Just a short drive from Philadelphia, Chanticleer is one of the great gardens in this area. Once the Rosengarten estate, today Chanticleer is a contemporary garden situated in a historic setting. Garden Design magazine has dubbed this “America’s most inspiring garden.”
“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 in the 1920s.”
They purchased a neighboring property in 1933. It is now the site of the Minder Ruin Garden composed of three “rooms”. The Great Hall; The Library; and The Pool Room
As you leave the Ruins you enter the Gravel Garden filled with orange butterfly weed, grasses, Alliums and a variety of other plants including Yuccas.
Daughter Emily’s house, located at today’s visitor entrance, was built for her in 1935. It is presently used for offices and classrooms. Here is another house on the property.
The heirs left the entire property for the enjoyment of the public The garden opened to the public in 1993. If you are in the area and are visiting gardens be sure to check out both Chanticleer and Longwood Gardens.
With Trade Secrets being this weekend in CT I thought you might be interested in this blog I wrote several years ago on the Saturday event which is always a widely anticipated event by plant geeks everywhere. People come from far and wide to attend, booking their hotel rooms a year in advance! Many of the vendors come every year so although this blog is from several years ago the information is very relevant to this weekends show in Sharon!
Trade Secrets is a two-day event which started 18 years ago in Bunny Williams backyard. This event is the foremost fundraiser for Women’s Support Services which offers crisis intervention, counseling and education, as well as legal, medical, and housing assistance to fulfill its mission of creating a community free of domestic violence. Women’s Support Services is a nonprofit organization that provides free and confidential aid to victims of domestic violence and abuse. WSS provides a 24 hour hotline, (860) 364.1900 short-term emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, education and emergency support for those in need.
The proceeds from Trade Secrets 2018 will help WSS fund programs that teach children about healthy relationships and conflict resolution and will help fund operation of their 24-hour hotline. If you missed it this year mark your calendar for next year like Martha Stewart.
“Sadly 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lives” (National Violence Against Women Survey, 2000)
The mission of WSS is to create a community free of domestic violence and abuse through intervention, prevention and education.
Trade Secrets is the premiere Rare Plant & Garden Antique Sale of the season on Saturday with Private Garden tours on Sunday! Today I will take you on a tour of the Rare Plant & Garden Antique Sale.
The plant and antique sale is held yearly at Lion Rock Farm in Sharon, CT. This is a stunning property overlooking Amenia, NY located in one of the most scenic areas in northwest CT. There were antiques of every variety, rare plants that you can only find here as well as perennials, vegetables and annuals for sale. There are trees and shrubs, containers and planters, statuary and towers, peonies, roses, and lavender. You name it and I am sure you can find it here.
Art in the Garden is certainly not a new idea. It provides a practical purpose as a place for the eye to rest or be drawn to. It can be artsy, a container, a sculpture, a spiritual figure, an arbor, water feature or any type of vessel. It provides structural definition and architecture to the garden. It creates geometry.
This can also be accomplished with clipped shapes or allee’s which emphasize the geometry of your garden. In these instances maybe boxwoods or trees create the geometry and symmetry.
Merge your art into your planting beds. Your plants should be the frosting on the cake!
I spent today pruning shrubs, cleaning up leaves, removing the thick layer of mulch I put down around my roses and tender perennials. Finally I think we may have turned the corner and I took off the burlap coats that I bundled some of my newly transplanted roses and hydrangeas in last fall. I think the Boxwood that I have now transplanted 3 times made it thru as did my new Oakleaf Hydrangeas.
Use garden supports to create winter interest and structure.
Always when planning your garden start with the structure of the property! In reality 20% – 50% of your garden should be evergreen and shrubs. Remember we talked a few weeks ago about planting for winter interest. We need to think of our gardens as a year round canvas. A low maintenance garden might include 40% evergreens, 35% deciduous shrubs and 25% perennials, ground covers and bulbs. Try planting in masses of 9 -50 for broad sweeps of color, texture and pattern.
The goal is to create layers of interest throughout the year. Vertical elements will frame the garden views. Pay attention to the view from your windows. Where do you most often see your garden from inside. Create focal points around these axis points when creating major elements of your landscape, patios and walls.
Pay attention to the traffic flow throughout the garden. Of course, you must remember sun and shade and check your Zone when selecting plants. Create different rooms in your garden so there is always something just around the corner and consider a separation of public and private space. There should be a reason to continue to meander through. Collect pictures that speak to you style, feelings and the light in your space. Dream as big as possible then evaluate your site. If you have an amazing view try to frame it, almost like a photograph!
If you are starting from scratch, I recommend a qualified garden designer. Like any renovation the job is always bigger than we anticipate and a knowledgeable professional can guide you thru the pitfalls. Remember that plants take time to mature. I usually tell people it takes 3 years for perennials to start to reach their full potential. If a plant is really struggling maybe try it in a different spot. Is it getting the correct amount of light and water.
Remember that every property has its assets and limitations created by sun and shade, soil and water. There are always plants that will thrive in each condition. Match the plants to the site and include ornamentals. Instead of all your containers being on the porch move them out into the flower garden where you can add some height and dimension. Plants requiring special needs can find a home here. Don’t forget to mix vegetables into your flower beds. No one says vegetables all need to be in a separate bed! I mix my herbs, especially sage, oregano, rosemary and chives into my beds. Last year I experimented with Kale and loved it! The dark green leaves were an awesome contrast to the surrounding plants and help hide some struggling shrubs that I transplanted, yet again!
Pay attention to the labels. We are all guilty of going to the garden center and falling in love with this and that only to realize we have brought home something that will not work in our landscape. Full sun means sun for the greater part of the day, typically 6 hours or more. Daylilies for example. Shade can be a little challenging. We see full shade, part shade, dappled shade, light shade, so confusing right! Full shade really means full shade for the entire day. Plants that need full shade often get scorched when sunlight fades them out. When considering part shade morning sun is always preferable as it is not as strong. Avoid afternoon sun when possible. Light shade means 2-3 hours of shade during the hottest part of the day. There are literally many, many plants for any given situation. Just like with painting, preparation is key. If you take the time to properly prepare your garden beds you will find success.
Try to get out and visit public gardens to see what combinations they have on display. Note how the plant is growing. Is it in shade, sun, water, very moist conditions. Remember that foliage is truly important as no perennials or shrub blooms all year. Plan your garden with a succession of bloom by selecting plants that bloom at different times of the season and then sit back and enjoy the show!
“Bunny Williams’ and John Roselli’s longstanding love affair with their Falls Village home becomes abundantly clear after a stroll through the gardens. John’s vegetable and cutting garden reflect his skills in the kitchen while Bunny’s eclectic aesthetic is evident in her entertaining spaces – from the greenhouse to the Greek temple-style pool house. Together, the two have created a well-curated journey from the sunken formal garden to the wildflower-dense woodland, by way of heirloom apple trees and charming heritage-breed chickens.”
Again, I have been fortunate enough to have been to this property at least 4 times over the years for both Trade Secrets events and Garden Conservancy Days. This is a compilation of my journey through their gardens.
Michael Trapp’s Garden is an “Old World-style garden and reflects his renowned aesthetic and eye for detail. Overlooking the Housatonic River, the intimate property has a distinctive French/Italian flavor with cobbled paths, terraced gardens, raised perennial beds and reflecting pools.” Cornwall Bridge is a lovely spot to visit and watch the kayak races on the river or just to check out the Covered Bridge and grab some lunch.
“Nestled atop Selleck Hill, Twin Maples seamlessly marries the classical and the natural: Formal gardens, cutting and vegetable gardens, and a greenhouse ring the exquisite Georgian-style house overlooking 40 acres of wildflower meadow. The meadow, woodland garden, and woodland edges, resplendent with native plants, blur the borders between the formal areas and the surrounding landscape.”
I have been fortunate enough to visit this lovely garden twice. Here are my memories.
This year the Trade Secrets Garden tours were amazing private gardens that were so different with each showcasing a unique gardening perspective.
“Rockwood Farm speaks to the landscaper/designer owner’s affection for New England history.
Featuring a historic reproduction of an 1800s-era saltbox, this serviceable, sustainable and comfortable homestead has a relaxed and casual style complete with fruiting trees, a courtyard garden, edible and woodland gardens, a fieldstone terrace and so much more.”
Here is a sample of this gorgeous property that is obviously tended with loving care by its owners.
Then it was on to Kent and another beautiful property. The owners of Kent Greenhouse and Nursery have taken great care in making this property their own.
There was more than ample space there for loads of veggies! There were fruit trees and berry bushes and solar panels and of course a barn with horses!
The owners had a his and hers garden areas.
And of course what is a garden without gorgeous flowers!
Next week I will feature another garden on the Trade Secrets tour – the Georgian-style Twin Maples which features formal gardens, a woodland garden and wildflower meadows. Stay tuned. Here is a sneak:
Then onto Michael Trapp’s property in Cornwall Bridge and Bunny Williams and John Roselli’s Garden.