Visiting Beautiful Gardens

I  enjoy visiting gardens. Going to a public or private garden,  is a great excuse to spend the day outside.  I like to look for new  ideas for my own garden design  but  often it is just a great way to relax and enjoy someones elses’ hard work.  Recently I attended a plant conference, with the American Conifer Society (ACS),  held in eastern Pennsylvania.  Like others in the group,  I  have a certain passion for plants that have needles and cones.  I also enjoy seeing those conifers integrated creatively throughout a landscape.  One of the benefits of being a member of the ACS is the opportunity to visit gardens.   This recent ACS event included visits to a few fabulous gardens.

Chanticleer Gardens, located in Wayne PA., was the first stop for the two buses of ACS members .  Conifers are carefully planted throughout this garden, however this garden is also full of textures and color, where foliage is just as prevalent as flowers.  It is often refered to as a  “pleasure garden”.  There are no plant labels to distract your view and there are plenty of comfortable chairs to relax and enjoy the beauty.

It in not hard to understand why Chanticleer, was such a big hit with the members.
The Ruin Garden, sits high on the hill over looking the  Gravel Garden and a nicely planted Pond Garden. It is one of the more interesting and creative gardens at Chanticleer. A  roofless mansion, the Ruin Garden was rebuilt to resemble the house where the son of the previous owner lived.  Entering  each room, you will see a enchanting variety of plants carefully planted. It appears that are taking over the old block walls of the foundation.   


A 24-foot-long sarcophagus-like table of polished black granite holds a pool of water beneath the fireplace “chimney.” Succulents are creatively planted in the  mantel.   

The main entrance pavilion is located in front of one of the two mansions on the property.  The Teacup Garden is located behind the mansion, planted with many tropicals and many very beautiful containers.    

Texture and foliage are key elements in many of the containers and planting beds. 
A wonderful radio interview about Chanticleer  Gardens
Tyler Arboretum

The second stop on the tour, was lunch at Tyler Arboretum. One of the oldest and largest arboreta in the northeastern United States, Tyler Arboretum‘s heritage dates to 1681.  The land that makes up Tyler was acquired from William Penn by Thomas Minshall


One of the original trees planted at the Tyler Arboretum. Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) planted between 1830 and 1875.

 Fox Hollow – Inta Krombolz

Frequently private gardens are included on ACS Conference tour. Fox Hollow is a very creative garden  crafted and maintained at the home of Inta Krombolz.  Our large  group  enjoyed walking through her 3 1/2-acre garden  which features a wonderful array of plants, unique welded garden art, and beautifully planted containers.
Two bus loads of conifer lovers converge on  the garden called Fox Hollow. This  gorgeous garden is located outside of West Chester. The property, has many  mature trees, scores of unusual plants, and abundance of texture and color. It is not a surprise that this garden was featured in an issue Fine Gardening magazine

When I see other gardeners that have hypertufa containers, I am always interested in how they are planted and displayed in their garden. This garden had many unique rusted metal stands that were created by Inta.   In fact welded garden art  and bold foliage is very prevalent throughout this garden.




A shed that any gardener would be envious of, is accented by a  bottle tree created by this gardener and artist. .

Visiting beautiful  gardens is very beneficial, especially with a group of people with similar passions. Belonging to a garden club has afforded me many opportunities that I would have otherwise missed.   We live in a very fast passed world, with little time to appreciate the beauty that is all around us. Take time to stop and smell the roses.

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