Digging Deeper - From winter to spring

Gardener admires the blooms on Magnolia Dawsoniana at Trelissick, Cornwall

Without meaning to curse the weather, winter has definitely given way to spring. The past few months have been very wet and windy but remorsefully quite mild.

Storm Damage

It has been a windy few days. On the Friday morning of the storms the garden team were all tucked up inside, waiting for the news of what destruction Eunice would bring.

The below may read like a eulogy of fallen trees, but we are thankful is that it didn't hit the garden as hard as feared. Unfortunately, it didn't stop short of providing us plenty of cleaning up to do; the entire garden had to be safety checked, branches tugged out of shrubs and there was a nice dusting of brash over every surface.

You may notice the Cryptomeria japonica on the main lawn is looking a bit barer. It dropped a few branches and considerably more of its contents was blown out at force. Luckily, something of that size can lose a bit and make a speedy recovery and losing a bit has even made it look more balanced. Sadly, several of our mature trees didn't escape as lightly.

Cryptomeria Japonica after Storm Eunice
Trelissick Cryptomeria after storm damage 2022
Cryptomeria Japonica after Storm Eunice

The first to go was a weeping juniper (Juniperus recurva var coxii) at the bottom of carcaddon. It wasn't a huge surprise; its most regular comment was "should it look like that?". It was starting to pick up and look a bit healthier, but it was too little too late. We already have a successor in mind, so watch that space.

Weeping Japonica after Storm Eunice
Weeping Japonica after storm Eunice
Weeping Japonica after Storm Eunice

A Sweet Chestnut (Castanea satvia) came down, joining its past fallen comrades along the top side of carcaddon. They are quite shallow rooted trees and don't seem to thrive in that damp area at all. Amazingly it caused no collateral damage, and even managed to perform a loony toons style miss of a newly planted handkerchief tree (Davidia involucrata); which is still standing strong between a fork the trunk.

Sweet Chestnut after storm Eunice at Trelissick
Sweet Chestnut after storm Eunice at Trelissick
Sweet Chestnut after storm Eunice at Trelissick

Finally, we had a lovely fir (Abies nordmanniana) topple over in east carcaddon. It provided a great backdrop and fitted in well as a corner piece next the path, it smelt amazing to chip too! 

Some of the early magnolias were stripped bare, which is a shame, but they were beautiful for a long time. At this time of year, it is an inevitability, the weather never lets the flowers drop off in their own accord. The rest of them benefited from keeping their heads down during the storms and have now just started to erupt everywhere and are a must see.

Magnolia in Spring at Trelissick 2022
Magnolia in Spring at Trelissick 2022
Magnolia in Spring at Trelissick 2022

If you want to avoid talk of destruction, there are plenty of pretty flowers to look at instead. Our Camellias, hellebores and snowdrops are in full swing, and if you hunt around you can find the odd rhodendendron, daffodil, crocus, pieris or pulmonaria punching some colour in to kick-off spring.

Daffodils at Trelissick 2022
Trelissick Daffodil March 2022
Daffodils at Trelissick 2022