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Chanticleer

A Pleasure Garden

By Adrian Higgins. Photographs by Rob Cardillo

Publication Year: 2011

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.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Contents

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pp. v-

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Foreword

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pp. vii-viii

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...

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Introduction: The Meaning of Chanticleer

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pp. 1-14

This book took me from my home in Alexandria, Virginia, to Chanticleer Garden on Philadelphia’s Main Line many times over two growing seasons. I had known the garden since 2000 and sensed then that the dynamics at play were producing a place quite unlike any other I had seen in twenty-five years...

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1. Teacup and Entry Gardens

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pp. 15-34

Five houses sit on the entire forty-seven-acre Chanticleer estate, six if you count the Ruin, where Chanticleer's benefactor, Adolph Rosengarten, Jr., once had a perfectly unruined home. But it is the grand house of his sister, Emily Rosengarten, that welcomes visitors and sets the whole mood for the Chanticleer experience. ...

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2. Tennis Court Garden

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pp. 35-46

The vestigial rectangle of a tennis court, once bounded by thick hemlocks, today provides one of the most geometric gardens at Chanticleer, and with its the opportunity to temper straight lines with soft plantings. That contrast is one of the many pleasing paradoxes about this garden...

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3. Chanticleer House

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pp. 47-74

Wayne is one of a string of towns along the old Pennsylvania Railroad's Main Line. Before the age of the automobile, the train service gave Philadelphia's wealthiest families access to a region where they could build large country houses in rolling pastures and leafy woods, away from the heat and insalubrious bustle of the city. ...

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4. Asian Woods

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pp. 75-92

In the lowest and remotest part of Chanticleer sits the area called Asian Woods, the distant corner where intimate trails and secluded resting sports invite quiet meditation. Here, one ambles or lingers in a temperate jungle that is both exotic and familiar. . ..

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5. Pond Garden

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pp. 93-114

Open, sunny, and a glorious blend of flowers and water, the Pond Garden is the most exuberant part of Chanticleer. Imagine being in the cottage garden of a wealthy and brilliant plant maniac, throw in a series of cascading ponds, themselves teeming with life, and you get a sense of how special this garden has become ...

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6. Stream Garden

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pp. 115-120

In April and May, when spring blossoms paired with the symbolic fertility of the rushing stream capture the sudden and unstoppable burgeoning of the season, Chanticleer's Stream Garden comes into its own. The first showy color comes in the form of broad drifts of the daffodil 'Ice Follies', whose lines follow the meandering path of the stream. ...

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7. Minder Woods, the Ruin, and Gravel Garden

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pp. 121-158

There are three woodlands within the thirty-five acres of Chanticleer Garden. Each is quite different in character. The three-acre native woodland, still under development, will mature in the decades to come define the stream valley at then northern fringe of Chanticleer. ...

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8. Cutting Garden

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pp. 159-168

Long before it became fashionable again to grow your own food, the Cutting Garden was exploring artfully the conference of a traditional cut-flowers and vegetable garden. The Rosengartens had always maintained these amenities in parts of the estate, and the present locations, open, sunny, and flat...

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9. Parking Lot Garden

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pp. 169-177

The moment visitors arrive through the Chanticleer gate, the tone is set. This is is no ordinary parking lot. It is an elegant space, from the geometry of the entrance circle to the high design of the lot itself, with spaces delineated not with paint, but with Belgian block. ...


E-ISBN-13: 9780812206975
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812242744

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2011