An Elite Garden Stroll

On an October autumnal morning, in the last week of public visitation to the beautiful Chanticleer Garden Estate; we arrived in full force as the first guests with our car grills pressed against the ornate entrance gate, awaiting the garden to open.

As we entered the garden en route to the “house of ease” aka the restrooms; we were distracted by a beautiful water garden being created by one of the many horticultural assistants creating a design completely made out of natural materials. We then, all gathered and began a beautiful journey meandering thru the artistic and whimsical gardens of Chanticleer. We also adopted an honorary garden club member who I named Mr. Biltmore, his true name was Steve and he graciously fell into our garden club family circle while we approached the lower cut flower garden located in front of the vegetable garden.

Mr. Biltmore said this specimen’s name was somewhat pornographic but of course we begged to know the common name which is “Hairy B—s” yup he warned us it was a spicy name!

Mr. Biltmore happened to over hear us discussing our subtle complaints about the horticultural specimens not being labeled in this magnificent garden and he explained how it was the original landscape architect who wanted the gardens not to be inundated with hideous labels. We reluctantly agreed and I must say it was refreshing not having to worry about remembering what I actually saw but to better yet just focus on the experience I was having while strolling in the garden.

Speaking of the gardens, they were born out of the ideas and dreams of The Rosengarten Family it was their retreat to escape the summer heat of the city of Philadelphia.   Mr. Rosengarten’s great sense of humor led him to name his home after the estate “Chanticlere” in Thackeray’s 1855 novel The Newcomes. The fictional Chanticlere was “mortgaged up to the very castle windows” but “still the show of the county.” Playing on the word, which means “rooster,” the Rosengartens used the rooster as their family crest throughout the estate.


This garden offers many specimens of flowers and trees that include common and exotic varieties with their origins from all over the world. It even has an asian woodland garden that features a very artistic replicate of an uprooted tree utilized as a foot bridge which created a great scenario for Countryside Gardeners to take a “selfie”! We are sooo cool:) and note the bee box!

The first part of our tour ended with a brief meeting and picnic lunch in a designated picnic grove. We then finished out our day and walking off our lunch visiting the main house gardenimagejpeg_0-6

and then descending upon the pink muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaries ‘Lenca’)while using the beautifully sculptured elevated walkway and then over to the pond garden finishing up our tour in the infamous ruin garden. If you wish to visit this unique and inspiring garden you will have to wait for the ornate gate to open on March 29, 2017.

In the meantime our in house photo bug Ms. Kathe Worrell has graciously shared her memories of what was capture on our visit with over 300 photos; don’t worry I will not post them all but chose a few in the artistic slide show below.  Thanks Ms. Kathe!!!

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So mark your calendars now for a visit to this infamous public garden in our area it will no doubt inspire you to do something a little different in your own garden giving it an elite flair!

Stroll on…


One thought on “An Elite Garden Stroll”

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your Chanticleer Road Trip memories and the insights into our mason bee friends. Photography accompaniments are excellent (thank you Kathe for your artistic views of Chanticleer). Tracy, your stories are an inspiration for gardeners!

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