Chanticleer: A Pleasure Garden

Overview

Chanticleer, a forty-eight-acre garden on Philadelphia's historic Main Line, is many things simultaneously: a lush display of verdant intensity and variety, an irreverent and informal setting for inventive plant combinations, a homage to the native trees and horticultural heritage of the mid-Atlantic, a testament to one man's devotion to his family's estate and legacy, and a good spot for a stroll and picnic amid the blooms. In Chanticleer: A Pleasure Garden, Adrian Higgins and photographer Rob Cardillo chronicle...

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Overview

Chanticleer, a forty-eight-acre garden on Philadelphia's historic Main Line, is many things simultaneously: a lush display of verdant intensity and variety, an irreverent and informal setting for inventive plant combinations, a homage to the native trees and horticultural heritage of the mid-Atlantic, a testament to one man's devotion to his family's estate and legacy, and a good spot for a stroll and picnic amid the blooms. In Chanticleer: A Pleasure Garden, Adrian Higgins and photographer Rob Cardillo chronicle the garden's many charms over the course of two growing cycles.

Built on the grounds of the Rosengarten estate in Wayne, Pennsylvania, Chanticleer retains a domestic scale, resulting in an intimate, welcoming atmosphere. The structure of the estate has been thoughtfully incorporated into the garden's overall design, such that small gardens created in the footprint of the old tennis court and on the foundation of one of the family homes share space with more traditional landscapes woven around streams and an orchard.

Through conversations and rambles with Chanticleer's team of gardeners and artisans, Higgins follows the garden's development and reinvention as it changes from season to season, rejoicing in the hundred thousand daffodils blooming on the Orchard Lawn in spring and marveling at the Serpentine's late summer crop of cotton, planted as a reminder of Pennsylvania's agrarian past. Cardillo's photographs reveal further nuances in Chanticleer's landscape: a rare and venerable black walnut tree near the entrance, pairs of gaily painted chairs along the paths, a backlit arbor draped in mounds of fragrant wisteria. Chanticleer fuses a strenuous devotion to the beauty and health of its plantings with a constant dedication to the mutability and natural energy of a living space. And within the garden, Higgins notes, there is a thread of perfection entwined with whimsy and continuous renewal.

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Editorial Reviews

Christopher Schoppa
Our guide is Adrian Higgins…who made numerous forays to Chanticleer and chatted with its savvy horticultural staff, which is under constant pressure to exceed expectations. As the gorgeous photographs by Rob Cardillo attest, they often succeed.
—The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812242744
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/29/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,456,787
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Adrian Higgins is Garden Editor at the Washington Post and the author of The Secret Gardens of Georgetown: Behind the Walls of Washington's Most Historic Neighborhood and The Washington Post Garden Book: The Ultimate Guide to Gardening in Greater Washington and the Mid-Atlantic Region. Rob Cardillo has been photographing gardens and the people who tend them for the past twenty years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Better Homes and Gardens, American Gardener, and Organic Gardening, among many other publications.
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Read an Excerpt

Foreword
R. William Thomas, Executive Director and Head Gardener

This book is a testament to the people who have made Chanticleer. To Adolph and Christine Rosengarten, who purchased the property, built the home, and raised two children who would grow up to love the place. To their son, Adolph, Jr., who loved the trees, lawns, homes, and spirit of the site so much he left it to be a public garden. He endowed it well and trusted the Board of Directors he appointed and the staff he and they hired to develop the property into something special. To his wife, Janet, who tended her own personal flower garden outside her husband's library window and advised him to preserve the land, inspiring the Foundation's creation.

To the members of the Board of Directors, who manage the money wisely, set policies carefully, who love the garden enough to trust its operation to a skilled and talented staff, and who know each employee's name. To Christopher Woods, Chanticleer's first Executive Director, who transformed a pretty estate into an amazing pleasure garden. And, finally, to the staff, who have designed the garden, made it visually and sensually exciting, and built the furniture, the bridges, and the drinking fountains.

On his first visit to the gardens, writer Adrian Higgins understood Chanticleer. He recognized its liveliness, and he comprehended the artistry and continual reinvention of the site. He witnessed the love and devotion the staff incorporates into every aspect of the place. He visited regularly and spoke with each person. He has ably conveyed into words the uniqueness of Chanticleer.

Rob Cardillo has photographed Chanticleer for many years now. He enthusiastically embraced this project, capturing a year in images. Living nearby, he came whenever the light was just right, the garden at the stage he wanted. I would often see him while I was on an early morning or late afternoon walk. He was tenacious about capturing a particular image and with his inquisitive eye he has made many stunning views of the garden.

Accurately encapsulating a garden in words and images is an agreeable but daunting task —and nearly impossible. A garden is multidimensional, having visual and textural depth complemented with sounds and smells. It is an ephemeral place, changing daily, with plants coming into and out of bloom, and by the moment, as the sun goes behind a cloud, a breeze blows, a bird chirps. For this difficult task, we have two amazing artists to portray the garden. Welcome to Chanticleer!

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Table of Contents

Foreword, by R. William Thomas
Introduction: The Meaning of Chanticleer

Chapter 1. Teacup and Entry Gardens
Chapter 2. Tennis Court Garden
Chapter 3. Chanticleer House
Chapter 4. Asian Woods
Chapter 5. Pond Garden
Chapter 6. Stream Garden
Chapter 7. Minder Woods, the Ruin, and Gravel Garden
Chapter 8. Cutting Garden
Chapter 9. Parking Lot Garden

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