January 13, 2024

Chanticleer’s Ruin Garden has a fairy tale quality. It’s not an actual ruin but was built in 1999 on the site of one of the original houses on the property. Plants creep up crumbling walls and emerge from cracked paving, ghostly faces appear in pools of water, and a sarcophagus-like table hulks in the dining room. It gives me Spirited Away vibes.

This is Part 8 of my visit to Chanticleer during the Philadelphia Area Fling last September.

Let’s start in the library, which you enter through a wide doorway from the Gravel Garden.

Near the fireplace, agaves adorn the stone wall like green boutonnieres on a lapel.

Stone books, including one impressed with acorns, lie open to the elements, waiting to be read.

Moss, one is titled. A leafy face stares up at you.

Masonry, reads another.

Ex Libris — from whose library, I wonder?

Leaves of books, plant leaves, what we leave behind…it’s all getting mixed up.

A bucket elevator chain planted with small succulents hangs from a timber post. In the corner, a weeping Norway spruce seems to skulk into the room like a green ghost.

The chain makes a charming planter.

Waterfalling plants in the little buckets

Pretty Passiflora citrina

Hydrangea in bloom

And now we come to those marble faces in the water.

They don’t look spooky to me. Rather peaceful, floating there.

The next room is the dining hall, with a long black table–actually a reflective pool–that resembles a polished coffin.

Question mark paving?

Tillandsias on the mantle

Loree of Danger Garden recently wrote that she actively disliked the big black table. I feel more ambiguous about it. It adds a spookier element to the ruin, which I appreciate.

I would like to see water plants growing in it.

The open doorways and windows of the ruin frame glimpses of the Gravel Garden beyond.

Stone acorns cluster under oak saplings.

Outside the walls, the garden fully takes hold again.

A few more ghostly weeping Norway spruces glide through a mini-meadow of prairie dropseed.

And a disembodied face snoozes in the grasses.

Up next: Exploring Bell’s Woodland and along Bell’s Run Creek. For a look back at Chanticleer’s meadowy Gravel Garden, click here:

To read about my past visits to Chanticleer’s Ruin Garden, follow these links:

A garden rising from ruin at Chanticleer, October 2021

Chanticleer’s eerie, mysterious Ruin Garden, June 2016

Ruin & Gravel Garden, July 2008

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Digging Deeper

Come learn about gardening and design at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, authors, and gardeners a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance; simply click this link and ask to be added. Season 8 kicks off in fall 2024. Stay tuned for more info!

All material © 2024 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Falling into ruin at Chanticleer Garden appeared first on Digging.

Chanticleer’s Ruin has a fairy tale quality. Plants creep up crumbling walls and emerge from paving, and ghostly faces appear in pools. … Read More
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January 13, 2024

Chanticleer’s Ruin Garden has a fairy tale quality. It’s not an actual ruin but was built in 1999 on the site of one of the original houses on the property. Plants creep up crumbling walls and emerge from cracked paving, ghostly faces appear in pools of water, and a sarcophagus-like table hulks in the dining room. It gives me Spirited Away vibes.

This is Part 8 of my visit to Chanticleer during the Philadelphia Area Fling last September.

Let’s start in the library, which you enter through a wide doorway from the Gravel Garden.

Near the fireplace, agaves adorn the stone wall like green boutonnieres on a lapel.

Stone books, including one impressed with acorns, lie open to the elements, waiting to be read.

Moss, one is titled. A leafy face stares up at you.

Masonry, reads another.

Ex Libris — from whose library, I wonder?

Leaves of books, plant leaves, what we leave behind…it’s all getting mixed up.

A bucket elevator chain planted with small succulents hangs from a timber post. In the corner, a weeping Norway spruce seems to skulk into the room like a green ghost.

The chain makes a charming planter.

Waterfalling plants in the little buckets

Pretty Passiflora citrina

Hydrangea in bloom

And now we come to those marble faces in the water.

They don’t look spooky to me. Rather peaceful, floating there.

The next room is the dining hall, with a long black table–actually a reflective pool–that resembles a polished coffin.

Question mark paving?

Tillandsias on the mantle

Loree of Danger Garden recently wrote that she actively disliked the big black table. I feel more ambiguous about it. It adds a spookier element to the ruin, which I appreciate.

I would like to see water plants growing in it.

The open doorways and windows of the ruin frame glimpses of the Gravel Garden beyond.

Stone acorns cluster under oak saplings.

Outside the walls, the garden fully takes hold again.

A few more ghostly weeping Norway spruces glide through a mini-meadow of prairie dropseed.

And a disembodied face snoozes in the grasses.

Up next: Exploring Bell’s Woodland and along Bell’s Run Creek. For a look back at Chanticleer’s meadowy Gravel Garden, click here:

To read about my past visits to Chanticleer’s Ruin Garden, follow these links:

A garden rising from ruin at Chanticleer, October 2021

Chanticleer’s eerie, mysterious Ruin Garden, June 2016

Ruin & Gravel Garden, July 2008

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Digging Deeper

Come learn about gardening and design at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, authors, and gardeners a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance; simply click this link and ask to be added. Season 8 kicks off in fall 2024. Stay tuned for more info!

All material © 2024 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Falling into ruin at Chanticleer Garden appeared first on Digging.

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