Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chanticleer: A Gardener's Garden

Entrance to the Teacup Garden
After we left Philadelphia on Sunday morning, we drove about 30 minutes west to visit Chanticleer Garden in Wayne, PA, a garden Eileen has been to and told me was well worth a visit. I am so glad we went because it is an amazing place and we spent about 2 hours wandering around and admiring the different gardens. It is not a huge arboretum type of garden, but a more intimate and ever changing garden with a staff of about 20. There is a lot of cool garden architecture, gates, bridges,  furniture, and even drinking fountains (all made by the staff at Chanticleer) and I came away with a lot of ideas. I like what Adrian Higgins from The Washington Post said about Chanticleer:

"And so it is the directives to the gardeners, spoken and implicit, that underlie the essence of Chanticleer--be brilliant, be inventive, and do something fresh next year. Neither a museum nor a great plodding institution, Chanticleer is a gardener's garden."


Teacup Garden
Loved this sedum edging--something to try?

I had never seen this flower before and I loved loved it. It looks like masses of tiny orchids.  It is a fall bloomer and apparently there are different colors but here they were all purple.
Tricyrtis formosana
And I loved the finely cut leaves on this plant. Don't know what it is. The plants are not labeled but they do have plant lists (I should have looked).

This was the entry garden to the main house on the property, Chanticleer House. A circular gravel garden is in the middle and evokes such a sense of calm and peacefulness. I would love to have the job of raking that gravel garden every day!
Chanticleer House with circular gravel garden
Detail of gravel garden

 One of my favorite places was the Stream Garden. Bell's Run is the stream that runs all through the property and is planted with ferns, mosses and wildflowers. We even saw a couple of frogs sunning themselves on rocks.
Stream Garden
And of course I loved the cutting garden. It was in full bloom with sunflowers, amazing dahlias, celosia, and amaranth. Why don't I grow dahlias? They are incredible.  We thought the arches were very cool-- made of rebar and trained with clematis. The entire cutting and vegetable garden is surrounded by an asparagus hedge.
Cutting Garden

Probably my favorite element in the gardens were these starburst slate paths. Made of narrow pieces of slate, laid on edge in gravel, they formed this spiral pattern. Look for the little stars in the pattern. They almost look like a quilt pattern.
And here's another slate path leading to a quiet sitting spot. Love them. There were lots of interesting places to sit and relax in the garden. 
And how could I not show you this stone book with acorns carved into it? This was in the "library" in the Ruins Garden. How are gardens and books alike? Leaves, of course.
One of many "sculpted" books in the Ruins Garden

It was such a great place to visit and I can't even imagine what is is like in the spring. We will definitely 
go back and see.


  1. I love the gravel garden and the various patterns of the paths. It gives me something to think about though I imagine it takes forever to get the paths just right. Great pictures Patsi.

  2. Yea just think what you could do with that gravel!! You would love it...more trips to the gravel yard.