Chanticleer Garden, Wayne PA

Each year I try to visit Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne Pennsylvania. Chanticleer Garden I truly feel,  is a magical place to visit. You could visit  several times in one year and always see something new and inspiring. The garden is very well maintained.  The staff does an amazing job, of planting and caring for their section of the garden. Plants are not labeled, it is not that kind of garden. You can find the names of the plants  on the plants list  located through out the garden, however some are so unusual you may not find them sold at the local garden center.
During you visit you will find  many comfortable chairs located all through out the garden. You are expected to sit and enjoy the beauty.  In fact Friday nights in the Summer, bring a picnic dinner and a bottle of wine and  relax.

Start you garden tour at the Kitchen Garden ( located next to the rest room) The kitchen garden is a great example of container gardening at its best. The area is small and enclosed by walls, which may be similar to many  townhouse gardens or city gardens.  All the plants are in containers are expertly arranged. Some of the most unbelievable containers that I have ever seen! The beautiful gate below leads you to the entrance to the teacup garden

The gardener for this area has planted the  yellow orange bromilaid in containers and also repeated in the  beds in the court yard, The repetition of this plant as well as the orange and silver plants  brings the space together.  Also notice that some of the planters are located out away from the house forcing visitors to stop and view the container from various positions.

This garden is called the Teacup Garden because of the large concrete water feature in the center of the bed.

You can see in the background one of the two large houses on the property.

The Chanticleer estate dates from the early 20th-century, when land along the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad was developed for summer homes to escape the heat of Philadelphia. Adolph Rosengarten, Sr., and his wife Christine chose the Wayne-St. Davids area to build their country retreat. The family’s pharmaceutical firm would become part of Merck & Company in the 1920s.

The Rosengartens hired architect and former classmate Charles L. Borie to design the house, which was completed in 1913. Landscape architect Thomas Sears designed the terraces as extensions of the house. A 1924 addition converted the summer home into a year-round residence and the family moved here permanently.

Mr. Rosengarten’s humor is evident in naming his home after the estate “Chanticlere” in Thackeray’s 1855 novel The Newcomes. The fictional Chanticlere was “mortgaged up to the very castle windows” but “still the show of the county.” Playing on the word, which is synonymous with “rooster,” the Rosengartens used rooster motifs throughout the estate.

Adolph and Christine gave their two children homes as wedding presents. They purchased a neighboring property for son Adolph, Jr. and his bride Janet Newlin in 1933. It is now the site of the Ruin. Daughter Emily’s house, located at today’s visitor entrance, was built for her in 1935. It is presently used for offices and classrooms.

Container gardens  found through out Chanticleer are not you typical petunia , geranium and spike containers. Many unique and unusual plants that at some point will need to be relocated to warmer  greenhouse for the cold zone 6 winters. Container gardens are not limited to a pot filled with soil.

Below is a fabulous container that found on the Sun Porch connected to  one of the large homes on the property. It  is filled with leaves and flowers, just floating in water.  Gardeners change the arrangement in this container though out the season

The reflecting pool was built after Chanticleer became a public garden, to enliven the far corner of the rear terrace.

The ruins garden, was the home of Adolf Rosengarten Jr. Chris Woods the first executive director of Chaticleer decided to dismatile the home, built in 1925, to expose just the foundation.  The idea was to create a ruin garden similar to ones Woods had seen in his native Britain. However eventually due to safety concerns,  they tore down the entire structure and rebuilt the foundation as seen in this photo.

Niches carved in the walls are planted with tender succulents. The plantings  in the Ruin Garden are not  chosen for their floral display, but for the beauty of their foliage, form, and texture.
The garden is a place to rest and enjoy the beauty of the plants.  Many  chairs are located throughout the garden , placed where you can rest and view the beauty.
If you are close to Wayne Pa  and you have a few hours to spare, do take time to visit Chanticleer.

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