Michael and I took a day trip up to visit Chanticleer Garden in Pennsylvania on Friday. When we got there, we only got to see the gardens for about 1/2 hour and were halted by a severe thunderstorm. We headed back toward home, figuring the day was a goner, but then the sky cleared and the sun came out! So, we headed back to the gardens and were able to enjoy the sights for a few more hours. This place is an absolute paradise! If I won the lottery (would have to play to actually win, I suppose), this is what I would create. Exactly this garden (with my added artistic touches, of course)….it is joyfully whimsical, flows beautifully, a tapestry of colors and textures and shapes…myriad places to sit and contemplate…many side trails to explore…a beautiful estate home surrounded by tropical annuals of every kind and many different water features…majestic old trees anchoring the 35 acres…hummingbirds and butterflies at every turn…lotus blossoms, water lilies, several ponds…”ancient” ruins…waterfalls…trails leading through fern covered forests…even the restrooms (in two locations in the middle of the property) are decadent and beautiful!
While the original grounds were no doubt beautiful with rolling greens and stately trees, present-day Chanticleer is the work of 7 horticulturists (and supporting seasonal staff) with amazing imaginations and seemingly unlimited funding for their creative fantasies!
I shot as much as I could with the on-and-off again sprinkling, fogging lenses, and increasingly uncomfortable humidity level. This collage will give you an overall sense of how breathtaking this place is despite those photography obstacles. One of my favorite areas is the “ruins” of an old house (a NEW partially assembled “house” built on the foundation of an original home…it even has what I called a pool table (it was long like a real pool table but was filled with water)…a fireplace complete with a wrought iron screen and a “living” mantel built of succulents and cacti. And the best part? It had a “library,” complete with carved stone and marble “books” strewn around it. You can just imagine how this biblioholic felt about that room!
To learn more about this wonderful place, visit: http://www.chanticleergarden.org/
AND NOW FOR THE ARTISTRY IN THE GARDEN (my favorite? scroll down to the bottom of their website and look at the stone couch and chairs….I told Michael all he needed was a remote control and he’d be set…he then pointed out already there was a remote control carved out of stone with semi-precious “buttons” on the end of the couch!). Just imagine lying on that couch with a good book on a balmy spring day (and a cushion to soften things up).
© 2006 Cindy Dyer, All rights reserved.