United States of America, California, San Mateo County, Atherton
Camellia Hedges (Atherton, California)
ca 1940, 2007-2012
Owned by two successive generations, Camellia Hedges is a garden for all seasons. Designed in the tradition of an English plantsman's garden, it incorporates formal elements into a rich tapestry of plant collections including camellias, cherries, magnolias, spring bulbs, roses, hydrangeas, clematis, rhododendrons, and numerous perennials. The garden includes what is considered to be the largest private garden collection of noteworthy camellias in northern California, if not on the west coast.
Though the garden was already established in 1960 when purchased by the first generation of the family that presently owns it, it underwent an extensive redesign in 1995 to transform it into the English style that presently presides.
The home was originally built in 1938 and the original garden included extensive plantings of camellias as well as hydrangeas, boxwood hedges and oaks, including a 400 year-old coastal live oak under which sat a Japanese mound featuring a waterfall, pool and bridge. With the loss of the live oak in 1995, the back garden was redesigned, preserving the perimeter hedges and a selection of the established trees while incorporating the English garden design, including a kitchen and cutting garden featuring raised beds and thuja hedges, a fountain terrace, a Chinese garden room, and an expansive serpentine brick border. The redesign of the front garden maintained by many of the original plantings and incorporated camellia, azalea, hydrangea and boxwood transferred from the original back garden. The front garden includes a woodland garden room, as well as a formal garden room preserved from the original landscape design, featuring large flower beds framed by boxwood hedges.
Persons associated with the garden include: the Savage family (former owners, 1938-date unknown), the McLean family (former owners); Benjamin Swig (former owner, date unknown-1960); Kathryn L. and Cullen W. Coates (former owners, 1960-1984); Leo Sharp (architect, 1938); Sam Spinelli (gardener, 1960-1965); Thomas Church (landscape architect, ca. 1970-1980); Chris Christopherson (architect, 1984); Jack Stafford (landscape architect, 1984); Myra Brocchini (architect, 1996); Jonathan Plant (landscape architect, horticulturist, 1996); and Ben Gill (gardener, 1965- ).
The folder includes worksheets and copies of articles.