Originally built as the estate of Christine and Adolph Rosengarten, Chanticleer was inherited by their son who tore down his own stone house on the grounds to create a “ruin,” then donated the 35-acre property, including his parent’s mansion, as a public garden. It opened to visitors in 1993. Located near Philadelphia, PA, the garden contains lawns and large trees, the Asian woods, a pond garden, the ruin and gravel garden, teacup garden, tennis court garden, and woodland.
Originally, the estate was known for its majestic trees and verdant lawns. Today the focus is more on plant combinations, containers, textures, and colors, often relying on foliage more than flowers.
Tens of thousands of bulbs cover the ground in spring, together with orchards of flowering trees, native wildflowers which bloom in the woods and a vegetable and cut-flower garden. Courtyards provide a framework for unusual combinations of hardy and tropical plants. Vines grow in nooks and crannies, trailing and twining. A serpentine of cedars, boulders, and agronomic crops undulates through a mown hillside.
Chanticleer is indeed a delightful pleasure garden, offering an escape from the rush of every day life and a place where one feels like a personal guest of the Rosengarten family
A woodland garden carpeted with Asian groundcovers and full of rarities leads to a water garden surrounded by exuberant perennials. Rosengarten Jr’s “ruin” plays with indoor/outdoor relationships, contrasting the light and dark sides of gardens. Sculptural seating, benches, wrought iron fences, and bridges highlight the uniqueness and personal nature of the garden.
Although not as large as many other estate gardens, Chanticleer more than makes up for it with the diversity of experience its gardens offer. There are whimsical touches throughout this sophisticated garden, from the stone sofa with its built-in television remote to the breath-taking “ruin,” with its not-to-be-missed pool table.
First opened to the public in 1993, this garden quickly made a name for itself as a must-see for garden lovers. It has been featured in numerous international magazines and appeared on a variety of television programs.
A waterwheel was installed in the 1940s to pump water from the stream to the swimming pool behind the main house. While no longer serving that purpose, it remains a wonderful piece of industry in a romantic setting
With the help of landscape architect Mara Baird the “ruin” was constructed from carved marble, granite and other stone pieces and is composed of three rooms: a “Great Hall”, a “Library” where the books are sculpted of stone, and a “Pool Room, where marble faces gaze up from the depths of fountain.
The old tennis court has been transformed into a dynamic garden. It was orginally designed to showcase herbaceous plants for summer and fall. The original rectangle of the tennis court was divided into five beds, each with a complex but informal floral arrangement.
The Teacup Garden, is a chaotic opera of scents and sounds, colors and textures where bananas overshadow gingers, pineapple lilies, tropical succulents and intriguing flowers.
Chanticleer is indeed a delightful pleasure garden, offering an escape from the rush of every day life and a place where one feels like a personal guest of the Rosengarten family.