Not a single discouraging word is heard in this account of Chanticleer’s beauty, but judging by the spectacular photos by Rob Cardillo, the praise is justified. Though only twenty years old as a garden cultivated for public display, Chanticleer has great bones thanks to a 1930s stone house and mature trees, as well as a stream that runs through the site. Like me, the gardeners have made a woodland garden under a giant oak tree that used to sit in a sea of grass. Of course, they also have an Asian woods, an orchard, a pond garden, and so on. Clearly worth a visit!
Adrian Higgins is one of my favorite garden writers. He clearly writes about Chanticleer with great knowledge and experience. Still, I couldn’t help feeling that this was written to order as a puff piece. (It’s copyrighted by Chanticleer rather than by Higgins.) Not quite a criticism, since I devoured every word, just an observation.
Notes to self: find out what is this air spade* they used to remove the existing grass from under the oak tree; consider adding Anemone sylvestris and nemorosa along with the blanda, and Phlox stolonifera ‘Sherwood’s Purple’ (bought this week at Merrifield). Shrub rose Lady Elsie May (‘Angelsie’) is semidouble, coral pink, and freely produces blooms all season long (whatever that means, and allowing for the slightly cooler climate there) and might do for the pink garden. ‘Sea Shell’ peony, another possibility, is “cupped, single pink, robust and fragrant. It is one of the classic peonies for cutting.” Look for the Karma series of dahlias “which have been bred for cutting. They have a long vase life and straight stems.”
*It turns out that an air spade costs almost $2000 and must be used mainly by professional landscapers and builders. So, never mind.