On the grounds of a former estate outside of Philadelphia, a cadre of master gardeners presides over an oasis of earthly delights. We've put together some ideas—paired with photos—from Chanticleer that any home gardener can use to design their own spaces.
With its range and intensity of planting, Chanticleer—the public garden in Wayne, Pennsylvania, that was once home to pharmaceutical tycoon Adolph Rosengarten Jr.—lives up to its promise of being a “pleasure garden.” The former estate opened to the public in 1993 and quickly earned a reputation as a horticultural Cirque du Soleil. On every visit, I find, besides incredible beauty, ideas at almost every turn. From the lavish container plantings of the teacup and entry gardens to the first peak of the pond garden in May, the place begs you to crib.
Left: One of the most effective if extravagant mass plantings at Chanticleer is of camassia in broad ribbons in the stream garden. The native bulb multiplies in the moist soil, and barriers formed by dried fern fronds keep lawn mowers—and feet—away from the camassia before and after blooming in late April.