Garden Diary - May 2010

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Friday, 7 May 2010
A Visit to Chanticleer

It's a perfect day. Bright sunshine, cooler temperatures, a little breeze - and we're off on a bus tour arranged by the Watnong chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society to visit Chanticleer, a marvelous garden in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

I invited Paul to join me, offering the inducement of a magnificent landscape that was once a private garden. Chanticleer opened to visitors rather recently, just in 1993.There are majestic trees and rolling, verdant lawns. For me, there are fabulous plant combinations, exuberant containers, marvellous tapestries of texture and color often based on foliage more than flowers. I'm delighted to be visiting in early May when tens of thousands of bulbs will be in flower. My previous visits have been in summer and fall. And after a long ride made shorter by lots of conversation we arrive. Out of the bus, greeted by our tour guides, divide into smaller groups and away we go.

Naughty of me, I know. But since I've been here several times I just snuck off. Paul will have
his own, one-on-one tour guide. But we've been spotted by someone in our group. Oh well.

Here, a mown hillside embellished with an undulating serpentine of cedars and agronomic crops, enhanced
with boulders and pleached ginkgo trees. Young seedlings are just appearing. In July 2008 it was sorghum.


There's a ruin that really was once a house, revitalized as it began to decay, transmogrified as it plays
with indoor / outdoor spaces. While the original intent was that the partially dismantled Minder House
would form the ruin, for safety the only part left of the original house is the foundation and the tile "rug."
Construction of the Ruin Garden began in 1999 and opened to the public the next year. There are three rooms,
so to speak. The Great Hall has a water-filled black sarcophagus resting on a granite, slate, and tile mosaic.


Plants embellish a niche in the ruin's walls,
tender succulents that adorn it for the summer.

The next room is a library, with books sculpted of stone, and pithy
word stones such as this playful motto carved in, what else, slate.

And then there's the Pool Room, where marble faces
gaze up from the splashing depths of another fountain.

Paul, happily ensconced in one of the veranda's magnificent rocking chairs, gazing out over the landscape.


And here is what he saw.

photograph courtesy Paul Glattstein all rights reserved

And as for me - fret not, I found places to sit too.

There are two other entries for this visit to Chanticleer. You might also enjoy Chanticleer, Attention to Details and Chanticleer, In Bloom

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