In mid May, we drove thirteen hours from Georgia up the Shenandoah Valley and across the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Wayne, PA, arriving at the gates of this great American Garden just before 6:00 PM to take advantage of the 8:00 Friday closing time.
(Here is the set of shots from the May visit: www.flickr.com/photos/ugardener/sets/72157629915442950/ )
In Mid-June, we returned on a Friday afternoon exactly four weeks later. These shots were taken quickly over the two hours just before the garden closed that afternoon. If you have time, you can run the SLIDESHOW of the brand new set in FullScreen Mode to follow us around the garden:
Here is a link to the garden’s beautiful website, and a quote from it about its history:
"The Chanticleer estate dates from the early 20th-century, when land along the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad was developed for summer homes to escape the heat of Philadelphia. Adolph Rosengarten, Sr., and his wife Christine chose the Wayne-St. Davids area to build their country retreat. The family’s pharmaceutical firm would become part of Merck & Company in the 1920s.
The Rosengartens hired architect and former classmate Charles L. Borie to design the house, which was completed in 1913. Landscape architect Thomas Sears designed the terraces as extensions of the house. A 1924 addition converted the summer home into a year-round residence and the family moved here permanently.
Mr. Rosengarten’s humor is evident in naming 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 is synonymous with "rooster," the Rosengartens used rooster motifs throughout the estate.
Adolph and Christine gave their two children homes as marriage presents. They purchased a neighboring property for son Adolph, Jr. and his bride Janet Newlin in 1933. It is today the site of the Ruin. Daughter Emily’s house, located at today’s visitor entrance, was built for her in 1935. It is presently used for offices and classrooms.
Adolph, Jr., bought his sister’s portion of the estate following her death in the 1980s. He didn’t move into the main house, but used it for entertaining and kept it as it was when the family lived there. The house is open for tours by reservation. Adolph, Jr., left the entire property for the enjoyment and education of the public following his death in 1990. A seven-member Board of Directors, five of whom are Rosengarten relatives, oversees The Chanticleer Foundation. The garden opened to the public in 1993. There are 17 full-time staff, of whom two manage facilities and 12 are gardeners and groundskeepers."
Here is an EXTENSIVE Plant List that shows the kind of horticultural craftsmanship and attention to detail that makes this garden and the staff who run it so special: