PA Summer Garden Bus Tours
Chanticleer Garden, Wayne
This summer The Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum boarded the garden tour bus to visit Chanticleer Garden in Wayne, PA, for a guided tour. The pleasure began in the parking lot with a huge chartreuse locust tree, resplendent in the sun. The Tea Cup Garden shows off stunning arrangements of colorful tropicals such as golden bromeliads in tall slim planters with flowing Silver Falls, a bed of agave and dried flower balls of Allium 'Ambassador' backed by purple smokebush and variegated corn, beds of dark, handsome cordyline with artemesia, orange geum and coleus, and rosemary willow both shrubby and espaliered. So much luxury!
Down the walk to the sunken Tennis Court Garden, hosta never looked so good, its soft purple blooms frilly under a three-story American holly. Black spikes?), variegated yucca and dark heuchera among silver lamb’s ear. Chanticleer does contrast well.
Down the steps to a sunken garden with formal beds, then up through blooming hydrangea after hydrangea to Chanticleer House. Then, this writer’s favorite spot: Chanticleer House Terrace with formally-arranged beds edged in boxwood with near wildness inside with fennel, dark scabiosa, datura, grasses, tall verbena, green Nicotiana and milk thistle. Nearby, delicate red, white and blue flowers sprout from a meadow of sheep fescue bordered by lawn grass. Many beds and borders, cracks in sidewalks and hanging baskets to inspect. On to the ruin where perhaps Lestat once roamed, then down to flowery fields and ponds – lotus and water lily.
So many gardens to visit at Chanticleer warrant another trip, perhaps an overnight.
The group went on to terrain at Styers for a farm-to-table lunch, ice cream and shopping.
Some Notable Plants at Chanticleer
Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ charteuse locust
Verbena bonariensis purpletop vervain
Aechmea blanchetiana yellow bromeliad
Phormium ‘Platt's Black’ black New Zealand flax
Cotinus coggygria smokebush
Dichondra argentea) 'Silver Falls'
Agave attenuata and Agave 'Sharkskin'
Orlaya grandiflora, or White Lace Flower
Cordyline australis 'Red Star'
Milk thistle Silybum marianum
Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’
Ananas comosus ‘Cayenne
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’
Arundo donax ‘Variegata’
Phormium tenax `Atropurpureum
Stop 1: Fordhook Farm (Burpee), Doylestown
Friends of Orange County Arboretum (NY) boarded the garden tour bus this summer to first visit Fordhook Farm, the home of W. Atlee Burpee and the birthplace of the Burpee Company. Since 1888, this historic farm has been a world-renowned plant development facility and remains in the forefront of plant trialing and research.
Sharon Kaszan led a guided tour around the gardens and research fields. The gardens include: sun and shade annual/perennial gardens intermixed with sculpture, mixed shrub/grass/perennial borders, streamside garden, raised-bed trials potager. The group went gaga over the trials gardens in particular and also the Happiness Garden with sculptures that George Ball, owner of Burpee, enjoys.
All felt quite privileged to visit Fordhook Farm, home of Burpee, this summer. Not open to the public, Fordhook was open for our tour only.
We went to Doylestown for lunch on our own. This historic Bucks County seat is crammed with enjoyment from the buildings and to quality and variety of restaurants and cafes.
Stop 2: Hortulus Farm & Nursery
We spend two hours with a guided tour by Hortulus Farm’s celebrated owners: Jack Staub, prolific garden writer, author and lecturer, and Renny Reynolds, founder of Park Avenue floral and event design firm, Renny & Reed and entertaining, gardening, and lifestyle expert. Originally a William Penn land grant, it now displays 30 acres of 20 formal gardens, perennial shrub borders, pond with follies, fountain gardens, a “splendidly reconceived kitchen garden” and dramatic vistas among 18th- and 19th-century barns, mansion and outbuildings.
Starting at an open field with grand rows of boxwood, crepe myrtle and hydrangea behind long beds of peonies destined for New York City florist businesses, then down through an alleeʹ of trees including river birch underplanted with pachysandra, hosta and ferns.
Through woodland gardens the visitors walked, upslope and down, seeing unusual trees and shrubs and stunning design of gardens within 30 acres. Mediterranean gardens, wildflower meadows, formal boxwood gardens, pine alleeʹ and so much more.
Afterward, all enjoyed shopping in the greenhouses and nursery to take home a piece of Hortulus Farm. This is another garden destined for another trip.
Is your club or organization interested in visiting these gardens? Contact Mary: firstname.lastname@example.org
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published August 06, 2013