9th September

FJ Williams Profile Picture
FJW 1955-2007
CH Williams Profile Picture
CHW 2015-
JC Williams Profile Picture
JCW 1897-1939
C Williams Profile Picture
CW 1940-1955

2021 – CHW

Some very welcome rain and thunderstorms. The garden looks refreshed and revived.

The Cordyline australis has had a severe pruning to remove the dying branches but plenty of good shoots still. It may well now also shoot from the base.

Cordyline australis
Cordyline australis
The wind has knocked off plenty of seed heads off the champion Lithocarpus pachyphyllus. Most have acorns still unformed and too small to germinate but this clump of seeds has one or two large enough to be viable.
Lithocarpus pachyphyllus
Lithocarpus pachyphyllus
Lithocarpus pachyphyllus
Lithocarpus pachyphyllus
This is our largest Taiwania cryptomeria which Asia wants to propagate from cuttings. The best cuttings are from end tips or upright new growth as any other growth rooted is simply too floppy when potted. The shoot tips are still in full new growth so cuttings will have to wait a couple of months.
Taiwania cryptomeria
Taiwania cryptomeria
Taiwania cryptomeria
Taiwania cryptomeria
Taiwania cryptomeria
Taiwania cryptomeria
Seed heads forming but not yet ripe on our ancient Gaultheria hookeri or Vaccinum wardii. Susyn Andrews needs ripe seeds to determine which naming is correct. Both plants very similar!
Gaultheria hookeri or Vaccinum wardii
Gaultheria hookeri or Vaccinum wardii
Seeds forming on Stewartia pteropetiolata. The International Dendrology Society want lots of pictures of this species for their latest website update on stewartia which we are happy to supply.
Stewartia pteropetiolata
Stewartia pteropetiolata
Stewartia pteropetiolata
Stewartia pteropetiolata

2020 – CHW
For decades I have been writing about the absurdity of the National Trust, Defra and the garden media describing Spanish bluebells as invasive alien monsters which must be destroyed and removed.Both species grow happily here and cross fertilisation with our native English bluebells is remarkably slow and unthreatening.A newly published article in The Plantsman (RHS publication) makes clear that Spanish bluebells have been grown in the UK for over 400 years. Moreover some of the pink and white hybrid bluebells, which nurseries used to sell before the invasive scaremongering, are long established in cultivation.Both forms grow here and have featured in this diary.Copyright rules prevent me showing you the article in full here but I can repeat the last paragraph of what the Head of Horticultural Taxonomy at Wisley wrote:

Hybrid rehab
Can we, now that concerns around the hybrid and its impact on the native species have abated, look to its rehabilitation in gardens? Can we, before it is too late, recognise the value of correctly named cultivars and ensure that they are made available to gardeners? Just as unusual bracteate forms of the native species are being shared among cognoscenti, can we hope to be proud to grow distinctive forms of the hybrid? To my mind the white-flowered form has great merit, and an unusual lilac-flowered form sent into the RHS from Guernsey under the name ‘Bartlett’s Pink’ deserves recognition.

2019 – CHW
Hydrangea aspera var. robusta full out in September as usual long after the other aspera varieties are well over.

Hydrangea aspera var. robusta
Hydrangea aspera var. robusta
Hydrangea aspera var. robusta
Hydrangea aspera var. robusta
Jaimie’s team have cut down the laurels and some old Camellia reticulata seedlings in the area where we will shortly fell the splitting beech tree and a few other elderly beeches.
laurels and some old Camellia reticulata seedlings
laurels and some old Camellia reticulata seedlings
Acanthopanax aff. sessiliflorus with its peculiar seed heads which Asia might soon collect. Some clusters are still half green.
Acanthopanax aff. sessiliflorus
Acanthopanax aff. sessiliflorus
Acanthopanax aff. sessiliflorus
Acanthopanax aff. sessiliflorus
Sorbus commixta aff. var. sachalinensis (BSWJ 10958) has a new label which Karol & Asia have got on the wrong tree. This is not Sorbus caloneura which has brown fruits rather than the red ones featured here.
Sorbus commixta aff. var. sachalinensis (BSWJ 10958)
Sorbus commixta aff. var. sachalinensis (BSWJ 10958)
Sorbus commixta aff. var. sachalinensis (BSWJ 10958)
Sorbus commixta aff. var. sachalinensis (BSWJ 10958)
Quercus laurifolia with late new growth which is still reddish. We used to have a record tree of this oak species so good to see a replacement doing well.
Quercus laurifolia
Quercus laurifolia
Quercus laurifolia
Quercus laurifolia

2018 – CHW
The annual tree survey at Burncoose this Thursday to try to protect visitors from potential dead or falling trees.Rhododendron ‘Blue Tit’ by the pond covered in secondary flowers.
Rhododendron ‘Blue Tit’
Rhododendron ‘Blue Tit’
Rhododendron ‘Blue Tit’
Rhododendron ‘Blue Tit’
Ficus pumila with a large crop of ripe blue/black figs. Far more than I have ever seen before on this plant which covers an outside wall of the main nursery walled garden. The result of the drought. The taste was quite sweet.
Ficus pumila
Ficus pumila
Ficus pumila
Ficus pumila
Ficus pumila
Ficus pumila

2017 – CHW
Presenting the cheques after the Caerhays fete which was held on 18th June. We distributed £8,000 to the Caerhays church and local charities.Here £1,500 towards the St Austell Scouts’ new toilet block – Cyril (right) used to be the Caerhays postman.
£1,500 towards the St Austell Scouts
£1,500 towards the St Austell Scouts
£1,500 towards the St Austell Scouts
£1,500 towards the St Austell Scouts
Here £2,000 to Cornwall Hospice Care received by Clare Bray on their behalf.
£2,000 to Cornwall Hospice Care
£2,000 to Cornwall Hospice Care
Although it was a very fine and hot day profits were down £3,000 from two years ago. Many visitors simply stayed on the beach and did not venture up to the castle.

2016 – CHW
The Great Gardens of Cornwall members meet at Trewithen to plan the 25 year celebrations of its founding next spring. The new book is all written and soon off to China to be printed (3,000) copies. The first meeting 25 years ago was on Tresco with a youthful Tim Smit, Philip Macmillan-Browse and John Nelson (Heligan), Tony Hibbert (Trebah), Mike Nelhams (Tresco) and James Humphreys (Trewithen) present. Of these only James will be in both photographs for the book as Mike did not turn up today and Tim Smit is now rather too important to come to a small meeting such as this. Nevertheless a little piece of Cornish gardening history. Here are a few pictures of the current Great Gardens members in the walled garden at Trewithen after the meeting. You will have to wait to see the formal picture.
the current Great Gardens members in the walled garden at Trewithen
The current Great Gardens members in the walled garden at Trewithen
the current Great Gardens members in the walled garden at Trewithen
The current Great Gardens members in the walled garden at Trewithen
An inspection of the greenhouses, with Asia just back from Poland, reveals, at last, overflowing benches of rare stuff, loads of new rhodo and magnolia seedlings and a full cutting bench early in the season. All excellent. The outside beds are stuffed with rare new things to plant out next spring as well. Excellent again.
Styrax wilsonii has produced copious seed pods on three small bought in plants in the small glasshouse. Just about fit to plant out next year too.
Styrax wilsonii
Styrax wilsonii
Abutilon ‘Orange Hot Lava’ was in flower but this is the stock plant for nursery cuttings.
Abutilon ‘Orange Hot Lava’
Abutilon ‘Orange Hot Lava’

2015 – CHW
Catalpa bignonoides with flowers just going over. This tree was rescued from my grandmother’s garden at Muskoka in St Mawes when it got too large. Surprisingly it moved quite readily but it has become a hopeless tree with branches constantly breaking off as you can see.

Catalpa bignonoides
Catalpa bignonoides
Catalpa bignonoides
Catalpa bignonoides
Catalpa bignonoides
Catalpa bignonoides

The fruits on the cornus are starting to ripen as you can see here in Cornus kousa but are still some way off. The squirrels adore Cornus kousa chinensis fruits most as they have the largest and presumably sweetest ‘strawberries’ of all. However other Cornus kousa varieties do have large fruits too of various colours as we will see shortly.

Cornus kousa
Cornus kousa

2008 – FJW
House martins left.

1996 – FJW
Good harvest finished.

1918 – JCW
The roses in the beds are nice, lapagerias are fair, hydrangeas fair, cyclamen good as times go. Have cut the worst of the weeds in the lawn myself and also the brambles and nettles in the cherry tree shooting ride.

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