After years of talking about it, my neighbor Ray and I finally made the 100-mile trip to Chanticleer yesterday. The garden as a whole is wildly creative, as I knew it would be based on everything that I'd read about it, but I kept coming back to how generous it was, how open and playful the whole collection of gardens is. I could blog about it for a week (and I might) but I wouldn't be able to capture the endless sense of surprise and satisfaction of visiting.
I was looking forward to the Ruin Garden, and wasn't disappointed. A purpose-built stone house in 'ruins', it's moody and mysterious and fun all at once. Above is the side view as we walked around to the entry.
The walk leading up to the entry. Oak saplings of various heights are in the front bed of the patio, lending a feeling of desolation and abandon.
The main feature of the ruin is this massive water feature, part pool, part table. It must be 18-20 feet long.
The mantelpiece over the fireplace.
Detail of the mantelpiece.
One of the rooms. The plants are pruned and tended to bring a feeling of abandon, of nature regaining control. Large woody material is planted too close to the walls, as if self-seeded there.
This group of ilex felt like the family of spirits that inhabits the space.
Fireplaces and pockets in the walls are busting with plants.
The attention to detail, and the humor, is wonderful.
Conveyer belt of succulents.
A more formal planting on what would be the back patio of the house.
Weeping Norway spruces haunt the exterior like large dark spirits.
Haunted souls float in the fountain.
Creepy and satisfying.