Chanticleer Part 2: Garden Seating
Chanticleer is a very unique and intimate place in Wayne, Pennsylvania, U.S., that calls itself “A Pleasure Garden”. In my April article of that title, I explained why that moniker perfectly describes Chanticleer. It is a garden designed by individuals who are both artists and plantspeople. Every plant in the garden is placed there not only for its pleasing horticultural attributes, but also as an object in the overall design for color and pattern and to provoke a feeling or reaction in the onlooker. Although this is a serious garden, whimsy and the element of surprise are important considerations. And the attention to detail is amazing.
When I revisited Chanticleer recently, I realized that I could help readers understand just how unique this garden is by focusing on one element: garden seating. In fact, no other aspect of the garden demonstrates more clearly the complex thought process that must go into each of Chanticleer’s design decisions. Garden seating is not just for sitting, in fact, it may be primarily for viewing. It is used to evoke feelings in the viewer, of coolness in the heat, of enclosure in open spaces, of grandeur, of restfulness, of mirth, of tradition. It draws the eye, completes a vignette, moves you through the garden, or slows you down. It is integrated in the landscape in a way I have never seen anywhere else.
Chanticleer has inspired me over the years to add more thoughtful resting places to my own garden and to think of every element of the garden as important, not just the plants. I hope you too will take away some good ideas as we walk around Chanticleer together trying out the seating (and the water fountains because I love them too!).
Behind this area, also in the Asian Woods, is a bamboo forest, and the chairs incorporate the motif. The stone flower sunk in the path inspired me to place similar features at the junctures of my woodland paths.
A totally different feeling is evoked by these more traditional porch chairs along the paved path up to the Chanticleer House, almost like a grandstand from which to view the action instead of retreat from it.
If you are thinking of incorporating seating into your garden, Chanticleer is the place to visit for ideas. From simple to elaborate, from traditional to whimsical, Chanticleer has it all.
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