11 June 2011

Visit: Chanticleer

Every spring, when winter has breathed its last breath and everything turns green and blooms almost overnight, I put aside an afternoon to spend at Chanticleer in Wayne, PA. Termed a "pleasure garden", it has never failed to live up to the bill. Once a summer estate for the founders of Merck & Co., the gardens were opened to the public in 1993. Seven horticulturists are responsible for keeping the gardens fresh and inviting and every year the flora changes (multiple times in a season too). Often flowers are planted en masse to create a feast for the eyes. With groupings of custom-made benches and chairs dotted throughout, sitting and luxuriating in the surroundings is encouraged. Sculptures are integrated into the landscaping--stone faces hover just underneath a rectangular pool of dark water, bobbing when people touch them and delighting visitors with their creepiness. This is a garden that doesn't take itself seriously, yet offers serious relaxation and inspiration. Even the restrooms, Japanese style and always immaculate, show imagination. 

Images: Chanticleer.

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