English walls of sandstone or ironstone are very covetable: they are a perfect warm-neutral backdrop for anything that grows. But for those of us who live with brick, life is a bit more complicated.
An old walled garden with mellowed bricks is generally flattering to anything (with the exception of bright red, arguably). Some types of new brick may never calm down though, in which case by all means smother and cover. But with traditionally made bricks—whether old, new, yellow, red, sooty, or clean—let them show through.
Photographs by Kendra Wilson, for Gardenista.
Above: Pale colors seem to work: cream, shell pink, butter yellow. A one-gallon pot of Yellow Jasmine Vine is $18.95 from Brighter Blooms.
Above: Climbers should be well-pruned so that they provide a traceable network over a wall. Pale pink rose New Dawn has no quarrel with old red brick. A New Dawn Rose is $17.50 from Heirloom Roses.
Above: Maintained wisteria allows the brick to show through, as it drapes itself about elegantly. A one-gallon pot of White Wisteria Vine is $24.95 from Brighter Blooms.
Above: Espaliers were invented to clothe brick and they look especially brilliant with spring blossoms and autumn fruit. Not forgetting their winter structure and summer greenery. For more about caring for espaliers, see Espalier in the Winter Garden.
For more outdoor inspiration, visit Gardenista for tips, sources and images of cultivated living.