Six on Saturday – 13/4/2019

I’m away gallivanting. Judging Camellias at the RHS show at Savil Garden. Which means I’m away from my computer and confined to an iPad. If I can pull this off it’ll be a miracle.


The blue riband class in camellias is the twelve. Twelve perfect blooms. Tragically the competitors who had staged their exhibits on Friday evening came in today to find that the marquee had been so cold over night as to have frozen the vases solid. As it happens, the best twelve were staged this morning, by a Cornish contingent I know very well. None of the frosted sets would have beat it even had they been perfect.


This is the table with all the twelves on it. You can see a couple of frosted flowers in the nearest set.


We had to choose what we felt was the best individual bloom from all the entries and settled on this one. If memory serves it is ‘Dr Clifford Parks’, a little paler than it usually is, but a fine bloom.


We had time for a fairly quick whizz round the garden. Lovely garden, I’ve been going there for a very long time and have seen many changes, mostly for the better.


On our way back to Arundel, where we’re staying, we called in at Architectural Plants. Just a five minute spin round. I love a quick burst of big bucks horticulture once every couple of years.


Wisteria sinensis. £395.00. Who wouldn’t snap up a matching pair.

That’s it. Let’s see if I can paste The Prop’s link. Wow, that looks like it might have worked.

32 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 13/4/2019

  1. Wow….what fabulous camelias. I just love them…shame our soil is not quite right, though there is someone with a superb plant a couple of roads away…maybe I should try one and take a chance, but we have a sunny garden….any hope?


  2. What a gorgeous ( expensive) wisteria…! ( I would love to inherit that but not pay … )
    Obviously compared to mine the tree structure is beautiful and the flowers very well distributed … what’s better!
    Otherwise, very large choice of camellia flowers. For a novice like me, they are all very pretty


  3. So we give you the title of “Honorary Miracle Worker”, yes? It’s a bit of a bummer if people go to the effort of setting up of an evening and the marquee management can’t do an overnight job, though at least there’s some consolation in your opinion that the eventual winner would have been the eventual winner regardless. Five minutes in Architectural Plants? Or was it really the case that you had a quick spin around the original garden and then a whizz at AP? That wisteria is lovely but ….. the price?!!!!!?!!!?


    1. When I remonstrated with the marquee management it was to be told of a previous occasion where the magnolia entries had gone down from excess heat. It was very strange, hardly anything outside in the garden had been affected.


  4. Those camellias are stunning. I like the idea of having an instant tree. I don’t like the price.


  5. I can’t imagine how you can come to a decision with so many perfect blooms! So much to desire amongst those architectural plants. I’m full of admiration for the iPad entry, something I haven’t been able to achieve.


  6. Fabulous camellias. I grew up near Saville Gardens and it has fond memories for me. Visited this time last year for the first time in probably thirty years and was amazed at fhe changes, all for the good I think


    1. It was the first place I saw tree magnolias, ‘Diva’ I think, a young one with about six huge blooms on bare branches. I thought someone had tied on crepe paper flowers or some such. And the best Narcissus bulbocodium meadow, and that moss carpet under the beech trees that all came down in the 87 storm. And a superb Serbian spruce, long gone.


    1. I felt devastated for those who had set up the tables the night before. How sad. I do look with envy at those fully grown trees when I think about the gaps in my garden.


      1. Trouble is, people who buy instant gardens are not usually gardeners, wouldn’t know how to start small and grow something like a standard wisteria, and won’t know how to look after the 500 quid one they bought ready grown. I shudder to think how many of those big purchases don’t last a year.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. My wisteria was a good 5 years before it flowered, so call it 80 quid a year to shortcut that process. Less alarming that way. It looks great. A bit of fleece over those camellia would have done the trick…


    1. You have to feel good when you’ve bought something for a tenner then added 80 quid a year to its value for five years. Fleece over the camellias might well have worked, but it was a fair sized marquee and the Rhodo and Magnolia people would have wanted the same. It was hard though.


  8. I remember ‘Doctor Clifford Parks’. We did not grow many of them though. Although we grew many camellias, we never competed with any of them. The American Camellia Society did that. They also tried to tell us what to grow, based on ‘their’ preferences. However, we grew what we could sell. There were many plants that we grew on the recommendations of ‘experts’ that did not sell very well, including ALL of or magnolias.


    1. Trouble is, the varieties that sell aren’t necessarily the best varieties, just the best known. Customers here generally tell you they want something new or different then buy the same old things.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I SO know that one! Landscapers make it even worse, but for them, it is often a lack of concern to bother learning about more appropriate cultivars. Most landscapers here use Japanese maples, even though they are not very happy in the chaparral climate.


      2. Our main bugbear was people who’d moved down from upcountry to a coastal or near coastal location and weren’t wanting to take on board how limited their useful palette of plants was because they’d got it into their heads that in Cornwall you could grow almost anything. Well yes, given shelter, but that would spoil their view of the North Atlantic.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The nursery manager when I started at the nursery would sometimes refuse to sell the likes of Japanese maples to customers with gardens on the north Cornwall coast because he reckoned the odds of failure were very high and the odds of them coming back wanting a refund almost as high. He earned himself a grudging respect for doing so.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Big box stores here will sell what they can. I saw bougainvilleas and limes (citrus) in Portland (where the frost kills them straightaway). People buy them as annuals. In San Jose, no one stays in their home long enough to care. It is so sad, and very different from when we stayed in homes for most of our lives, and perhaps left them to our kids.

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