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Chanticleer: A Pleasure Garden

Chanticleer, a forty-eight-acre garden on Philadelphia's historic Main Line, is many things simultaneously: a lush display of verdant intensity and variety, an irreverent and informal setting for inventive plant combinations, a homage to the native trees and horticultural heritage of the mid-Atlantic, a testament to one man's devotion to his family's estate and legacy, and a good spot for a stroll and picnic amid the blooms. In Chanticleer: A Pleasure Garden, Adrian Higgins and photographer Rob Cardillo chronicle the garden's many charms over the course of two growing cycles.Built on the grounds of the Rosengarten estate in Wayne, Pennsylvania, Chanticleer retains a domestic scale, resulting in an intimate, welcoming atmosphere. The structure of the estate has been thoughtfully incorporated into the garden's overall design, such that small gardens created in the footprint of the old tennis court and on the foundation of one of the family homes share space with more traditional landscapes woven around streams and an orchard.Through conversations and rambles with Chanticleer's team of gardeners and artisans, Higgins follows the garden's development and reinvention as it changes from season to season, rejoicing in the hundred thousand daffodils blooming on the Orchard Lawn in spring and marveling at the Serpentine's late summer crop of cotton, planted as a reminder of Pennsylvania's agrarian past. Cardillo's photographs reveal further nuances in Chanticleer's landscape: a rare and venerable black walnut tree near the entrance, pairs of gaily painted chairs along the paths, a backlit arbor draped in mounds of fragrant wisteria. Chanticleer fuses a strenuous devotion to the beauty and health of its plantings with a constant dedication to the mutability and natural energy of a living space. And within the garden, Higgins notes, there is a thread of perfection entwined with whimsy and continuous renewal.

Hardcover: 192 pages

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (March 29, 2011)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0812242742

ISBN-13: 978-0812242744

Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.8 x 7.4 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #755,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #35 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Region > Middle Atlantic #539 in Books > Arts & Photography > Architecture > Landscape #738 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Garden Design

I visit Chanticleer often, living nearby, and had to own this book for my personal library. I read it slowly to fully absorb it. The photography is beautifully done and the text is well written. It is a very realistic portrait of one of the most beautiful gardens on the East Coast or perhaps the USA!

If you can't visit the book offers a great understanding of the mansion, its history, and gardens. A little more photography would have provided more eye candy, but can't show everything off, otherwise no one would visit. Buy the book, visit the mansion, tour the gardens, support the efforts of that wonderful staff. You will not be disappointed.

The few pictures are quite nice but there are no vistas to admire. The book, however, is a textbook. The author states that Chanticleer does not identify individual plants because the garden is for pleasure, not a classroom. However, the book is a textbook, not a book to read and enjoy for pleasure. Having lived in the Delaware Valley for a long time and having visited Chanticleer on many, many occasions, I had hoped that the book would be a reminder of the physical beauty of the place now that I have relocated to another part of the country. Funny thing, on my visits post publication date, I never saw anything about the existence of the book at the entry kiosk at Chanticleer. Do you think that may be due to the fact that it's a text book and contrary to the pleasure garden goal? Longwood does a much better job in this particular respect. I wanted to pass this book along to friends to encourage them to visit Chanticleer when they travel to the Delaware Valley. The book jacket is the best picture for that purpose.

Having seen the Garden a few times I gave the book to a fellow gardener and she absolutely adores it. The photography is beautiful and does Chanticleer great justice.

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