The name Chanticleer to those already ‘in the know’ brings visions of exciting, quirky and multi-dimensional design where seven horticulturists (each responsible for a specific section of the grounds/gardens), as well as many seasonal gardeners, have been creating a world-class masterpiece of plant, sculpture and garden experience for over the last twenty years.
I recently contacted them by email, asking if I might use some photographs for this blog and was happily supplied with some different photos from Lisa Roper, the horticulturist responsible for the Asian Woods and resident photographer.
Chanticleer was built as a country retreat on the outskirts of Philadelphia just before WWI. The owners, Adolph and Christine Rosengarten Sr. (he, a pharmaceutical magnate) then converted the home into a year-round residence some ten years later, thereby making it their permanent address.
The estate’s website indicates that the name ‘Chanticleer’ was taken from Thackeray’s 1855 novel called ‘The Newcomes’. Apparently, the building of that fictional estate, ‘Chanticlere’, almost put the lead characters in the poor-house but upon completion was, nevertheless, a shining star in the county.
The Rosengarten’s son passed away in 1990, his will ensuring that the home and grounds were left for the enjoyment of the public as the Chanticleer Foundation. It is run by an active Board of Directors and the newly developed garden opened to public viewing in 1993. There are twelve all-season gardeners and groundskeepers maintaining this world-class property.
If these photos have whet your appetite, then go here for more. What makes this garden so spectacular is that it has something for everyone; some sections have a modern sensibility, others are wild and natural, still another reflects the simplicity innate in Asian gardens, and don’t get me started about the gorgeous container plantings. The gardeners here are top-level designers, using plants for the value of their foliage and shape rather than simply their flowers.
Enough said — plan a visit.