Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: Chanticleer

Visiting a great garden in the Philadelphia area

Today, as part of our occasional series visiting great public gardens, Kevin Kelly is taking us to Wayne, Pennsylvania, just northwest of Philadelphia, to visit a truly spectacular garden.

I recently made a trip to visit Chanticleer in Wayne, Pennsylvania. The Chanticleer estate was the country retreat of Adolph and Christine Rosengarten and was built in 1913. The garden opened to the public in 1993. There are seven horticulturalists, each responsible for the design, planting, and maintenance of certain areas of the garden. The areas change greatly from year to year, which keeps up the excitement and desire for frequent visits. They reuse, recycle, and compost. This is a beautiful garden to visit and has been my inspiration garden for my own home garden. Here are a few pictures.

The Teacup Garden, named for the signature fountain that is the focal point. The plantings around the fountain change annually.The Teacup Garden is named for the signature fountain that is the focal point. The plantings around the fountain change annually.

A beautiful example of good design, using layering, texture, and color echoes.Here’s a beautiful example of good design, using layering, texture, and color echoes.

Prickly pear cactusOpuntia (prickly pear cactus, Zones 5–10) grows on the border of the gravel garden.

gravel garden showing wonderful color and texture well into OctoberThe gravel garden was still showing wonderful color and texture well into October.

This is a fun, and somewhat “creepy” fountain, located within the Ruin Garden.This fun and somewhat “creepy” fountain is located within the Ruin Garden.

These chairs are made by the staff at Chanticleer from wood collected within the garden.These chairs are made by staff members at Chanticleer from wood collected within the garden. They usually work on projects like this during the winter when the garden is closed to the public.

Every day the staff collects fresh blooms to layer on the water in this container.Every day the staff collects fresh blooms to layer on the water in this container. There is seating around this bowl, which makes it a wonderful place to sit.

This water feature is in a courtyard behind the main house.This water feature is in a courtyard behind the main house.

Colocasia ‘Pharoah’s Mask’ (Zone 7 - 10)This Colocasia ‘Pharoah’s Mask’ (Zones 7–10) is stunning.

One of several interconnected ponds that make up the pond garden.This is one of several interconnected ponds that make up the pond garden and can be easily viewed from the higher elevation of the main house.

Pink Muhly grassA Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly grass, Zones 5–9) is beautifully backlit.

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Comments

  1. User avater
    VanhaTaloSuomi 11/05/2021

    Wonderful photos Kevin. Thanks for risking your life to provide us with a beautiful respite, please do take care.

  2. User avater
    MusaBasjooSue 11/05/2021

    Oh, how I would love to get my hands on a Pharaoh's Mask! Chanticleer is such a fabulous garden. Thanks for the tour!

    1. imajayhawk 11/05/2021

      It is on my list to seek out next year. It was stunning.

  3. NWPhilaGardener 11/05/2021

    You could let every GPOD reader into Chanticleer with a camera and we could have stunning images for the whole year! When their season ends at the end of October, you start yearning for opening day in March when some new and unanticipated changes remind us that this is a (worldwide) gardener’s destination to be revisited as often as possible

    1. imajayhawk 11/05/2021

      I try to get to Chanticleer about 5 times per year (about a 90 minute drive for me). This is my favorite garden of all time, and has inspired me to be a better designer of my own garden. This garden should be on everyones bucket list.

  4. carolcowee 11/05/2021

    I have visited Chanticleer twice, rver from California, and have wandered through this favorite garden of mine, just magical. I had a beautiful book of Chanticleer that I loved looking at and reading of the garden’s philosophy, so unique. Alas, when my home and garden burned to the ground in a Northern California wildfire, I lost that book but do have wonderful, thanks to digital, saved photos…

    1. imajayhawk 11/05/2021

      So sorry to hear about your home. I can't imagine losing all the things we treasure and have fond memories of. Hopefully your family was safe.

      Chanticleer is such an amazing garden. I love that the staff gardeners are permitted to make changes to the garden so it is not a garden "frozen in time".

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 11/05/2021

    Great pics, Kevin. Love those chairs!

    1. imajayhawk 11/05/2021

      They have many gorgeous chairs, benches, bridges and railings that are hand-crafted and are real works of art.

  6. PerenniallyCrazy 11/05/2021

    Thanks for the fabulous virtual tour Kevin! It’s been on my bucket list forever.

    1. imajayhawk 11/05/2021

      One of these days you will have to take the plunge.

  7. User avater
    SimpleSue 11/05/2021

    That is a very impressive public garden, it has such a personal touch & attention to details that it feels private!
    So many unusual plants and fabulous fountains & water features!
    Thanks for sharing your photos of this garden!

  8. nicki_s 11/05/2021

    That does it, I definitely need to visit. I haven't been to Philadelphia in many years, but I recall there being several wonderful gardens in the general area.

    1. NWPhilaGardener 11/05/2021

      Longwood Gardens is nearby - a huge Dupont estate with areas of amazing gardens, Indoor conservatories, The most extravagant display of laminated fountains , topiary, formal Italian gardens, a striking meadow. Tha's an all dy visit on its own. Restaurant, gift shop, and busloads of tourists
      About 30 minutes away is Swarthmore College whose campus is Scott Arboretum, with other extraordinary series of garden collections.

  9. BTucker9675 11/05/2021

    Wow - what a place! And what a talented staff to be able to make things like those beautiful chairs in the off season. Stunning. Thank you so much for sharing these great photos!

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