Chanticleer Gardens A Closer Look

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.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
This entry was posted in Birds, Bugs, Butterflies, Chanticleer, Estate gardens, FLOWERS, garden, Gardening, photos and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Chanticleer Gardens A Closer Look

  1. Beautiful Photos – Happy Tuesday:)

    • David says:

      Wow! What beautiful photography. It has the feel of a tropical garden judging by your photos. I grow some of the same plants down here in Houston. I love those butterflies.

  2. A.M.B. says:

    Beautiful photos of a beautiful place! I live in the Philadelphia region and have never been to Chanticleer. I’ll have to go. I love the picture of the goldfinch. They are among my favorite birds.

  3. Andrea says:

    The photos are superb as usual, although that one with much raindrops is my favorite. I have been trying a lot of those last weekend too because we already got the rains. In this garden you said there are no eaten leaves, so how come there are so many butterflies! Where do the larvae get their energy to grow!

  4. Beautiful images! Chantlicleer Gardens is going on my bucket list!

  5. Donna, I have not commented on each of the 12 Chanticleer posts, but now that the series has concluded, i want to thank you for an extraordinary tour, both for your many brilliant (in collor AND composition) photos documenting the experience and for your attention to detail (literally!) in your photos and narrative. I can easily imagine the series as one photo-documentary with your words as a voice-over. You could make it into a CD to be sold in the Chanticleer gift shop! Actualy, since your visit was in the spring, you could make a CD for each season. I know that I would be interested in buying them!

    NO ONE does what you do better than you do. –John

  6. Love this post thank you for sharing with us.

  7. Thanks for sharing your love of Chanticleer with us.

  8. Lovely butterflies and good capture of the caterpillar. I am a blogger who enjoys close ups but really loves the whole picture a whole lot more.

  9. Someday I hope to visit Chanticleer it sounds wonderful. Too quick on the fingers I guess.

  10. vanetua says:

    Such wonderful photos! I noticed that in one of them there is foxglove. Do you know much about this particular plant? I’ve tried to read up on it online, prior to planting it in my yard, because it is apparently poisonous, although I don’t know if it is dangerous to handle.

  11. Breathtaking, especially the photos of the poppies, and the one with the Caramel Heucheras, poppy, etc. I don’t even have words . . . you have the finest eye imaginable.

  12. This left me breathless. Your descriptive words are just enough to compliment and complement the pictures- no beating around the bush. I just love the way you tell stories. Not to mention- the SPECTACULAR display of your Photography talent- Great Images. WoW

  13. Donna these posts were award winning…indeed I will revisit them as I look at the many design ideas. I hope to visit these gardens many times and in many seasons. They have been on my list for a long time. Thanks for bringing them again to me as if I were there.

  14. Denise says:

    I enjoyed the tour very much Donna. Such a beautiful place, and so beautifully photographed. Everything looks so green and luscious. Does it rain a lot over there?

  15. stone says:

    That’s one of my poppies at the top of the post (the magenta one) The sunshine yellow poppy must be an iceland poppy… I haven’t seen that colour in the somniferums.
    The poor widdle caterpillar is hongry… tell it to eat!

  16. hi donna, loved the pix of Chanticleer. Looks like a destination garden for me! I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog award. to accept you just have to nominate 10 gardens and tell us 7 random things about yourself.
    since we are suffering weeks of 100+° and have severe drought, your post was so cool and lovely.

  17. DJ says:

    Donna, I enjoyed your detailed photos and guided walk-throughs of Chanticleer. I went to Chanticleer in 1991 and looked back at some of my slides to see how things have evolved since then. On an unrelated topic, did I read somewhere that you were going to share how to Photoshop several photos at one time in preparation for posting? Surely I didn’t imagine that, but it’s entirely possible! I find the photo preparation process for posting very time-consuming.

    • I will post that soon, most probably on my photo blog Green Apples. It is creating a droplet application to take a folder of images and through automation, all the images are sized and edited in less than a minute. You still upload them to your blog in the same manner, but I upload all at once, then choose the image to insert after I write the text.

  18. Rose says:

    Donna, I’ve been coming back every now and then to view some of your posts on Chanticleer, but I haven’t had time to view them all yet. But I had to comment on the photo of the purple blooms (a salvia? a penstemon?) rising between the copper-colored heucheras. That just really caught my eye–what a gorgeous combination!

Comments are closed.