I have a couple more pictures from the Tsanoff collection that were clearly taken on the same day that we caught young Katherine on the path between the privet hedges. This first one caught me by surprise:
That’s little Katherine and her older sister, Nevenna, in the hedges. But . . . but . . . those aren’t our hedges. On closer inspection I think I see those strange shrubs here, in the very middle:
I dug around a little more and found an even better shot:
And there seem to be some similar plants in front of the Administration Building:
I’m no horticulturist, though. Does anyone know what they are?
The second photo isn’t mysterious at all. It’s a lovely image of one of those beautiful planters that I’ve admired for years:
And that’s one heck of a bow on Nevenna!
Bonus: Some things change and some things don’t. Here are some bricks from the construction of the Ralph S. O’Connor building that is replacing Abercrombie.
The Fall 2003 Cornerstone (Rice Historical Society / https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/88920/RiceCornerstoneFall2003.pdf) features an article about Rice’s legendary early gardener, Tony Martino, that includes this:
>> One of his more memorable efforts was the enormous hedge of cape jasmine in the quadrangle. This was an integral part of the Rice campus from the early days and up into the 1950s. As a happenstance, they were always in bloom at graduation time and generations of Rice graduates will remember their pungent odor while the graduation ceremonies were taking place.<<
The February 1977 Sallyport also had a large article about Tony (https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/99542/sallyport-vol-32-no03.pdf; pp 4-5.) that mentioned the jasmine:
>> Tony was the unseen force which speeded or retarded the (cape jasmine) blossoms so that the seniors, as they filed through the hedges toward Commencement, were bathed in those last fragrant memories of all that Rice had meant to them. Cape jasmine and Rice — the two were almost synonymous. …
The cape jasmine had to be removed in the spring of 1956 because of white flies, black rot and poor drainage. <<
Thank you, Mike!
At least one of my Institute classes hated those gardenias, as he was allergic to them. (Nicht wahr, Louis Oge?)
Also I seem to remember swams of bees that frequented those hedges in the Springtime.
I didn’t know this until I looked it up just now, but “Cape Jasmine” is better known as … Gardenia!!
This brings back memories of the lusciously powerful scents of the corsages I bought for my dates to my high school’s formal dances.
Rats! I arrived on campus in the fall of 1956, so I just barely missed seeing the cape jasmine.
Thank you so much for posting this link. It’s a wonderful story. And, in the small world vein, my great grandparents came from the very same small town in Sicily!
The cape jasmine/gardenias on campus may explain my mother’s (’51) love of that aroma. For those craving a similar perfume, plant some confederate jasmine/star jasmine on a fence or trellis. It’s quite close. I’ve been told there is some slight difference between the star and confederate jasmine varieties, but I think you need to be a horticulturist to differentiate the two.
Gardenia has a much more powerful sweet odor than the Confederate star jasmine. There is the story, of course, that the damyankees stole most of our sweet smell.
(Actually I just made up that story, so do NOT bother googling it.)
I believe the children’s mother used the same size bowl for their haircults as my Mom did.
I have a brick from Old Wiess College provided by Malcolm Gillis. I assisted the College in weighing the salvage/repair and replacement options.
I’d show it but don’t know how to copy it into the reply.
Jeff … You could post the photo online (such as to Flickr or similar site) and post here the link to that image.
Melissa, where are those beautiful planters? I do not recall ever seeing them.
Gone, lost to time I guess.
There appear to be several of those planters in the cypress rows in both photos. The cypresses did not appear to be very healthy even then.
Italian cypress is native to the Mediterranean region, which has a wet winter/dry summer climate. This is not anything like Houston’s soggy, semitropical climate, and the Rice campus’s poor drainage is also a problem for Mediterranean plants.
I was reminded of this when I visited Greece 18 months ago. I took these photos of robust Italian cypresses that receive no water or other care on their Delphi hillside. (Click on links to view)
As we know, it’s a losing game to try to grow Italian cypress at Rice.