Welcome to Chanticleer, one of the most beautiful gardens I've ever seen. It's in Wayne, Pennsylvania, and is the former home of the Rosengartens (how appropriate!), a wealthy family who made their money in pharmaceuticals. It's an informal series of gardens and woodlands on about 35 acres. In the photo above, the house looks a bit derelict, but I assure you it is not. That's a meadow garden in front of this half of the house. Everything is immaculate and well-maintained. Because of the name, Chanticleer, there are roosters on the tops of the gate, the roof, and other places.
I was delighted that the names of many plants came back to me as we wandered the estate. It's been ten years since I gardened. I love the Latin names for plants, I love the way they sound, I love that they give clues to the plant, and I love that they are specific. One plant may have several common names, but it has only one Latin name.
I love blue, white, and yellow flowers best, so this pot of agapanthus made me smile. I also love clematis. Here are two kinds.
From the main house, a lawn sweeps down and around to the woodland and stream.
There is a pool.
But the tennis court has been turned into a garden.
How about an artichoke spiral garden? Do they provide the oil and vinegar?
If you've driven a long way or you stay awhile, you may want to use the facilities in the Asian wood. Listen to the rustle of the bamboo.
Mr. and Mrs. Rosengarten gave each of their two children a house when they got married. One is still standing, the other was torn down and is now a 'ruins' garden.
If you look closely at the fountain in the ruins garden, you can see a face on the wall. The stones in the fountain are also faces. Eerie.
Near the ruins garden are the lily ponds, with pickerelweed, waterlilies, and fish.
There's a stream, too. There are places to sit everywhere. It's the most inviting garden. It even says in the brochure that they invite you to sit, read, meditate, chat, 'feel the sun on your back and the grass beneath your feet as you listen to the birds'. Yes, please, I want to do that!
Look at the water fountain! It's gorgeous! The excess water runs out onto the stone leaf at the bottom and back into the ground.
Look at the tiny hand holding the latch closed on the box that holds plant lists!
Bees (!) and beauty were everywhere I looked.
A pergola almost hidden by vines.
And a water wheel!
Something wonderful at each turn. Vistas and secret places. Tiny enchanting details.
It was a wonderful place to spend the morning. If you live near Philadelphia, or plan to visit, and you like gardens, or just peaceful, beautiful places, visit Chanticleer.