Saturday, September 27, 2014

Chanticleer - Part 1

Thank goodness for garden blogging! Several times a year I'll drive an hour to Longwood Gardens to spend the day taking in the grandeur of their incredible space.  But it wasn't until I read another blogger's post about Chanticleer that I realized there was another majestic garden only a short drive from my house. So, a few weeks ago, J and I headed there during the late afternoon. 

Chanticleer was originally the estate of Adolph Rosengarten, whose pharmaceutical company would later become Merck. When his heir Adolph Jr. died in 1990, the estate was closed for a few years until the Chanticleer Foundation reopened it as a public garden. It's a 27-acre property that seems much, much larger. Each garden area has its own unique feel (and, as I learned, is cared for by a different staff horticulturalist). It all feels much more relaxed and carefree than Longwood. Even in September there was so much to see!

It was a really sunny and bright afternoon so it was tough to take good pictures. Plants there aren't tagged individually but you can look through on-site plant guides (found in really unique wooden boxes throughout the gardens) to try to learn what it is you're looking at (I didn't do this so most of the individual plant pictures are of unknown-to-me flowers). 

You start out at daughter Emily's home and into the walled Teacup Garden. This garden had a lot of formal lines and a nice mix of tropicals and natives. It would be the perfect place to sit, relax, and sip a cup of tea (not sure if that's why they named it as such but I can totally see this happening). 

A fountain partially hidden in the courtyard of the Teacup Garden

From the Teacup Garden, we moved on to the Tennis Court Garden. I'm just guessing, but I think it was probably the former site of the tennis court. Just a guess though.

Steps down to the Tennis Court Garden

By the way, I do recommend that you check out the plant lists on the website. They can give inspiration for planting combinations in garden beds, pots, against walls or in gravel, and so forth. 

Onward to the main house on the estate. I really loved this part.

Plantings by the driveway

More plants by the driveway

Indoor/outdoor porch. I could sit here all day.

Wading pool in the back yard

Fountain at the end of the wading pool

They even planted on top of walls

Planting bed by the swimming pool

Formal boxwoods containing dahlias and other flowers

These three gardens comprised about one-quarter of all of the gardens on the estate, so stay tuned for future posts and pictures about my visit to Chanticleer. 


  1. Oh my goodness! I have dreamed about a visit to this piece of paradise for many years and even have a beautiful coffee table book on it.Unfortunately this will never come to pass as I became paralyzed 13 years ago so I savored this post. Thank you.

    1. Glad the post resonated with you, Patrick. Stay tuned for another post (or two) about my visit.