Archive for garden to visit

Chanticleer Part 3: Through the Seasons

Posted in Fall, garden to visit with tags , , , on November 29, 2011 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Close up of the teacup fountain in fall.

Chanticleer is a unique public garden in Wayne, Pennsylvania, U.S., which I have profiled in two previous articles.  The first, Chanticleer Part 1: A Pleasure Garden, gave an overview of this one-of-a-kind horticultural destination.  The second, Chanticleer Part 2: Garden Seating, focused on the huge variety of thoughtful seating areas in the Chanticleer gardens.  This post will show some of Chanticleer’s gardens as they evolve through the seasons, highlight some additional “hardscape” features, and focus on the attention to detail in one tiny garden that peaks in the fall.

The Teacup Garden through the seasons: clockwise from top, spring, summer, fall.  I highly encourage you to click on any photo to enlarge it for more detail especially the collages.

I hope that my first two posts have inspired you to visit Chanticleer.  However, if you live in the area, it is well worth visiting several times a year.  As you can see from the photos of the Teacup Garden above, the changes in some of Chanticleer’s gardens are very dramatic.  And even the less dramatic evolution of other areas makes each visit feel unique.  Here are a few more gardens from spring through fall:

Entrance courtyard: clockwise from left, summer, spring, fall.  The lavish and very colorful plantings in this area, where visitors check in, often have a tropical theme.

The gardens above the pond and below the ruin: clockwise from left, summer, spring, fall.

View of the Serpentine Garden from the gravel gardens below the ruin: clockwise from top, fall, summer, spring.  Although the changes are more subtle, they are no less beautiful.

Another more subtle change in the area below the ruin and above the Stream Garden: top summer, bottom fall.  A change in the seasons gives a whole different feel.

One of the many unique features of Chanticleer is the ingenious use of “hardscape” or architectural elements throughout the garden.  These elements are as important to my visits to the garden as the plants themselves.  They provide a dimension of experience not available in any other garden I have visited.  I have highlighted some of the hardscape in each of my posts, but here are additional examples:

The elegant gate at the entrance to the Teacup Garden.

Stone acorns in the Ruin Garden: Chanticleer has many beautiful stone sculptures, including the stone chair in my garden seating post, which has taken Pinterest, the online pinboard site, by storm.

Pattern in the floor of the Ruin Garden: at Chanticleer, it pays to look where you are walking because art is incorporated into the paths.  I have been inspired by my visits to add design elements to  my own woodland paths.

Lovely bridge with carved wooden railing below the Pond Garden.

Elegant bridge marking the entrance to the Asian Woods.

This creepy fountain of sunken marble faces is in a secluded alcove of the Ruin Garden—I love it!

I thought you might like to see close up photos of all the sunken marble faces in the Ruin Garden fountain.

My latest visit to Chanticleer was on October 21, shortly before the garden closed for the season at the beginning of November.  I was captivated by a small garden between the Teacup Garden and the back gate.  So much work had been put into the plantings and the seating arrangement to ornament the very short period when Chanticleer is open in the fall.  The eggplant-colored chairs perfectly echo the October-blooming and -fruiting beautyberries, toad-lilies, and other flowers behind them—now that’s attention to detail and that’s what Chanticleer is all about.

To finish out this series, I will need to visit Chanticleer in winter.  Because they don’t reopen until April 1, I hope to get special permission to visit off season.  Wish me luck!

I am currently putting together a Carolyn’s Shade Gardens 2012 Calendar featuring some of my favorite photographs from the past year.  If I am successful, look for an announcement here–it will make a great holiday gift.


Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Nursery Happenings:
The nursery is closed for the year.  Look for the snowdrop catalogue (snowdrops are available mail order) in January 2012 and an exciting new hellebore offering in February 2012.  If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

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