I’ve been to Chanticleer gardens many times since first moving to the area to study landscape architecture almost 15 years ago. The organization is known for excelling as a display garden, with incredibly managed and curated outdoor rooms and spaces that truly transcends our imaginations and senses in terms of what can be accomplished when using plants and built objects. Each space is curated by a designated staff gardener or horticulturist, and they receive a handsome budget to experiment with plant matter, found objects, built elements, texture, light, and exotic plant combinations. They are always pushing the envelope on what can be grown in this climate, using emerging or latest cultivars and plant varieties, or borrowing aesthetics from other cultures that are new to the area.
After all, its part of America’s Garden Captial, and I would say that Chanticleer is the premier public display garden that maintains the scale of a domestic estate while celebrating plants of all kinds: natives, exotic, grassess, flowers, trees, shrubs, and annuals. Many of the spaces are very intensively managed, and the garden leverages this fact to support many educational and learning opportunities for those in the horticulture field. This approach to horticulture became fashionable in the Victorian era, most notably in European estates with ostentatious panting beds and knot gardens. But luckily the many “back to nature movements” have given us gardeners context to balance these styles as evidenced with Chanticleer.
Now, on my last visit I recorded some audio commentary of a few features that I was drawn to on this particular visit. They are:
- Chanticleer’s Elevated ADA walkway designed by Jonathan Alderson Landscape Architecture. What makes it special and why is it successful?
- The end of summer stunner called Angelica Gigas. The spectacular Korean Angelica really caught my attention as a nice filler plant during a down period of flowering in the garden, as well as cohesive plant for its ability to grow in many situations.