Garden Tour Part1

A Tour Of The Brick Path Garden

Welcome to a tour of the Brick Path Gardens, which includes botanical information and historical anecdotes for many of the plants grown in the garden.

Mdme. Berard 1870

Modiolastrum

Modiolastrum

Arthropodiums

Alfred Carrier

Alfred Carrier

Comptesse Bouchaud

Lady Hillingdon

Phyllostachys aurea

Cistus ladanifer

Campanula posharskiana

The Brick Path Side Entrance

From the east side of the horseshoe driveway looking toward the house, a climber grows up the fence to the eaves. This is the tea noissette rose, Mdme. Berard 1870, a gem from the fabled Vintage Gardens.

Clematis Prince Charles twines around the lower canes. This is a durable clematis that loves to bloom. (It blooms twice a year if you cut it back by 1/3 just before the spring bloom comes to an end.)

On the fence to the right, just before the Asian Pear tree, Clematis Tanguitica is beginning to spread. It’s from Kazakhstan, China, and Tibet. Tanguitica’s old friend from the Himalayas grows on the other side of the tree: Clematis montana, a mountain vine that ranges from Pakistan to upper Burma. The montanas can easily cover a thirty foot tree.

Three low growing plants from the mallow family are in front of the Clematis tanguitica. They are Modiolastrums, with exquisite apricot flowers in the summer.

The dark leaved shrubs in front of the English laurel hedge to your left are California coffee berries (Rhamnus californica). They grow in the hills above Berkeley. Another California native, Carex Tumicola, the Berkeley sedge, grows beneath the coffee berries. Sesleria caerulea, Croatian moor grass, grows on the parking strip in front of the Eugenia hedge.

Across the driveway in the front bed, the Hybrid Musk roses Cornelia (1925) and Daybreak (1913) grow with Teucrium and Salvia “Waverly”, a winter favorite for the hummingbirds in January.

The vines in the alcove with the ferns are Parthenocissus. The cyclamen below the ferns are Cyclamen cuom, wildflowers from pine woods near the Black Sea. They can form colonies from seedlings if they’re in just the right place.

You may notice lilies growing under the vines at the right of the path. These are Arthropodiums from New Zealand.

The small siberian iris that border this path has flowers with the most powerful blue purple in the plant world, strong enough to rival the famous Clematis Jackmanii (1858) on the arbor across the path. Aristea inaequalis, a South African iris, grows in the artemesia with Pasithea caerulea , a rare member of the lily family from Chile. (Pasithea was one of the three graces.)

Against the stucco wall at the back of this bed is Mdme. Alfred Carrier, a tea noissette rose from 1879 that grows at Sissinghurst, the Tudor garden of Vita Sackville-West, England’s best garden writer. I’m sure that Vita had this rose in mind when she wrote this poem to Virginia Woolf.

A tired swimmer in the waves of time
I throw my hands up: let the surface close:
Sink down through centuries to another clime,
And buried find the castle and the rose.

There are three clematis entangled with Mdme. Carrier: The Comptesse Bouchaud, Gipsy Queen, and Mary Rose. The Comtesse grows in Monet’s garden at Giverny. The Comtesse and the Gipsy are large flowered varieties and their pruning requirements often make gardeners nervous. Christopher Lloyd had the last word on this:

“If you are daunted as you approach a clematis with your shears, think of surgeons, who, no matter what horrible mistake they may have made, retain their jolly schoolboy sense of humor.”

(A note for any Clementarians who may have strayed down this path: Mary Rose is an old variety, going back to 1550 at least. As with any old variety, there are many forms out there. Purpurea Plena elegans, the one raised by Morel in 1899, is the best of them. It was purchased from Kaye Heafey and Murray Rosen at Chalk Hill Clematis, growers who always hunt for that elusive, long lost form of an old clematis.)

The branch over the gate ahead is from a California Live Oak. The gate opens onto a stone paved courtyard with Camellia Lutchuensis growing in the far corner. It’s a rare form of almost wild Camellia from the Lu Chu Islands south of Japan. It has tiny, cup shaped vanilla scented flowers.

The small gold green grasses are Hakonechloa macra, Japanese forest grass.

There are three clematis entangled with Mdme. Carrier, The Comptesse Bouchaud, Gipsy Queen, and Mary Rose.The Comtesse grows in Monet’s garden at Giverny. The Comtesse and the Gipsy are large flowered varieties, and their pruning requirements often make gardeners nervous. Christopher Lloyd had the last word on this:

“If you are daunted as you approach a clematis with your shears, think of surgeons, who, no matter what horrible mistake they may have made, retain their jolly schoolboy sense of humor.”

(A note for any Clementarians who may have strayed down this path. Mary Rose is an old variety, going back to 1550 at least. As with any old variety, there are many forms out there. Purpurea Plena elegans, the one raised by Morel in 1899, is the best of them. It was purchased from Kaye Heafey and Murray Rosen at Chalk Hill Clematis, growers who always hunt for that elusive, long lost form of an old clematis.)

The branch over the gate ahead is from a California Live Oak. The gate opens onto a stone paved courtyard with Camellia Lutchuensis growing in the far corner. It’s a rare form of almost wild Camellia from the the Lu Chu Islands south of Japan. It has tiny, cup shaped vanilla scented flowers.

The small gold green grasses are Hakonechloa macraJapanese forest grass.

“There is a mountain called Hakone which is covered with thick woods. We could have only occasional glimpses of the sky and Mount Fuji. Along the dark trail uraha gusa grew from the stones to light our way. We lodged in a hut at the foot of the mountain.
– Lady Sarashina, 1045.

Clematis Prince Charles

Clematis Tanguitica

Rhamnus californica

Parthenocissus

Aristea inaequalis

Aristea inaequalis

Camellia Lutchuensis

Gliore de Dijon

Lonicera nitida aurea

Grewia caffra

Jasmine polyanthum

bluebird

macropetala clematis Bluebird (1962)