7.01.2008

Inspiring

If you live in the Philadelphia area, get in your car right now and head over to Chanticleer - a "pleasure garden" located on the Main Line in Wayne, PA. Oh, my. What a beautiful, inspiring place!

I visited Chanticleer on Sunday with my friend Wendy, and even though it was hot and humid, the trip was so worth it. This is the kind of place that gets my creative juices flowing. I came home feeling so inspired and full of ideas. Of course, I have lots of ideas for my own garden now, but views like this also inspire my artwork.


I love how the group of evergreens at the bottom of the hill are lined up and create a sort of horizontal line, which relates to the horizontal lines the stone steps make in the foreground. The other trees and shrubs are vertical lines of varying heights. I like the pop of purplish red on the left, and see it repeated in the centers of the flowers on the right. Do you see it?


And this? Sigh. I wish there were a place I could visit everyday that looked, sounded and smelled like this. We crossed this little stream and sat on a bench under trees with just the sound of the water trickling and the birds chirping. It was kind of hidden, and Wendy and I talked about how we wished there were a little stream near us where Malayna and Aidan could explore. We both remembered times when we were kids, playing in streams, finding little frogs, looking at stones and exploring. Kids {and adults!} need activities like that - totally unstructured and free.


There were drinking fountains throughout the gardens, each one a little work of art. The brochure said they were created by employees! In fact, the fountains, furniture and other structures were all created by employees. Sounds like a dream job to me! When you took a drink from the fountain above, the water would drain where the wood and stone meet. It would then trickle down the valleys in the stone and into the bushes. It was so beautifully made and so carefully thought out.


Tucked into the gardens were little boxes on posts, inside of which were plant lists for that particular garden. These were also works of art, each one different, and each related to the theme of its garden. The one above was for the Asian garden - can you see the little hand on the right? When you lift the hand the door opens. You can't really tell from the photo, but the words "plant list" are made of clay. Even the bathroom signs were made of clay letters.

Can you see the people in the background of this photo? They were sitting on benches made of stone and slate. Chairs and benches were placed throughout the gardens, and we took advantage of them - especially when they were situated under big shade trees. There are two green chairs in the photo below, in front of a little pond. Those grasses in the foreground made me want to lie down and take a nap!

By the way, my photos don't even begin to do this place justice. You must go and see for yourself! I'm already planning my next visit…

2 comments:

misskerry2006 said...

You were in my neck of the woods and didn't call?!

I love that place - we took Pete's mom and sister there last fall. Be sure you go back again when the leaves are changing - just beautiful!

I'm sending you an e-mail ...
(k)

daisy janie said...

Such a sweet spot. Haven't been there but will add to the list!!!