The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Have a Seat at Chanticleer









Chanticleer, the pleasure garden in Wayne, PA, is right up there with Great Dixter on the creativity scale. I visited the garden last weekend while I was in Pennsylvania. Chanticleer, was once the country estate of Adolph Rosengarten, Sr. and his wife Christine who bought the property in the first decade of the last century.  Rosengarten made his fortune in the pharmaceuticals industry and in 1990 his son left the entire property with an endowment "for the enjoyment and education of the public."

Like all good gardens, Chanticleer combines choice plants with thoughtful design. Chanticleer, like Great Dixter, goes one step farther, where experimentation is the mantra. Both gardens have a vitality and energy produced by change. The creativity doesn't end with horticulture at Chanticleer. During the winter season, the staff is busy creating unique chairs and benches that are placed throughout the garden adding to the unique character of Chanticleer.

The seating at Chanticleer and Wave Hill inspired me to pay closer attention to that aspect of the garden in the Peterborough parks. About a decade ago, I designed signature Adirondack chairs for Putnam Park and the Boccelli Garden, and then several years later, Ron Higgins installed the whimsical stone benches at Teixeira Park. My feeling was that each park should have its own unique flavor and I was certainly inspired by Chanticleer.

9 comments:

  1. Wonderful, Michael, the seats at Chanticleer. It's easily forgotten by we busily gardening gardeners that it's time to sit down and enjoy the view. Essential after you've been standing, kneeling, bending your back all day!

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    1. As gardeners, it is sometimes difficult to stop and smell the roses in our own gardens, Faisal. When I visit Chanticleer, I attempt to sit in as many chairs as possible to take the experience in. I almost notice a special detail in the garden that I just walked by.

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  2. I want a stone throne in my garden!

    Sitting and enjoying the work that I've done in my garden is something I'm trying to make myself do. Problem is, once you've sat down and started looking, you inevitably spot something that needs doing...

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    1. Hi Rob, thanks for commenting today. I find the best way to sit quietly in the garden is at the end of a long day after working in the garden when you are exhausted. Have a cocktail and you won't have the energy to get up. In fact, at dusk, things look perfect......until the morning light, but I try to enjoy those moments at twilight.

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  3. Michael,

    Chanticleer is certainly one garden that says, "This garden is for you. Enjoy it."

    Apart from all the unique seating throughout the garden, it's one of the few gardens I know with a rousing sense of humor. It's full of jokes, playfulness, good humor.

    I love the place and go back over and over.

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    1. It is one of my favorites too, James. I love the humor and whimsy there. They are currently installing a bridge at the new American woodland garden that looks something like a submarine. It is witty, ridiculous, but mostly sublime.

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  4. Michael -
    Definitely a garden I want to visit! Love that stone bench. We had the most glorious weather last week, and I was able to sit in the garden.....then, I started noticing the weeds!

    Do you think Chanticleer would be a nice garden to visit in August? Or, should I wait until next spring? Not many gardens would look their best in August, but that's when I will be back in PA.

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    1. Loi, Chanticleer is the kind of garden that looks great every season. They use a lot of annuals in the garden and it is quite lush in August. I like to visit a garden like Chanticleer several times throughout the year for ideas on how I can improve my garden each season. In, fact I have learned so much from Chanticleer, Wave Hill and Lynden Miller's public gardens in NYC that I actually have a peak in August and September. Go, and go often!

      I have been out of town so much the last month, I have a weed-fest here. Will tackle it this weekend and then hopefully, it will be worth posting and sitting back and enjoying.

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