Monday, December 29, 2014

A cuppa that's tall and tropical

The Teacup garden at Chanticleer is a bold change-up from previous years, which is a nice thing to ponder. How fun to have the money, time and talent to do something completely different every season! This summer it's a tropical theme in purple, white, silver and silvery green, with the "cuppa" ringed by banana trees. Sounds like a jumble, which it certainly would be if I tried it, but this is really beautiful.

A cuppa that's tall and tropical

The Teacup garden at Chanticleer is a bold change-up from previous years, which is a nice thing to ponder. How fun to have the money, time and talent to do something completely different every season! This summer it's a tropical theme in purple, white, silver and silvery green, with the "cuppa" ringed by banana trees. Sounds like a jumble, which it certainly would be if I tried it, but this is really beautiful.

The height (no idea) and number of trees (20, I think) was surprising, which is something this garden does regularly and well. I have to say, though, just about every time I visit I'm wanting to know what I'm looking at. A plant list inside a box is just too much work. I know, this is a pleasure garden and nothing - by design - is labelled, but when I go to a pleasure garden it's usually because I want an escape, my brain is fried, I'm exhausted.

Everything needs to be very easy, and that's certainly true about the pleasure part of Chanticleer. I come away with ideas, and that's easy, too. Figuring out what stuff is ... not so easy.

Yesterday I asked an employee watering hydrangeas by the big house what the plants on either side of her were. She seemed annoyed to be interrupted. She didn't know anyway, and referred me to the plant list. Got the impression she'd had this happen a few times before.

So next time, I'm gonna get me a plant list first thing. That's easy enough, I guess.

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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