By Mark Hoover
The Kingwood Center Gardens Horticulture Team was fortunate to be able to visit Chanticleer in early August as part of a very quick trip to America’s garden capitol. One could spend many days in the Philadelphia area, enjoying various gardens. We chose Chanticleer for its strong reputation of being one of the best gardens in the country. It also has some similarities to Kingwood, in that it is of similar size.
One may think “formal setting” when they think of Kingwood because of Mr. King’s gardens. Chanticleer has a much more whimsical feel as you wander about the property. Many gardens have a very natural appearance with annuals and perennials mixed together to create a beautiful composition. An area that has changed since I last visited, was the lawn area near the swimming pool. Once a formal lawn, this area was transformed into a low mow lawn with a meadow like feel. The graceful grass created a perfect setting for the random colorful pops poking out throughout. On top of it all, it was buzzing with activity, with many different pollinators present, most specifically, the Monarch butterfly.
Lucky enough to see Chanticleer for the 3rd time, I really learned to appreciate the views that the garden provides. There’s plenty of casual seating to sit back, relax and be fully immersed in the garden. One could do this as they moved throughout the garden.
Any garden enthusiast should surely add Chanticleer to their garden bucket list. It’s well worth the drive.