chilensis – performing for the first time properly here and most impressive
Cupressus torulosa with numerous cones still green as yet.
The best show of berries so far seen on Cornus hemsleyi. The bush is now tall enough to escape clear nibbling lower down.
Also Cornus iberica with similar black berries.
Recent deer nibbling all too obvious on this drooping Prunus.
First flowering here in a young Clethra fabri (FMWJ 13037). Some drought damage to the plant and flowers. Upright flower spikes. If it survives another interesting addition to our Clethra collection
2021 – CHW
I forgot to mention that I last saw a swallow or a house martin here on 20th September. Our swallows in the dog kennel only fledged a very few days before that.A small lead valley to replace above the Georgian Hall where we had a bad leak into the archive room in the spring.
A leak above the museum shows a rusty metal girder in the roof. All we can do for now is mend the leadwork and replace the rotten timbers.
Dry rot that had been treated in a beam and is not ‘active’.
This lead pipe had bowed out and was leaking badly into the cellar. Now re-supported and refixed as it was originally.
A never ending series of minor leadwork repairs as the castle window painting nears completion.
Strangely a five minute radio interview with Radio Stoke about how to grow magnolias!
Clematis armandii with, as usual, a few autumn flowers on the castle front.
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ just coming out at about 8-9ft in height in front of the drawing room where it was planted only a year ago.
2020 – CHW
The Chinese state TV have sent us a copy of the film (in English) which they made, partly here, about Camellias (CGTN Signature Flowers of China 1). You can view it here (one hour) by clicking on https://s-url.cgtn.com/m/DefJAA. There are four other programmes in the series of Signature Flowers of China which cover rhododendrons, roses, chrysanthemums and paeonies.Work is proceeding apace at The Hovel. We have a site meeting with Bill Collings of W F Collings who is clearly ‘a character’.
The very first flower this year on one of the Camellia sasanqua by the front door. Not much to write home about yet but a much earlier date than last year I think.
2019 – CHW
Amazingly early though it is the first flowers on Rhododendron nobleanum. I would not expect these out until November. The two flowers may have been blown open prematurely in the wind as the colours are very pale.
Sorbus ‘Hilling Spire’ with attractive yellow berries which are already dropping fast.
Sorbus ‘Pearly King’ with branches laden down with fruit. As you can see the fruits are rose-coloured at first then changing to white with a pink flush. Very garden worthy and attractive. Both these Sorbus were gifts to us from Trevor Green. The adjacent Sorbus ‘Golden Wonder’ is the largest of the three but has no fruits at all this year.
Another Magnolia ‘March-till-Frost’ full of secondary flowers with the usual autumnal slug damage.
A wet day so the gardeners are burning up dead rhododendrons and fallen branches on the Main Ride.
Paeonia delavayi var. angustiloba showing excellent autumn colour and, surprisingly, with one rather insipid flower which sadly had blown off in the wind before I could photograph it. At least you can still see where it was if you do not believe me. The ripe black seeds have already dropped out of their casings.
2018 – CHW
Our tree felling in Dry Walls in nearing completion with quite a pile of firewood to go into the compound at Trewolla. It may be that it only gets moved out next spring as the forecast now is (at last) for some decent rain.
We have dug out the drought killed large Fuchsia exorticatica outside the front door and replanted with three Daphne bholua varieties behind the Rhododendron fragrantissimum which seem to have survived. Heavy mulching with well-rotted dung around the Daphnes and bark mulch on the rest.
2017 – CHW
Amazingly the taller growing form of garlic which lives under the biggest Magnolia x veitchii is already showing above the ground. Staggeringly early I think. Normally it would not show until January.
2016 – CHW
A botanical trip of some duration around the garden with the youthful but hugely keen and knowledgeable James Garnett from the Botanic Gardens in Nantes. James is ‘one of us’ when it comes to rare trees and it will be interesting to observe his career which I suspect will be spectacular in the horticultural world. He went away with loads of seeds and cuttings and just a little wine.Lithocarpus pachyphyllus was laden with seed pods several of which had already dropped. We ought to sell a crop as substantive as this.
Rhododendron ‘Tally Ho’ is late flowering and hence the bronzy indumentum on the new growth was at its best.
Castanopsis chinensis was planted in 2007 and has made slow progress with dieback but is now in full flower.
Lithocarpus lepidocarpus has grown much better nearby above the greenhouse. Cutting material here for Asia to try.
James said this had to be a rhus species as it is about to flower but I cannot sadly find it on the planting plans by Tin Garden. First time flowering anyway.
2015 – CHW
Passiflora caerulea ‘Constance Elliott’ has grown rampantly in a Camellia sasanqua on the castle wall. It will flower on until the first frosts and has been out for months already. Rather tougher and more vigorous than Passiflora caerulea and something to cherish although it comes from Brazil and Argentina.
There are a few remnants in the borders from my childhood fuchsia collection. JCW also collected fuchsia species and hardy hybrids. Only the toughest and most boring have survived and many have got squeezed out by more vigorous varieties. This border used to have perhaps 50 varieties. Today there are perhaps a dozen and I readily admit to having forgotten all the names.
2000 – FJW
Very wet September. Now turned to storms. No Sasanqua yet to be seen. Neighbours corn not cut yet. 50 years ago we would have left the harvest.
1940 – CW
Eucryphia mooreii very good and has been for a week. This year probably the finest harvest known for years but plants have suffered badly.
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