Friday, June 19, 2009

Chanticleer Garden, Part 1

How can I do justice to this beautiful public garden on a blog? I can't but I'll just plow ahead regardless. Chanticleer Garden is in Wayne, Pennsylvania, a suburb (I'm assuming) of Philadelphia. It was an old summer estate and only recently (in the 1990's) became a public garden. I was urged by several of my fellow bloggers at the recent Chicago Spring Fling to see it since we were going to be travelling through Pennsylvania in June. Pam at Digging has several wonderful blogs about it from last summer. I knew about Chanticleer and have known that the Philadelphia area is quite a mecca for gardening. Gardening with a capital G, I think.

Like Pam, I think I'm going to have to break this up into multiple posts. Why? There's too much to share in one post! More metaphors about capital letters struck me whilst there. This place is a garden designer's paradise - Design with a capital D! And certainly one more capital D - Detail! The Design and the Details are intense. And interestingly, this isn't just one person's design, it's all the gardeners' there.

As you walk into the garden, you see the house first. How would you like to be greeted by this as you walk up to your house?

There are some beautiful terraces as you round the house. Potted arrangements are on every terrace, hundreds of them! Here were some interesting shaped pots.

From the other side of the terrace there is an enticing view (note the same shaped hanging baskets to the sides). That view kept calling to me and I'm afraid to say we didn't linger on the terraces. Our time was short, having gotten there in mid-afternoon and still having to make it to New York to meet friends for dinner.

I was extremely happy to see this little pot on one of the terraces. That's because it's the same plant that I got at a Master Gardener outing but no one knew the name of. Now I do! It's Pennisetum 'Fireworks', a variegated type of Purple Fountain Grass.

Chanticleer is known for being rather edgy in their designs. I'm not sure if I would agree on the degree of edginess; some places might be called that but some couldn't. But then I saw this planting. Frankly, it wasn't my cup of tea but you may think differently.

As you leave the terraces you start walking down a long winding path. Just off the path was the "Apple House", a little tiny house that had the most amazing mural inside. The window is real but the rest is not! It reminded of "Wind in the Willows" or something.

I absolutely loved how they had mowed the grasses where some areas were left tall. There were sitting areas everywhere, in lovely Adirondack type chairs.

Another sitting area but this time with a rustic feel. These were in the Asian Woods Garden.

Another stunning combination.

There was a little water feature that I couldn't quite figure out at the time. Here you can see the water wheel but surrounding it was an iron fence and ferns and other water loving plants. After I looked at Pam's Chanticleer posts it made more sense. Pam, I think this is where you saw those creepy face masks in the water! On the hill in the background are the "ruins" in the Ruin and Gravel Garden.

I think I'll leave the post off for now. Sunday I'll try to finish up my tour of Chanticleer, starting at the Ruin and Gravel Garden, through the Vegetable Garden, and the Tennis Court Garden. I leave you with a sweet Sweet Pea.


  1. LOL, the planting in question is definitely my cup of tea. :) All I know about Wayne, PA, is that the band Fountains of Wayne come from there. :) I'll have to look it up if I go to that region again... looks like a nice garden.

  2. Fascinating! I will definitely look forward to reading the second installment of this. Very stylized plantings.

  3. Wonderful garden tour...Now I need a road trip to see this garden! I love the use of grasses ans sedges that seem a big part of the D&D...and even like the Twisted Toffee sedge that looks dead most of the year! Can't wait to see the next installment. gail

  4. It's wonderful to see pictures of Chanticleer again, Jean. But the water wheel is not where I saw the submerged faces. Those were in a basin in the Ruin Garden.

  5. Do you know what the rose is underneath the rooster?

  6. I already let Phillip know but I forgot there may be others who are wondering about the rose. It's rose Rosa ‘Climbing Eden’.

  7. To visit Chanticleer would be a distinct pleasure. Love seeing it through your lens. Those roses are magnificent.


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