Revisiting Chanticleer for Throwback Thursday.
This hot, dry summer, you might be looking for a shady spot in your little piece of heaven called a garden. Perhaps you have a hammock under an old tree and this is your favourite spot for an afternoon siesta. Or, maybe you delight at the birds that stop by the birdbath for a quick splash?
If your garden is your paradise, you might consider visiting one of so many delightful gardens that are truly works of art.
Chanticleer in the Philadelphia area would qualify. I visited Chanticleer in 2015.
A year earlier, I had spent the day at Longwood Gardens, also close to Philly.
Linda, my American friend, has made it her mission to show me various estates nearby that have been transformed into grandiose public gardens.
I can't help but show you the incredible Waterlily Display at Longwood Gardens. (I know that I am slightly off-topic!) These enormous waterlilies, part of 5 giant pools, are in a sheltered courtyard, and are, quite simply, spectacular.
Many wealthy and powerful American families have donated massive properties to conservation groups. The Dupont, the Rockefeller, and the Vanderbilt names are a few of the ones I recognized when I researched to learn about donations made to different historic and conservation societies.
The Philadelphia area is known as "America's Garden Capital" and little wonder as there are more than 30 gardens within less than an hour's drive from the city.
Many of these gardens are so extensive that visitors could spend more than a day walking through all the different outdoor areas and conservatories.
Chanticleer: a retreat from the city
Chanticleer, in Wayne, Pennsylvania, is one such garden.
It was the home of the Rosengarten family who sought a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city in 1912. The Rosengartens owned a pharmaceutical company that later merged with Merck. The 37 acre estate was left to the public in 1993.
My purpose in visiting the estate was of course to oooh and ahhhh at all the flowers. But there was much more than just flowers here.
Everything has been meticulously planned without being too formal. There is evidence of thought and talent in the placement of statues and plants.
As we wandered around the estate, we could see the artistry involved in painting, woodworking, stone carving, all complimenting the horticultural highlights nearby.
For example, even the plant list boxes were a delightful discovery.
This bridge reminds me of a Cling-on (oops Klingon...I stand corrected) ship from Star Trek. I only know this because there are fans in the family! Wouldn't you agree that it does look sinister?
Artistic flair in chairs and benches at Chanticleer
However, the chairs and benches soon caught my eye.
Some were carved, some were painted. One had an Asian flair while yet another might have been made for Fred Flintstone. I was soon anticipating the type of chair that would welcome me to the next themed section of the grounds. My favourite one is the bench at the entrance to the vegetable garden. (second image top right)
I left Chanticleer with a collection of photographs of very unique chairs and benches. My intention was to paint them with my watercolours, but I never got around to it.
And last night, as I was looking at the thousands of photographs I took in the last few years, I remembered that I hadn't even shown them on this blog.
I do hope you enjoyed seeing a little piece of horticultural and artistic heaven today.
What artistic elements must a garden have to be welcoming? Which gardens have you visited?
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(Next week, for Throwback Thursday, I will be revisiting Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey.)