Watery Hues at Chanticleer
I'm sure you've heard of the renowned white garden at Sissinghurst. Even if you've never seen it in person there are countless images online depicting its quiet elegance. Does the idea of a monochromatic color scheme intrigue you but you're nervous to try it?
- Are you afraid it will lack interest?
- You're not sure which color to focus on?
- You'd like to add just a hint of contrast but don't know how or with what?
This may be just the inspiration you need!
I managed to squeeze in a short trip to Chanticleer Garden in Wayne, PA a week or so ago. I had been photographing the last few gardens for my new book Deer Resistant Design (Timber Press, 2019) and realized I was within striking distance of this magical garden that had completely captivated me when I visited last fall.
I arrived a little later than ideal for photography but was still able to find a few spots with soft light, including the gravel terrace adjacent to the formal pool, which was planted in a deliciously cooling palette of soft aqua tones, accented by the finely dissected blue-black foliage of Black Lace elderberry and a few light confetti sprinkles of coral-orange.
The watery hues of the pool house roof and pool itself inspired the monochromatic theme which in true Chanticleer style was not bound by limitations of hardiness or longevity so much as drama, texture, form and scale of foliage, enhanced by a few select flowers. In other words it is my sort of garden!
Focal points are essential in any design, but are especially important where the color palette is restrained. Here a pair of weathered stone roosters stand apart from the exuberant plantings, while the bold succulent foliage of a stunning blue century plant (Agave americana) forms a counterpoint to a froth of finer textures.
While these roosters stand sentry to the stepped path that leads to the pool, the borders they guard are not planted in a strictly symmetrical fashion. Rather the emphasis is on repetition of the color palette and textures.
Adjacent to a major pathway, this display also has to hold up to closer inspection by strolling visitors. I was fascinated by the plant selection the designers had thought to use and marveled at their inventiveness. I only wish I could visit again in mid-summer to see how this color story will continue to unfold.
Has this got you thinking? Remember you can design a single container, a feature border or an entire garden room in this way. It can be designed using hardy plants, annuals or a blend of the two.
Look around your garden for color cues. Perhaps your red front door? Or a specimen tree with silver leaves? Or a cobalt blue birdbath? Where the pool house roof guided the choice at Chanticleer any of those features could be a color springboard for your unique design.
Be sure to visit Chanticleer if you can! It's now open until the end of October.
Live too far away? Then treat yourself to this enticing book, The Art of Chanticleer photographed by award-winning photographer Rob Cardillo.
All so, so lovely! I love this type of plantings. My gardens are a mix of everything and every color. This is really peaceful and relaxing. Thanks for sharing! And I do hope to visit Chanticleer someday!
So glad you enjoyed the post Jeanne. You'll fall in love with Chanticleer for sure!
My husband and I visited Chanticleer in May (along with several other famous gardens in the area). I had been looking forward to this trip for a long time and am happy to say that it exceeded my expectations! I hope you will be posting more articles on this amazing “pleasure garden."
Glad you got to visit Pam. Keep in touch – I'm sure I'll post some more!