Tag Archives: Botanical garden

Wayne, PA: Chanticleer Garden, Always a Pleasure

Whether you’re a master gardener, a gardener wannabe, or kill every plant you bring home, Chanticleer Garden should be on your bucket list. Located in Wayne, PA, within 30 minutes of Philadelphia, Chanticleer is truly a pleasure garden. It’s easy to see why it’s a mainstay on lists of the 10 best public gardens in the U.S.

Lilium 'Casa Blanca' and hydrangeas frame the entrance to the Chanticleer House. Photo by Lisa Roper

Lilium ‘Casa Blanca’ and hydrangeas frame the entrance to the Chanticleer House. Photo by Lisa Roper

This beautiful setting was once a summer home of Christine and Adolph Rosengarten, Sr., who headed a Philadelphia pharmaceutical company that ultimately merged with Merck. Rosengarten was inspired to name the property “Chanticlere” after the estate in Thackeray’s 1855 novel “The Newcomes.” The idea is not to affix a label to all the plants or be a category, such as a Japanese garden or a native plant garden. Rather, visitors should feel like they are guests of the Rosengarten’s, and the friendly welcome staff invites you to feel free to sit and enjoy the views and stroll the lawn areas.
Here at Chanticleer, gardening is art in its purest form. The media runs the gamut from plants, trees, woodlands, stone, and metal and the tableau is ever changing, never boring. The 35-acre garden includes more than 5,000 taxa or types of plants recorded in the database, with many that are temporary not cataloged.
IMG_20170430_105846Enjoy a Teacup Garden and the Chanticleer Terrace with seasonal and tropical plants. Bell’s Woodland features plants of the eastern North American forest, with azaleas, foam flowers, and ferns, as well as wetland plants including skunk cabbages, rushes, and sedges. There’s also the Asian Woods, Water Garden, Stream Garden, Ruin Garden, and the Cut-Flower and Vegetable Garden, where a potager, enclosed by paling, contains a mix of vegetables grown for taste and ornament.
For a behind-the-garden-gate look at Chanticleer, “The Art of Gardening” by R. William Thomas, is a great read, with design inspiration and planting techniques from Chanticleer. The head gardener/executive director compares his role to that of the conductor of a chamber orchestra, where individual outstanding talent melds to produce, instead of an orchestra of voices, but an orchestra of plantings.
What is art? For the Chanticleer staff, “. . . art is an everyday experience. Out gardeners are artists in every sense of the word, and they work in all media from plants to paint, wood, stone, metal, and clay…They create a garden experience where scent, sight, color, sound, and texture combine to make three-dimensional works of art that continually grow and change.”
In addition to horticultural expertise, many of the talents of the Chanticleer staff are found throughout the garden — ranging from wood working, stone carving, painting, and metal working.


Chanticleer is a 35-acre public garden that’s open for admission from April through October; Wednesday–Sunday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm.; Friday evenings open until 8 pm.
For GPS use, please use the following address: 786 Church Road, Wayne, PA 19087-4713
Heads up: There’s limited parking (lot holds 120 cars and can fill on weekends and Friday evening) so arrive early and wander at will.
Note: There is no food available onsite, although picnicking is generally allowed in designated areas. Painting is allowed on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays during open hours.
Wheelchair accessible, although not available for rent at the garden. The main path is just under a mile, and is probably accessible for most. Parts of the garden may be steep, and it’s recommended that you discuss with the receptionist the best path for your tour. Wheelchairs are Check out the courses, workshops and symposiums.

Peace Garden at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Garden

Garden lovers and history buffs alike will enjoy a road trip searching out the War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Gardens. Dedicated at historic sites in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Gardens commemorate the more than two hundred years of peace and friendship between two countries that share the world’s longest undefended boarder.

The garden trail covers more than 600 miles including the United States and Canada, and blooms May through October. Gardens are located throughout the Greater Niagara, Finger Lakes, 1000 Islands/Seaway and Adirondack Coast regions of New York State.

Peace Garden at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Garden

Peace Garden at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Garden

Peace Garden at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Garden

Charlotte Genessee Lighthouse Peace Garden

Charlotte Genessee Lighthouse Peace Garden



For suggested itineraries, special events, nearby attractions, accommodations, and more, contact each  garden individually or call 1-800-622-2686 ext 23 (M-F 8 am – 4 pm EST)

About the International Peace Garden Foundation

Established in 1992, the nonprofit International Peace Garden Foundation is a nonprofit organization advocates global friendship through the creation of peace gardens and cultural programs around the world.

“Let the seeds of peace begin here and spread throughout the world.”

Creating Beautiful Gardens with Pantone’s Color of the Year

pantone-color-of-the-year-lee-eiseman-quoteRose Quartz and Serenity are hues that call out for a garden setting. The color experts at Pantone proclaimed the two as Colors of the Year for 2016.

This is the first year that Pantone introduced two colors, instead of merely naming a single color of the year. According to the announcement, “Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.” And, the colors are “a harmonious pairing of inviting shades that embody a mindset of tranquility and inner peace.”

What could be better for a garden?

“With the whole greater than its individual parts, joined together Serenity and Rose Quartz demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Blue is always a lovely way to tie a garden together and shades of Serenity sound perfect. And surely there are roses in the shade of RoseQuartz to be found. And don’t hydrangeas come to mind with both of these colors?

If you’re looking for more color clues, the New York Botanical Garden’s website has an excellent primer on color in the garden: Home Gardening Center Tip Sheet: Color Theory in the Garden.


Dallas Arboretum Pumpkin Festival

Dallas Arboretum's Autumn at the Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum ushers in fall with Autumn at the Arboretum, featuring the Texas-size Pumpkin Village. Constructed with more than 75,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash, it’s an impressive site. There’s also an Old Texas Town in the Pecan Grove, even Cinderella’s coach is created with pumpkins, and more than 150,000 fall-blooming flowers throughout the site. According to Fodor’s Travel, this event is rated one of America’s best pumpkin festivals.

September 19 – November 25, 2015.

The Dallas Arboretum features 66-acres of spectacular display gardens that showcase incredible seasonal flowers, ornamental shrubs, trees and plant collections in a serene setting on White Rock Lake. Over 100 varieties of trees, including signature plantings of magnolias, crape myrtles, lacebark elms, live oaks, and red cedar trees. The Arboretum features the only public display of the Huang Collection of azaleas outside of China.


Located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, TX, 75218

Open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day

For more Information please call 214-515-6500 or email  info@dallasarboretum.org

Ball Ground: Gibbs Gardens Daffodil Display


Ball Ground, GA

Gibbs Gardens Daffodil Display

February 18- April 15. Gibbs Gardens Daffodil Gardens is is the largest daffodil display in the country, with more than 20 million daffodil blossoms covering 50 acres of hillsides and valley. Did you think daffodils only come in yellow? There are 60 varieties with colors ranging from primrose-yellow, yellow, gold, saffron, orange, shades of yellow and orange, to blush pinks, creamy whites and white.

There’s more to see in this brilliant spring display, with forsythia and spirea plantings and cherry and flowering dogwood trees.

There are also more than a thousand azaleas, including hundreds of fragrant early-, mid- and late-blooming  native azaleas. During June, ancient Viscosum (Swamp Azalea) are in bloom.

Gibbs Gardens is a pleasure garden created by the Atlanta area landscape designer Jim Gibbs, founder of Gibbs Landscape Co., one of the largest landscaping firms in Atlanta.





And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.”

—William Wordsworth


Less than an hour’s drive from Atlanta, the gardens are open from February 28 through Dec. 15.

Located at 1987 Gibbs Drive, Ball Ground, GA 30107

Phone 770-893-1880 or 770-893-1881

Garden Traveler’s Calendar: Fall Garden Festivals & Flower Shows 2017

Enjoy the last flower shows and garden festivals of the year with autumn displays from some of the finest venues in the country. Fall is really prime planting time, the soil is warm and rainfall is usually plentiful, so head out for some inspiration!

Kennett Square, PA: Longwood Gardens Chrysanthemum Festival

October 21–November 19, 2017

1,000 bloom mum ondisplay

If you want to see what you can really do with chrysanthemums, Longwood’s horticulturists fashion more than 16,000 blooming chrysanthemums to resemble clouds, pagodas, spirals, fans, and more.

For those who really want a challenge, it’s hard to top the Thousand Bloom Mum. This is the mother of all mums – more than 1,000 blooms grown on a single plant and the largest in North America — on display during Longwood Garden’s Chrysanthemum Festival. The goal is to achieve as many perfectly placed blooms on a single plant as possible and it’s no wonder that this is the most intensive horticultural effort during the entire year at Longwood. The Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum, known in Japan as Ozukuri, is a specialized technique that originated in China before expanding to Japan several hundred years ago.

1001 Longwood Road

Kennett Square, PA 19348




Memphis: Dixon Gallery & Gardens

Memphis, TN

Arboretum CelebrationThe Dixon Gallery and Gardens has both art and gardens – what more do you need?

Founded in 1976 by Hugo and Margaret Dixon, the Dixon’s 17-acre is landscaped in the manner of an English park, with open vistas adjacent to smaller formal spaces, reflecting Dixon’s English heritage.

Highlights include the edible garden, three terraced outdoor rooms enclosed with clipped boxwood hedges, a cutting garden, and the newly renovated Woodland Gardens.

The highly-regarded permanent art collection began with the Dixon’s original assembly of works by French Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, an American Impressionist, as well as 18th and 19th century British portraits and landscapes. The museum now includes works by Degas, Renoir, Matisse, Mary Cassatt, Paul Gauguin, Monet, Cezanne, Georges Seurat, Raoul Dufy, and Chaim Soutine.

What’s Special

Located in the Mid-South in the original hardwood capital of the world, the Dixon is a certified Level IV (four) arboretum (which means there are more than 120 identified species of trees). This region has the perfect climate — rain, soil and climate – for hardwoods such as the native oaks, hickory, beech, and maples.


Closed Mondays

Closed New Year’s Day, July 4, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day

4339 Park Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38117

For more information, phone 901-761-5250

Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville Opens






May – October, 2015

A swallowtail butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan built with LEGOs.

A swallowtail butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan built with LEGOs.

Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks

September 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016

What more can you possibly build with LEGOs? If you love pollinators, how about a swallowtail butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan? There’s inspiration galore to be found when the Nature Connects LEGO exhibition comes to the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Gainesville, September 19, 2015  – January 3, 2016.

The traveling exhibition made entirely of LEGO bricks was designed and built by New York artist Sean Kenney. Gainesville’s new woodland garden will feature 14 nature-themed installations comprised of 27 individual sculptures.

What’s Special? A 6-foot-tall praying mantis (built with more than 42,000 LEGO bricks) and a swallowtail butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan. There are also duck and ducklings next to the pond, and a hummingbird with a trumpet flower (more than 31,500 bricks) off the Woodland Promenade.

Atlanta Botanical Garden’s new Gainesville location opens

The Atlanta Botanical Garden’s new Gainesville location is now open! Considered a second campus, it’s on land donated in 2002 by the late Charles Smithgall and his widow Lessie in 2002. Also known as the ‘Smithgall Woodland Legacy,’ there’s approximately 168 acres, with a five-acre garden as part of the first phase of development.

Located at 1911 Sweetbay Drive, Gainesville, Georgia 30501. The entrance is located on Cleveland Highway a 1/4 mile north of Limestone Parkway on what was formerly Lakehill Drive. Google Maps is the only accurate online map to find the new address. Do not rely on other GPS navigation.


Visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Gainesville  

The Gainesville Garden is located at 1911 Sweetbay Drive, Gainesville, 30501 and open from April through October, Tuesday – Sunday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and from November through March, Tuesday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $8 adults, $5 children 3-12, and free to children under 3 and Garden members. For information, visit www.atlantabg.org or call 404-888-4760.


Top 10 Public Gardens for Garden Travelers


Photo: Courtesy of Huntington Botanical Gardens

For Garden Travelers looking for some inspiration, as well as ideas for this spring’s plant shopping list, TripAdvisor.com just published its Top 10 Public Gardens in the U.S., in honor of April as National Garden Month.

While public gardens may not offer the intriguing personalities found in the private gardens on the garden tours that will be coming up this time of the year, wonderful gardens, such as the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, are a fabulous opportunity to see which plants do well in that part of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.


Photo: Courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden

Plus, you’ll see plants that are properly labeled, well-tended and healthy. And unlike the transplants in the garden center, it’s easier to evaluate a mature plant and decide if you want to invest the time (and your back) digging that hole in your own garden. Then there’s the added bonus of refreshments in a garden café usually readily available, along with plenty of strategically arranged artistic benches and fully-stocked gift shops.

So, bring your iPad or old-reliable pen and notebook and don’t miss an opportunity to take notes as you pay a visit to these gardens if you’re in the area. After all, if a plant is deemed worthy of a spot at Chanticleer, maybe it’s worth considering for your garden as well.

TripAdvisor’s ten best public gardens in the U.S. for 2013, based on reviews and opinions online:

  1. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens: Boothbay, Maine
  2. Longwood Gardens: Kenneth Square, Pennsylvania
  3. Missouri Botanical Garden: Saint Louis, Missouri
  4. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens: San Marino, California
  5. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum: Tucson, Arizona
  6. Brookgreen Gardens: Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
  7. Hillwood Museum & Gardens: Washington, D.C.
  8. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: Grand Rapids, Michigan
  9. Sarah P. Duke Gardens: Durham, North Carolina
  10. Chanticleer: Wayne, Pennsylvania


Salt Lake City: Red Butte Garden and Arboretum

Red Butte_rose garden

Salt Lake City, Utah

Red Butte Garden and Arboretum

Situated in the foothills of the Wasatch Range in Salt Lake City, Red Butte Garden is run by the University of Utah. More than 100 acres includes 2-3 miles of hiking trails. 18 acres of display gardens feature the Hemingway Four Seasons Garden, Dumke Floral Walk, Children’s Garden, Fragrance Garden, Rose Garden, Medicinal Garden, and the Orangerie.

The Garden also offers advice, tips, classes, and workshops for gardening in Utah.

What’s Special

By partnering with the Center for Plant Conservation and other organizations,the Red Butte Garden Conservation Program has been working to protect more than 250 of Utah’s rare plant species and native habitats throughout the Intermountain West.


Closed Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 24-Jan 1

300 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

(801)585-0556 [ info ]

Kaysville: Utah State University Botanical Center

Kaysville, Utah

Utah State Botanical Center

Utah State_Teaching Garden

The focus of the Utah State University Botanical Center is education and research on conservation and wise use of plant, water, and energy resources. The H. Paul and Mary Jane Rasmussen Teaching Garden (pictured) is a living example of example of color, texture and water conservation in the garden.

The Varga Arboretum is arranged according to the irrigation needs of its more than 300 trees and shrubs. There’s also an urban fishery, walking and biking trails, wetland areas that support birds and other wildlife, a volunteer-tended garden that provides thousands of pounds of fresh produce to local food banks, a seasonal farmers market and a full schedule of classes, workshops, educational field trips and other events.


920 S. 50 W.
Kaysville, UT 84037[ info ]

Dallas: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden


Dallas, Texas

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

The Dallas Arboretum features 66-acres of spectacular display gardens that showcase incredible seasonal flowers, ornamental shrubs, trees and plant collections in a serene setting on White Rock Lake. Over 100 varieties of trees, including signature plantings of magnolias, crape myrtles, lacebark elms, live oaks, and red cedar trees. The Arboretum features the only public display of the Huang Collection of azaleas outside of China.

What’s Special

The new Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden

The Garden, designed for preschool to middle school children, is really an 8 acre laboratory with 17 outdoor and indoor galleries, each designed around a key science theme. In each of these galleries there are many hands-on exhibits and real plants and animals that are examples of these science concepts. The children will be immersed in nature; walking on boardwalks through grass tunnels, exploring a full-acre wetlands, walking along the Texas Skywalk through the tree canopy and under a waterfall. They will explore a “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” world where everything is giant-sized, learn that their food comes from plants and the critical people-plant-animal connections- outdoors where nature is real.

The indoor plant lab and discovery center will enable children to discover even more using technology and the tools of science. They will visit a plant lab, a soil lab, a 3-D mini theater; solve a CSI mystery and much more.

The site of this amazing and innovative new garden is at the north end of the Arboretum on the hillside overlooking White Rock Lake. This precious lake-view will also encourage children to see the beauty of nature while unlocking its mysteries.


Located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, TX, 75218

Open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day

For more Information please call 214-515-6500 or email  info@dallasarboretum.org

[ info ]

Austin: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

LBJ Wildflower_wfc_demostration

Austin, Texas

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Lady Bird Johnson, our former first lady, was known for her tireless campaign to beautify America. In recognition of her efforts, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and on it was inscribed this tribute: “Her leadership transformed the American landscape and preserved its natural beauty as a national treasure.”

Part of her legacy is the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin that introduces visitors to the incredible beauty of native plants.

In 1982, Mrs. Johnson and actress Helen Hayes founded the National Wildflower Research Center to protect and preserve North America’s native plants and natural landscapes. Later renamed as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the 279-acre site is now an Organized Research Unit of the University of Texas at Austin dedicated to increasing the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.

The Center’s gardens display the native plants of the Central Texas Hill Country, South and West Texas, while the Plant Conservation Program protects the ecological heritage of Texas by conserving its rare and endangered flora. The Native Plant Information Network is a database of more than 7,200 native species available online.

The cultivated wildflower meadows and gardens feature 12 acres with about 650 species of native Texas plants. The center is one of only three gardens nationally emphasizing native plants.

Other points of interest: A rooftop rainwater harvesting system, aqueduct, and observation tower.

The Little House Courtyard is designed to help young children ages two to six learn about shapes, smells, textures and colors through nature. There’s also a wikiup (a framed hut used by nomadic Native Americans), tree stump stools and large pots in which children can dig for plastic insects and lizards.

What’s Special

Working gardens such as the Hill Country Stream, Homeowner Inspiration Gardens, and the Ann and O.J. Weber Butterfly Garden serve as models for homeowners as they restore their own property to a more natural state.


Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday

4801 La Crosse Ave.
Austin, Texas 78739
Phone: 512.232.0100

Photo credit: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

[ info ]

Memphis: Memphis Botanic Garden



Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Botanic Garden

If you think the most popular attraction in Memphis is Graceland, know that the Memphis Botanic Garden has its own legion of devoted fans.

Here are more than 96 acres, with 28 specialty gardens, among them: an extensive holly collection; a hosta trail designated as an American Hosta Society National Display Garden; a Cactus and Succulent Garden; Conifer Collection; Four Seasons Garden; Hydrangea Garden; Azalea Trail; Magnolia Trail; Rose and Iris Gardens.

The Daylily Circle is an official Display Garden by the American Hemerocallis Society and features approximately 500 different daylilies. The Herb Garden is one of the largest in the United States, with 750 species represeningt those which will do well in the Mid-South, or are being trialed.

One of the photographed locations in the Memphis is the Japanese Garden of Tranquility (Seijaku-En). Originally designed by Dr. P.T. Tono of Tokyo, the garden was redesigned in 1989 by garden designer, Dr. Koichi Kawana who  worked with local landscape architect J. Ritchie Smith. Dr. Kawana pioneered the design of traditional Japanese gardens that employ native plants.

Instead of merely reading a list of plants, the Butterfly Garden is a wonderful place to visit, and see firsthand which plants attract different species of butterflies in terms of color and nectar. Many of these plants found here are natives. Herbs such as parsley, fennel, and chives are food for butterfly larvae, while coneflowers, goldstrum daisies, asters, and joe pye weed are nectar sources.

The W.C. Paul Arboretum is a showcase of rare trees and is a must see for horticulturalists.

A wonderful tribute to honor the men and women in the Armed Forces of the United States, the Blue Star Memorial Marker and Garden is designed to represent the stars and stripes of the American flag.

What’s Special

My Big Backyard children’s garden is part horticultural display, part children’s museum, part playground and part imagination extraorinaire.

Memphis Botanic Garden

Memphis Botanic Garden

Among the many attractions, Seedling Circle is a special spot for toddlers while Nature Play features more challenging activities, like fort-building. Raindrop Stop comes on every 30 minutes, with one minute of clouds and thunder followed by two minutes of “rain”.  And in Wormville, young visitors Wiggle like a worm through larger-than-life worm tunnels.


Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Phone: (901)636-4100

Address: 750 Cherry Road Memphis, TN 38117

General info email: info@memphisbotanicgarden.com [ info ]

Wayne, Pennsylvania: Chanticleer Garden


Chanticleer is appropriately labeled “a pleasure garden” and it’s easy to see why it’s regularly included in lists of the 10 best public gardens in the U.S.

Originally a summer home that Christine and Adolph Rosengarten, Sr. used to escape Philadelphia’s heat, Rosengarten named his home “Chanticlere” after the estate in Thackeray’s 1855 novel “The Newcomes.”

The 35-acre garden includes a Teacup Garden and Chanticleer Terrace with seasonal and tropical plants. Bell’s Woodland features plants of the eastern North American forest, with azaleas, foam flowers, and ferns, as well as wetland plants including skunk cabbages, rushes, and sedges. There’s also the Asian Woods, Water Garden, Stream Garden, Ruin Garden, and the Cut-Flower and Vegetable Garden, where a potager, enclosed by paling, contains a mix of vegetables grown for taste and ornament.

Chanticleerveg1Photo: Cut flower and vegetable garden

In addition to horticultural expertise,

many of the talents of the Chanticleer staff are found throughout the garden — ranging from wood working, stone carving, painting, and metal working.

What’s Special

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This is a garden that’s a source of inspiration for any gardener – novice to master.


Open from April through October; Wednesday–Sunday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm, Fridays until 8.  Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. There is no food available, although picnicking is generally allowed in designated areas. Painting is allowed on Wednesdays.

Located at 5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52), Winterthur, DE 19735

For in-car GPS and online mapping services, use: 786 Church Road, Wayne, PA 19087-4713


Photo: The Teacup Garden planted with purple mustard, and apricot Diascia barbarae
[Flirtation™ Orange] = ‘Dala Oran’ and Heuchera ‘Caramel’. Photo by Lisa Roper

Website: Chanticleer Garden

Kennett Square: Longwood Gardens

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Longwood orchid_house_vertLongwood Gardens

Recently included in TripAdvisor’s top 10 U.S. public gardens, Longwood Gardens is considered by many as one of the great botanical gardens of the world. In the early 1900s, industrialist and conservationist Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954) decided to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber and bought the small farm near Kennett Square where he proceeded to create the heart of today’s Gardens. In 1946, the Gardens were turned over to a foundation set up by Mr. du Pont.

Today, Longwood Gardens encompasses 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains and an extraordinary 4.5 acre conservatory. Longwood has 20 outdoor gardens, among the highlights:

Caryopteris Allee, or border of bluebeard, plus a rose garden, lilacs, peonies, wisteria, and much more.

Chimes Tower and waterfall features a waterfall and the 61-foot-tall Chimes Tower and the  62-bell Longwood Carillon.

The Topiary Garden has more than 50 specimens in 20 different shapes – from cubes and spirals and birds to a table and chair. The topiaries are sheared every July and August. There’s also an analemmatic sundial constructed by Mr. du Pont in 1939 which is accurate to within two minutes.

Bee-aMazed Children’s Garden takes its inspiration by honeybees, featuring three major areas: the Honeycomb Maze, Flower Fountain, and Buzz Trail.

Peirce’s Park, where some of the trees estimated to be more than 200 years old, has one of the finest collections of trees in the nation. Noteworthy plants: Canada hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), cucumber magnolia (Magnolia acuminata), tulip-tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), London plane-tree (Platanus xacerifolia), littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata)

Longwood Conservatory.  Pierre du Pont built his first conservatory so he could have oranges in the winter. While it didn’t work out for him, today there are oranges in the conservatory, along with a twenty different types of bananas, from the 30-foot plantain to dwarf varieties that can be grown in a container. The original Conservatory was built in 1919, but has been expanded to 4.5 acres which shelters 5,500 types of plants and 20 indoor gardens.  FYI, according to Longwood: “A leisurely stroll through the display areas takes about 1½ hours and covers about ½ mile.”

The conservatory includes roses, bonsai,  ferns (Noteworthy plants: Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), rabbit’s-foot fern (Davallia fejeensis), staghorn fern (Platycerium), wooly tree fern (Dicksonia fibrosa), bird’s-nest fern (Asplenium nidus), maidenhair fern (Adiantum)). There’s also a display of plants found in Mediterranean-type climates.

Orchid House. The collection includes more than 3,200 different types of orchids with an estimated 200 to 500 plants at peak bloom at any one time. Noteworthy plants: cattleyas (Cattleya), lady-slippers (Paphiopedilum), pansy orchids (Miltonia), dendrobiums (Dendrobium), moth orchids (Phalaenopsis).

Longwood’s performance series. Longwood also has a tradition of showcasing top performing artists since du Pont first welcomed his good friend John Philip Sousa to the Conservatory Gardens in 1922.  More than 400 events are scheduled each year, from organ and carillon concerts to Open Air Theatre productions.

Longwood Gardens is located on Route 1 near Kennett Square, PA and is open daily. [ info ]

Durham: Sarah P Duke Gardens – Duke University

Duke Asiatic-Arboretum1-RF

Durham, North Carolina

Sarah P Duke Gardens – Duke University

Called “the crown jewel of Duke University,” as well as listed among the top 10 public gardens in the country by TripAdvisor, the Sarah P. Duke Gardens is adjacent to Duke University Medical Center.

The Duke Gardens covers 55 acres, with five miles of allees and walks, and includes:

  • The original Terraces and their immediate surroundings,
  • Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, with more than 900 species of native Southern wildflowers,
  • The 20-acre Culberson Asiatic Arboretum showcases plants of eastern Asia,
  • The Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden, teaches visitors about sustainable landscaping, healthy eating and organic best- practices, with  organic vegetable beds, an orchard, fruiting shrubs and vines, a chicken coop, a tobacco barn, and a rain garden.

Open daily from 8 a.m. to dusk. [ info ]

Photo: Bamboo and Japanese-style arched bridge in the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum. Photo by Rick Fisher.

Bronx: New York Botanical Garden


Bronx, New York

Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden

Aquatic Plants Gallery in the Conservatory, NYBG

Aquatic Plants Gallery in the Conservatory, NYBG

A National Historic Landmark, the New York Botanical Garden celebrates its 125th Anniversary in 2016.

In 1888, Columbia University Professor of Botany and Geology Dr. Nathaniel Lord Britton and his wife, Elizabeth Knight Britton, who had a keen interest in mosses, visited the London’s Royal Botanic Gardens. The Brittons were inspired to create “a public botanic garden of the highest class” on 250 acres of land in northernmost New York City.

NYBG is considered a classical botanical garden, in that plants are studied, exhibited and people of all ages are taught about plants and the environment. The institution operates one of the world’s largest plant research and conservation programs.

Today, the New York Botanical Garden supports more than one million living plants.  NYBG is considered The collections include dramatic rock outcroppings, wetlands, ponds, a cascading waterfall, and a 50-acre tract of the original forest that once covered New York City. Among the horticultural attractions are 48 gardens and plant collections, including the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, the Rock Garden, and the Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden, as well as outstanding collections of daylilies, orchids, hardy ferns, cherry and other flowering trees, and conifers. The Garden is also home to the nation’s largest Victorian glasshouse, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.


The NYBG is located at Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road. It is accessible by Metro-North Railroad or subway. The Garden is open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday, as well as certain federal holiday Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Winter hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., mid-January through February). For more information, please call 718.817.8700 or visit nybg.org

The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York 10458

Photo: Aquatic Plants Gallery in the Conservatory. Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Short Hills: Greenwood Gardens

Greenwood GardensShort Hills, New Jersey

Greenwood Gardens

Greenwood Gardens, a28-acre restoration project of The Garden Conservancy located less than an hour from New York City is situated on the western ridge of the Watchung Mountains.

The Gardens’ origins took root in the early 1900s when multi-millionaire Joseph P. Day bought the country estate and dubbed it “Pleasant Days.” The property was sold and eventually bought by in the 1950s by Peter P. Blanchard, Jr., a lawyer and gentleman farmer, and his wife Adelaide Childs Frick, a pediatrician. The family eventually worked with the Garden Conservancy to establish the property as a nonprofit truly great public garden.

Features: Sycamore Allée, terraced gardens with waterside iris and carrex blue zinger (Carex flacca); a Croquet Terrace, with boxwood hedges; the Garden of the Zodiac, where twelve pairs of classical columns are arranged in a demilune around a former reflecting pool.

There’s also a wildflower meadow, a teahouse with three-foot limestone chess pieces lining the horseshoe steps; ponds with swans and waterfowl and much more.


April 28 – October 29, 2013
Greenwood is open Sunday through Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Timed admission tickets must be purchased in advance.
Timed ticketing offers a scheduled arrival to enjoy historic Greenwood Gardens. Parking is limited and ticketing guarantees a parking space.

Tickets by phone, please call 866.811.4111.

Less than one hour from Manhattan. 274 Old Short Hills Rd, Short Hills, NJ 07078

Phone: 973-258-4026
Email: info@greenwoodgardens.org [ info ]

Ringwood: New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands

Ringwood, New Jersey

New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands

PA040077-ManorW2-300The New Jersey State Botanical Garden (commonly known as Skylands) has 96 acres of specialty gardens surrounded by 1000 acres of woodlands, along with a 44-room Tudor revival manor house.  Part of Ringwood State Park, New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, Department of Environmental Protection, the NJBG at Skylands is on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

The house and gardens were originally built in the 1920s by Clarence MacKenzie Lewis, a New York City stockbroker, civil engineer and horticulturalist, who hired noted architect John Russell Pope to design the manor house. Mr. Pope’s other works include the National Archives and the National Gallery of Art.


Perennial Border restored to theoriginal design; Crab Apple Allée that stretches a half mile; Hosta/Rhododendron Garden; Wildflower Garden; Lilac Garden with more than 100 varieties; Peony Garden; banks of azaleas and rhododendrons; a Magnolia Walk with sweet bay magnolias that are not usually found this far north.

New Jersey BG-moraine-200The Moraine Garden (moraines are deposits of rock left behind by melting glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age) features heather, sedums, gentians, dwarf conifers, and many low creeping plants.


Admission is always free; parking is $5 during high season

Open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily

Located in Ringwood State Park,

2 Morris Rd., Ringwood, NJ 07456

Phone 973-962-7527 or 973-962-9534 [ info ]