Six on Saturday – 19/3/2022

Sunshine at last, and we’ve missed most of the frosts too. It’s all happening. The driveway is finished and some of the peripheral reinstatement has been tackled. Last year around this time I was also mired in construction projects, I may even get it all out of the way earlier this year and get down to some real gardening.

On 20/3/2021 I posted six camellias, including this one, C. x williamsii ‘Charles Colbert’. This is a big bush, pruned bare low down to give it a small tree habit under which I grow shade lovers. Its flowers are particularly fragile and fully open flowers in perfect condition are unusual most years. It’s useless for showing, just drops all its petals. Another few days of benign weather and it’s going to look superb.

Because they are good doers, I seem to add one or two new Muscari varieties most years. This one is ‘Big Smile’ and while it is not radically different from the standard version, seems to be a very good form. I note that in spite of nematode treatment, the slugs are at it.

Magnolia ‘Vulcan’. This is flowering as good a deep and clear purple-red as it ever has, it has often been a somewhat muddy colour. It’s not very tall, having been cut close to the ground a few years back, but I got low down to take the picture against the sky.

Camellia ‘Annette Carol’. A second outing for this, now that it’s in full flower. I took a picture yesterday when it was in full sun but it is very contrasty and I didn’t pick off the dead flowers first. This morning’s picture shows it in shade against a very bright background. There’s never a cloud around when you need one.

Camellia ‘Ariel’s Song’. Small white flowers with a strong perfume, willowy leaves which flush out reddish and on new growth keep it colourful until midsummer or later. Borderline hardy? Possibly but safe enough in Cornwall once established. The flowers are wind battered and the leaves have sooty mould due to scale insects, just to complete the picture.

One shoot on my family apple tree is breaking out. I think it’s the ‘Red Windsor’ branch and I hope the rest isn’t far behind or they wont get pollinated. It looks set to be a week where the end is much greener than the start, I think they call it spring.

Now I need to get a spring in my step, get out there and shift some water butts. Whoopee, I can’t wait. I think I’ll do a blog on the driveway, it just may be of interest to anyone contemplating something similar. I see that irrigation issues crop up in The Propagator’s six too, along with buds and flowers. Must be the time of year.

22 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 19/3/2022

  1. I think I’ve spotted several Red Vulcans on my little cycle ride yesterday. Thanks for giving it a name. It looks magnificent against the beautiful blue spring sky. Thanks also for sharing those perfect magnolia flower shots.


  2. Your camellias are so pretty. My (one) hasn’t as many flowers this year and is slow to open them, but at least the ones that are open are still white and not brown! Same can’t be said for the Crinodendron which is looking awfully wind scorched and I can’t see that many flowers have survived.


      1. There are very few that are distinctive enough to do that with, which is why I don’t do it very often. The more camellia varieties you get to know the more impossible it becomes. Even ‘Lavinia Maggi’ has at least one doppleganger that I know of; ‘Maculata Superba’, but as far as I know it’s exceedingly rare.


  3. Such a beautiful Magnolia!! I have a few native Magnolias but after seeing several gorgeous, more colourful ones, I need to think about adding another – unfortunately I don’t think Vulcan will be hardy here.


  4. It’s good to see that you have camellias for all seasons. These early spring ones are so colourful……as they seem to be all year. Looking forward to seeing the completed drive.


  5. We are as fortunate as you re escaping frost. On Friday last we visited Lismore Castle gardens, a little inland, and several magnolia trees were completely burned by frost.


    1. I went to Chyverton once and all the magnolias were toast up to about 8 feet, then above that they were fine. It would have been very interesting to have measured the temperature at 7 and 9 feet from the ground.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I must finish my write up of the drive tomorrow; I have to admit I’ve been a little surprised at the positive reactions, perhaps the people for whom concrete drives are an abomination are just keeping quiet. The story behind ‘Charles Colbert’ is quite interesting in that it was one of 22 self sown seedlings around a plant of C. saluenensis that E G Waterhouse grew in Australia until it died in 1946. The birds and bees had transferred pollen from the japonica varieties which surrounded it and he subsequently named many of them. IMHO ‘Charles Colbert’ is one of the best but is far from the most widely available.


  6. ‘Vulcan’ looks pretty, and quite different from how I remember it. As I mentioned earlier, I also remember it to be rather dingy in color. I do like the vigorousness of it though. Your grape hyacinth is nice also. I just acquired ‘Album’ from Tangly Cottage Garden.


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