Within 30 minutes of Philadelphia, Chanticleer Garden is one of the great oasis’s in the region. Once the Rosengarten estate, today its a colorful and contemporary garden within an historic setting.
We visited there in late October and I was amazed by the abundance of flowers blooming so late in the fall season. Especially since Chanticleer Garden closed just a week later — until next spring.
My sister-in-law, had arranged the outing for six of us, which included two of my husband’s brothers and their wives. She and her husband had discovered Chanticleer Garden earlier this year with friends and were anxious to share it with us.
We stayed in the city at our son D’s place. After first dropping off our Scottie dog, Whiskey, Mr. Buzz and I headed to NYC .There was lots of packing (and unpacking) to help his older brother with a big move from the Upper East Side to Hoboken, NJ. See his old penthouse and the housewarming gift I made for the new condo in, Modern Style, Fall Floral & Twig Wreath.
After returning to Philadelphia, hubby and I house-sat, while our younger son went into his office. Because a contractor was making repairs from water damage on the main floor of the row house, we (and both energetic dogs) had to spend the better part of three days upstairs on the third floor. It was a physically and mentally exhausting week!
Finally spending a weekend relaxing and visiting with family was a welcome change of pace. Come with me on a stroll through Chanticleer Garden for a little Zen and farewell to fall. Think of it as my way of wishing you a most Happy Thanksgiving!
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Public Pleasure Garden
“Chanticleer Garden has been called the most romantic, imaginative, and exciting public garden in America. The garden is a study of textures and forms, where foliage trumps flowers, the gardeners lead the design, and even the drinking fountains are sculptural. It is a garden of pleasure and learning, relaxing yet filled with ideas to take home.”Chanticleer Garden Foundation
Apparently, most of the floral and garden development seen today occurred since the death of the owner in 1990. At that time, the Rosengarten estate was beautiful and green with impressive trees and lawns. What we see today was subsequently designed by Chanticleer Garden staff and consultants.
Here we are enjoying a riot of color, with flowers still in bloom. It was hard to believe it was the last week in October!
Thirty-five of the 50 acres are open to the public. The remaining land is in agriculture, woodland, service areas, and staff housing. The main route is just under a mile in length, and we frequently meandered to explore other pathways.
I’m sharing pictures in the order I took them, while we explored Chanticleer Garden. There’s so much to see!
The cutting and vegetable gardens produce flowers for arrangements and food at Chanticleer. Surplus goes to a shelter.
Serene Setting for a Picnic
Early in our visit, we stopped to enjoy an incredible gourmet picnic, put together by my sister-in-law. She included delicious, homemade lobster rolls, along with salmon, cucumber herb, turkey and other sandwiches to choose from. There were also a selection of chips, beverages and decadent brownies — loaded with chunks of chocolate.
What made the meal particularly amazing, was that J had also made a multi-course feast for all of us the evening before. Plus, she and her husband were hosting brother-in-law M and his wife. They traveled up from Washington D. C. for our long weekend get-together.
The following day, we all went to the Van Gough Immersive Experience. But, that will have to wait for another post!
Sights & Sounds of Water Features
This stone-lined stream meandered throughout a large area of Chanticleer Garden.
I love the sound of running water, don’t you?
Further down the pathway was a series of koi ponds.
There were lots of interesting features tucked all over Chanticleer Garden, like the water wheel pictured above.
Plethora of Plants
Over 5,000 different kinds of plants are grown throughout Chanticleer Garden. So many different colors and textures everywhere you looked! I must have taken a zillion pictures lol!
The estate is maintained by 20 full-time staff. We interacted with several friendly workers who stopped what they were doing to answer our questions.
Staff also build furniture, fences, gates, bridges, and drinking fountains during the winter in converted garages.
Built on the foundation of one of Rosengarten’s, The Ruin is a folly meant to look as if the house fell into disrepair.
Isn’t it amazing?
Continually Evolving, Changing Landscape
There are seven horticulturists on staff at Chanticleer Garden. Each is responsible for the design, planting, and maintenance of an area, which continually evolving year to year. Each area has its own feel.
Non-hardy plants overwinter in greenhouses and basements.
Chanticleer Garden also continually strives to improve its environmental impact; reusing, recycling and composting.
“Solar panels produce 20% of our electricity. Cisterns capture approximately 50,000 gallons of rain water for irrigation and recharge. Integrated pest management keeps pesticide usage low. We have fertilized our lawns organically for over a decade. Meadows and sedges replace some lawn areas and we are eliminating invasive exotics. Since 1990, we’ve planted hundreds of trees here and along local streets. Furniture is now made from wood cut on the property. We recently exposed a creek long entombed in a pipe. The path in Bell’s Woodland is made of shredded tires.”Chanticleer Foundation
It’s a wonderfully romantic place to visit. And, I hope to return during other seasons of the year.
To escape the heat of Philadelphia, the Chanticleer estate dates from when land along the railroad’s Main Line was developed for summer homes. Adolph Rosengarten chose the Wayne area to build the country retreat. Later, his pharmaceutical firm would become part of Merck & Company.
Completed in 1913, the house’s terraces were designed as extensions of the estate. A 1924 addition converted the summer home into a year-round family residence. Later, his son and daughter built their own homes on the property.
Not only are you surrounded by visual treats, there’s also the sounds of water and birds, along with the scents of the garden.
Chanticleer Garden is the perfect setting to relax, read, converse, meditate — and picnic.
Chanticleer = Rooster
There’s also a beautiful swimming pool adjacent to the house that is surrounded by more gardens and structures.
Throughout the estates are rooster motifs, like this large statue.
Did you know chanticleer is another name for rooster? It comes from a medieval epic or fable about a a rooster singing out loud.
I have a rooster in my herb garden at home too; a birthday gift from my sons. You might recall, I have a “thing” for roosters, especially after seeing the black Tuscan roosters in San Gimignano, Italy.
Rooster to Gobblers
Packing up now to head for Philadelphia for Thanksgiving. Youngest son is hosting and we’re looking forward to trying our first ever smoked turkey. You can learn more about how Using a Smoker Grill Enhances Meals.
Also new this year, is a corn soufflé D is planning to make. Can’t wait to try it!
Hubby and I will be assisting in the kitchen on some of our family’s more traditional dishes; like my grand mere’s sage sausage stuffing. There’ll also be her cranberry, orange and pecan relish with Cointreau.
Additionally, I’ll be making a fall, white wine sangria with pears, apples, cinnamon sticks, apple cider and club soda. It was a hit at the dinner I served on the Gone Batty Halloween Table in the DIY Spooky Painted Glasses.
But for Thanksgiving, I’ll serve the tasty fall beverage in Painted Thanksgiving Turkey Glasses I made.
What’s on your menu this year?
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