My thoughts on Chanticleer are that this is a place with extraordinary gardens. It really is a must see if you are on the east coast near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is located in the town of Wayne, a very lovely place to stay for a few nights and explore the shops along the main route.
Chanticleer is a place to see in all seasons, although I was only here in Spring. I can see by the design and plants growing, that it is an ephemeral sensory experience all year round.
There is textural depth and colorful artistry everywhere you look.
This is a post where the images are not in sequence like previously, but a post where the critters and details get the spotlight. It is also a post on my observations, with a little closer look than I have been showing. What I hope you gathered from the last eleven posts showing wide garden views, is that there is much to borrow from these designs. Design does not look at the plants closeup, it looks holistically. It brings all parts in to a harmonious whole.
This is first and foremost a multidimensional pleasure garden, one that was graciously opened to the public. It has gardens for those big and small.
The place has history too. The path from the front of the estate house was once a farm road that was lined with black walnut trees. Four of them remained. In 1917, a Norway spruce was planted , but first it was the family’s Christmas tree. Today it stands tall.
Something different about Chanticleer than many larger arboretums and public gardens, is that it does not have a production greenhouse.
Why this is important is that if a planting fails for some reason during the growing season, there are not backup plants to fill in the areas damaged by insects or disease. But from my experience, there was not one area in need of attention. Not one spot damaged or failing.
I had the pleasure of meeting Dan Benarcik, a head horticulturist. We chatted for a long time, all the while he was clipping away, never stopping his work. We talked about how he loves working here and what an honor it is to be part of the team.
I met his assistant and also a few of the other head gardeners on the property. If you go here, you will meet the most knowledgeable and friendly staff of multitalented gardeners.
One thing you immediately notice is that Chanticleer is not one garden. It encompasses a variety of gardens into the harmonious whole. There are native gardens, container gardens, exotic gardens, shade gardens, aquatic gardens, tropical gardens, rock gardens, sunny gardens and places that are wild. Follies, whimsy and elegant sculptures are throughout.
Chanticleer is much more than the colorful flowers, although you could lose yourself in the full and stimulating gardens. Trees and shrubs are used freely and the plant material is diverse and often surprising.
The property is an estate, but it feels more intimate than that. Partially because it is as if the homes and structures are woven into the landscape, meshing with the gardens. It is obvious this was thoughtful design.
Another factor keeping it welcoming is the colorful seating found throughout. Take note in my images from the last postings how often seating enters the images.
My posts were designed so that you notice these things. They are things you can easily design into your spaces. The way the seating is incorporated in the landscape. The plants that nest near the resting spots. Many plants are fragrant, yet sometimes, the seating is positioned just for the view. And… notice the plant combinations and attention to detail. The use of color in the garden is very well done.
In the sunny beds, notice the mass and varied plantings. Every garden overflows.
Each container is artfully arranged.
It is rare to see caterpillars here, but I did find one. Does it seem he KNOWS not to chew on the leaves?
It had rained before I got to Chanticleer, and they had been having much rain. All the beds were refreshed and blooming nicely.
Butterflies were abundant.
I hope you enjoyed this tour, and I hope you studied the images in the previous posts. So much can be learned by really looking at the designs.
If you missed any in the series, the previous posts are listed below.
And see a post on Green Apples on Cliff Island Ocean Textures Are Art. It is such a beautiful place that even the more ordinary becomes art. It is very similar to the previous post When the Light is Just Right for Photography. The post is of pretty images around the island.
Our next post on GWGT takes you to an open garden in my area. This garden is a plant lover’s dream garden with beds spilling over in blooms. It was also photographed by Garden Gate magazine in 2011, so you know it is a good one.