Ever wanted to just disappear into a secret garden? Consider Chanticleer, in Wayne, Pennsylvania. "It's music, it's ballet, it's cinema, the garden as an art form," writes Washington Post garden critic Adrian Higgins.
Chanticleer is part of the old Main Line ring of estates around Philadelphia. Right across the street is the former home of Helen Hope Montgomery Scott, the heiress portrayed by Katherine Hepburn in Philadelphia Story.
Chanticleer holds a sacred magic and many people have walked these acres tapping into its healing power since it opened in 1993. Nestled on 50 acres, Chanticleer is a place of solitude, where one can reflect on the memories of loved ones lost too soon, and a place of joy, like witnessing a child noticing a flower for the first time. When we are healing, we look for experiences that will help us transform pain into something productive, something manageable. Gardens and the natural world aid in this transformation.
Wandering through Chanticleer offers the opportunity to reflect. Pausing to take in the garden from different angles. Looking up to see leaves against a blue-sky backdrop. Sitting back and tuning in with all your senses: feeling the breeze on your skin, smelling a fragrance that reminds you of your grandparent, hearing a hawk’s cry overhead. All senses are engaged in the garden. Sometimes it takes a while to clear the mind enough to experience a garden in this way, but the healing potential that comes from this practice is tangible.
Read more about Chanticleer in our current edition.
Above: The Orchard comes into bloom with glory of the snow (Chionodoxa forbesii ‘Blue Giant’) and daffodils (Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’).
Photo by Chris Fehlhaber.