Dream Drives: Storybook Stroll at Chanticleer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s a taste of everything at Chanticleer in Wayne, Delaware County, a home turned into a publicly-accessible garden.

Chanticleer in Wayne, Delaware County was once a summer home for Philadelphia’s wealthy Rosengarten family.

“The son of the family took over the property. Eventually, when he died in 1990, he left it to be a public garden,” said Bill Thomas, executive director of Chanticleer.

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Bill oversees the 35 acres and more than a dozen carefully cultivated sections, each with a different theme.

The Ruin Garden is “a structure that was built to be a garden structure, built to look like a house that fell into ruins,” Bill said. That garden flows into the Gravel Garden.

The Pond Garden highlights a pool that was made in the 1970s. Through mid-August, the lotuses will be blooming.

Visitor Marcia Leithauser came with her three children. Her toddler “loves the pond with the koi.”

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“I like the fish, too,” her son said.

Bill said a great blue heron visits the pond on a regular basis. “We have so many fish in here that we’re happy to have the great blue heron enjoy some of them,” Bill said.

Tess Kuracina is the assistant seasonal horticulturalist in charge of the Teacup Garden, which greets you when you come to Chanticleer.

A teacup fountain in the center of the garden “has been an heirloom and artifact of the Rosengarten family,” Tess said. The garden “is so formal, and it’s a lot of containers.”

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“I can understand why people make it a point to come in here and check this out,” Meisha said.

The Vegetable Garden is “pristine and productive,” Tess said. Not only does the staff eat from the garden here, but some of the food is donated.

“The vegetable gardener, he donates to a women’s shelter in Ardmore once a week,” Tess said.

There is staff-made furniture throughout the garden. “We saw those big stone ones, and we said, ‘Wow, those are really cool,'” Meisha said. “And you said they’re actually really comfortable, too!”

“They are,” Bill said. “You can sit on them and feel like Fred Flintstone.”

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The one-mile path can be walked in about 20 minutes, but Bill encourages visitors to make a lot of stops along the way. “We hope you spend one hour, two hours in here,” Bill said.

“There’s always things blooming. There’s always amazing foliage. It’s just a great way to spend the day,” Tess said.

Chanticleer is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm through October 29, 2017. Fridays in summer through Labor Day, the grounds stay open until 8:00 pm. Admission is $10 for ages 13 and up. There are discounts available.

Chanticleer is at 786 Church Road, Wayne, PA 19087-4713. For directions, go here.

For a garden guide, go here.

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