Tuesday, July 15th, 2008...11:13 am

Chanticleer

Photo by Bluberd

TheGardenLady loves to visit gardens both public and private, and this summer she has been doing a lot of garden visiting.

Last week TheGardenLady went to tour a favorite garden in Wayne, Pennsylvania called Chanticleer. This 30 acre garden was donated by the owners’ son for the public to enjoy. It is a delight to visit because there is something in bloom from April to October.  And interspersed in the gardens are many unusual garden ornaments including the rooster -Chanticleer- from which the estate takes its name.

Photo by My aim is true

In 14th century Middle English Chanticleer is the rooster in verse narratives from Old French Chanticleer, the name of the rooster in the tale of Reynard the Fox. A cock, so called from the clearness or loudness of his voice in crowing. See here.

Chanticleer had been a private estate known for its grandiose trees and expansive lawns. Now it has at least 10 gardens throughout the property so that there is a garden for every one’s taste. Even the parking area has stunning plantings which makes you feel as if this is a garden in itself.  Then as you start walking on the grounds, with or without a guide, your are in for one visual treat after the her.

Photo by Hlynur og erna

Each time I visit I find plantings or spots that I fall in love with. This last visit I was charmed by the Tea Garden. This tiny garden in a courtyard near the entrance has what they call ephemeral plants – plants with a short blooming season that the gardeners change when the flowers die. The courtyard has interesting, unusual plantings around the edges of the courtyard but it was the central theme that I was captivated by. This small garden featured poppies with other, low, plants in a bed of pebbles. Encircling the garden was a living fence made of twigs. l asked the horticulturist, who walked into the area as TheGardenLady was enjoying the scene, what the living fence was. He said it was redtwig dogwood which was made into the low fence that was now sprouting leaves. Read about redtwig dogwoods.

The gardeners had taken cuttings in the fall and put the cuttings directly in the moist ground creating a low fence of overlapping arching sticks. I was told that most years not all the twigs take root but this year’s cuttings ALL took root to make the perfect fence. The photo on the Chanticleer website does not show this fence. You will have to visit the garden and hope this clever fence is still up.

TheGardenLady and her friends had seen willow edging before but ever rooted red twig dogwoods. When you read the Chanticleer website, click on the place that talks about how creatively artistic many of
the people who work at Chanticleer are. This edging is just one example. On this Chanticleer website they show some of the creations of the staff – for example, the stone sofa and arm chairs – but it does not show their unique looking fountain made of what looks like cement with a leaf shape where the bowl of the fountain should be.

Visiting gardens can give the gardener many ideas of things to add to their own garden.

Photo by Junquegrrl

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