More Chanticleer magic — the Tea Cup Garden

I really had no sense of the vastness that awaited me in all three of the gardens that my friend, Pam, of Digging, and I visited on our recent trip to the Brandywine Valley area of Pennsylvania.

Upon entering the third garden, Chanticleer, on the third morning of our trip, the sun was already high in the sky and the day was heating up. The entrance area is rather small – a covered outdoor area on a patio with a nice selection of planters and a desk where the staff politely welcomed us. We started where most people start, entering through the small Kitchen Courtyard Garden just beyond the entrance.

The initial courtyard is filled with creative planters as well as fresh flowers.

Each day, the gardeners scatter fresh-cut flowers in vases and containers like this throughout the garden. These float gently on top of the water in this pot.

Filled with an array of tempting tropicals, the next garden, beyond the ornate gate, is the Tea Cup Garden. It is said to change significantly from year to year or even season to season, as most of its plants don’t overwinter in the this cold-climate garden. Come on in, the weather’s fine.

Taken by this delicate display, Pam captures it with her camera.

Now, my turn!

I love the reflection of the light in the sky against the glass table top, adding another dimension to this vignette.

The namesake of this garden, a tea cup-like planter, provides the focal point of the inner courtyard filled with tropical plants.

Groupings of pots add interest around the perimeter of the courtyard on the right.

The left side of the courtyard includes a raised bed garden, filled with alliums, punctuated by two stunning ceramic planters with silver ponyfoot and bromeliads.

This marks only the beginning of the garden’s vast display of bromeliads. To add to the level of detail in both garden design and identification, Chanticleer’s website includes a meticulously created plant list for each garden. Which, by the way, changes with the seasons and the years. I assumed it would just be an alphabetical list, which would have made IDing plants complicated. Then I clicked on the link and found this
— amazing.

With a small collection of bromeliads, I can’t wait to get all my posts done and then take a good look at the plant list to start making my own wish list!

This delicate peach Brugmansia, ‘Charles Grimaldi,’ rests in a clever container, contrasting beautifully with the rich, eggplant colors of Begonia ‘sparks will fly’ and Neoregelia ‘Elwood.’
So, finally I get to the alliums.

My love affair with alliums began in 2009 at the site of the second Garden Bloggers Fling in Chicago. You can see my post about that tour here

I tried twice to grow them in Austin, but our weather heated up much too quickly for them (at least in the years I tried to grow them) and the foliage was fried to a crisp before they reached 1/2 of their mature height. I even planted varieties specifically known to grow in Zone 9, but it just wasn’t meant to be. So, they hold a special interest for me on garden tours to more temperate climates. I’ll have to settle for enjoying the onion blooms in my veggie garden.

Their kaleidoscope structure is even more intriguing up close and personal.

Naturally, Pam and I had to take a selfie with them, though they sort of look like they’re coming out of the back of our heads!

There were so many more beautiful plants and vignettes in the Tea Cup Garden — these are just the highlights. Next, we’ll venture further into the garden. If you missed my first two posts about our fabulous garden trip, you can find them here – Chanticleer’s Ruin Garden
, and here – Longwood Conservatory Garden post #1
(also filled with bromeliads).

I haven’t had time to post all week, but it feels great to “stroll” through my garden photos and share my memories with you. I’ll have another one soon!

High tea and Hosta happiness…

What a delight.

After a busy morning of garden oggling and riding to and fro on the bus while at Buffa10 in July, we got a wonderful break.

We were treated to high tea in bone china cups, home made scones with clotted cream and jam, and a delightful visit with gardener and author Mike Shadrack and Kathy Guest Shadrack at their home in the woods outside Buffalo.

Mike is co-author of The New Encyclopedia of Hostas, and several other books about hostas. He signed books for those of us who bought them and entertained us with some tales about his life and garden.

This garden was an oasis. Though it was a hot day, the setting there was serene and cool as we were surrounded by tall trees, green ferns and hostas. A sparkling creek trickled below the wooden deck and even flowed under the Frank Lloyd Wright-style house.

Like ladies of leisure (and gents), we sat in the dappled shade and enjoyed our tea and scones, feeling pampered and special on this lovely afternoon. Pam of Digging, Melissa of Houston Garden Girl and I had a great time chatting over tea.

The deck overlooking the creek far below was the perfect spot for relaxing and comparing notes from the gardens of the day.

One of Mike’s specialties is miniature hostas — they look so cool and inviting — I can’t help but wonder if I might not be able to grown them in Texas and just bring them inside in the heat of summer!
The views from all around the property were spectacular.
And more miniature hostas scattered all about. What a fun collection this is.
And the Alliums were staring at me everywhere I turned. You may remember I was smitten with them at last year’s Spring Fling in Chicago. After we returned, I tried for the second time to grow them in my garden, but they fried when the sun really came out. Even these spent blooms were calling me in the garden.
It was hard to know where to look – the beautiful tall canopy of lush trees or the little magical secret gardens that adorned the bases.
I posted many blooms from this garden, particularly day lilies, in my previous post about the flowers that struck me most in our adventures.
And yet more little vignettes of hostas to delight the eyes.
No stone left unturned in this garden – there were little green surprises everywhere.

I jokingly suggested to Jim, one of our Buffalo hosts, that we could spend the rest of the day and the evening under those glorious trees in the shade, and just order in pizza! He laughed, but I could see that he, too, liked the idea of spending more time in this glorious garden.

Hot blooms in the hot town tonigt…

I know it won’t be summer for quite some time yet, but for those of us living in Central Texas, it’s already here.

Luckily for us, the plants in my garden are happy to see it arrive, and are showing off some of their hot blooms in honor of our hot weather.

Bog sage

This is the passalong I got from The Gardener of Good and Evil‘ — a Wisconsin ditch lily!

My first Plumeria blooms of the season, with a wonderful, heady lemon scent.

This amazing Allium is not a bulb I planted (THEY all died, or rather, they are still dying a slow and hot ugly death!), but this is an onion in my garden whose bloom I didn’t remove!
Need a plant ID on this one. This is one of only a handful of plants left from the original owner. I love it, but have no idea what it is. It’s a BIG shrub – I prune it to 3×3.

A little knockout rose bloom ready to knock our socks off with color.
A little mix of Damianita and trailing Lantana.

The Pitcher Sage I bought LAST spring at the Wildflower Center sale finally grew and bloomed this spring.
This is the Buddleia that I pruned into a small tree shape this week. It looks so much better with a haircut, but it was hard to cut off some of those stunning hot purple blooms.
Everyone should have a little Parika Yarrow – and I got some more today from Robin at GettingGrounded to add into the mix!

Up close and personal with Senorita Rosalita Cleome.

And this delicate little beauty is a Blue Curls, given to me at the last swap by Bob at Gardening at Draco. I cannot get over how sweet this little bloom is, yet the plant is growing fast and hearty as it can be.

It’s so nice when the summer bloomers are young and happy and not yet stressed!

Bits and pieces…

The bats came out for Halloween! My son had one in his apartment hallway for a day, Manu Ginobli of the San Antonio Spurs swatted one off the basketball court and had to get rabies shots (ouch!) and these guys have been having a big party in my garden. I just love the little faces of the bat-face Cuphea.

(The deer occasionally find them and nibble them off, but not very often, so I keep one around.)
This little empty spot between the potato vine and the snap dragons is gently holding 10 Gladiator Alliums that will make their debut next Spring. (At least they’d better!)
And this Acapulco Pink and Salmon Agastache was waving at me from across the walkway as I planted the bulbs. It was so pretty, I had to take a picture.

By | 2016-04-14T02:42:38+00:00 November 3rd, 2009|agastache, alliums, Blog, cuphea, Sharing Nature's Garden|0 Comments

The fling has flung…

We’ve had a wonderful five days at the 2nd Annual Garden Bloggers Spring Fling, held this year in Chicago.

It was such a treat to see friends and make new friends and step into a whirlwind of garden-mania.

The Chicago bloggers put on a great show for us and treated us to the best their gardens and their city has to offer and I want to extend my thanks to them for a fabulous fling.

Our first outing was a visit to the world-renown Chicago Botanic Garden.

We strolled through so many different gardens.

We ooohed and aaaahed over the design, the plants, and the color combinations.

And we speculated about whether or not we could grow that plant, that combination, in our gardens.

After she’d heard enough of my speculating, Pam, of Digging, finally said:

“Diana — don’t think for even a minute that you can grow any of this in your garden!”


I knew that!

But I needed an intervention. After seeing all the beautiful gardens, I just wanted to rush home and try to replicate some of that creativity and color in my garden.

There were a handful of things that we can grown in Austin in my zone 9 garden. We were shocked to find Texas Bluebonnets among the plants in this bright spring planter.
And there were several Agaves growing throughout the garden, which surprised me as well.

Cindy, My Corner of Katy, Layanee, Ledge and Gardens, and Pam, Digging, and I spent a really long time in front of this poppy field – taken by the interesting mix of colors and the papery-softness of the poppies.
Alliums have held a mysterious allure for me for some time. I even tried to plant them in my garden, but the one that actually came up OUT of the ground fried to a crisp at about 2-3 inches tall. So much for Alliums in Austin!

I certainly got my fill of them in Chicago — they were everywhere. and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them — big ones, little ones, purple ones, lavender ones, white ones — they were all there, just waiting for me to join the party.
One of my favorites at the Botanic Garden was the Japanese Garden. It was so peaceful to stroll through the meticulously cared-for garden with its Zen style and simplicity.
And there were Irises everywhere, too. I never tire of looking at them. These were stunning in the Japanese garden. And even though my camera is showing them as more blue than they actually were, they are still pretty.
The species Tulips were so cheery.
As were the Ranunculas (above) and the Toadworts (below).

Enough posting for now, my bed is calling after a long travel day back home.

(Where the first place I went was a walk around the gardens to see what I could see and where I found everything happy and healthy thanks to my DH who lovingly took care of my plants while I flitted off to the Fling!)

I’ll post more tomorrow…check back for gardens galore, ala Chicago.