Friday, December 22, 2023

Chanticleer Friday: The Asian Woods

Today we're back at Chanticleer, well, actually every Friday we're back at Chanticleer until we see it all! I'm taking a deep dive into photos from my September visit to this garden. After many years of dreaming I was finally there in September as part of the Garden Fling in the Philadelphia area. 

This post has us walking thru the Asian Woods, where what appears to be a Japanese teahouse is actually a structure disguising the restrooms.

"Once a site neglected because of poison ivy, honeysuckle, and euonymus, Asian Woods presents the east Asian flora in the style of a woodland garden. Its peak time arguably is spring when epimediums, fairybells, jack-in-the-pulpits, and primroses burst into bloom with the new shoots of hostas, irises, and Chinese gingers. Non-invasive honeysuckles and climbing hydrangeas are encouraged to scale the tree trunks, and bamboos help screen the road from public view. A modest moss garden is a nod to the Japanese tradition. In summer, Asian Woods is a shady refuge that highlights the pleasure of gardening in cool conditions." (source)

The structure provided more than just a bathroom break, there was another charming floating floral arrangement.

And a couple containers of pyrrosia, you know I was happy to see my favorite fern genus in this garden.

As I walked past this potted plant and gave it a passing glance I thought how happy the bamboo looked. 

It wasn't until I took a seat on nearby bench that I noticed a very un-bamboo-like growth. Ha! 

Turns out it's not bamboo, but rather Ceratozamia hildae, which is commonly known as the bamboo cycad.

It's native to parts of Mexico, but certainly fits in to the Asian Woods stylistically.

This part of the garden felt so very different from the other areas I'd already explored. Maybe because many of the plants are ones I grow in my garden and see growing in my friend's gardens. It felt very homey. I also rarely visit Asian gardens when traveling. We have two great examples right here in Portland, Lan Su, our Chinese Garden, and the Portland Japanese Garden.

Paeonia obovata

Syneilesis aconitifolia

So much green!

Oh! What's that...

If you've followed my Chanticleer posts from the beginning you might remember that I visited this garden twice during my time in Philadelphia. I spent an entire day here on my own, and then returned with the Fling group for a few hours. I knew this garden had all sorts of things to discover and I wanted to be able to walk through it slowly and soak them all up. This split bamboo fort is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to not miss.

It was kind of child-sized, but since I'm a little "height challenged" I was able to enjoy it.

Here's one of the plant list boxes scattered throughout the garden. There are no labels stuck in the ground or hanging from plants, but these lists are very handy!

Daphniphyllum macropodum. 

Another bamboo structure.

Or two...

I neglected to take a photo of this sit spot from the outside looking in, but I took plenty once I was sitting down and looking around.

Another cryptomeria.

Acer henryi

Those long drooping seed/fruit clusters were stunning.

The bamboo bridge.

So called because of those uprights that look like bamboo canes.

Dryopteris crassirhizoma (I think).

With this photo I think I've technically wandered into the Pond Garden, which will be next week's post, but c'est la vie. Boundaries are fluid.

Maybe it's because of my time working for an architecture firm, or due to my interest in landscape architecture and site plans, but I was shocked at how fake this photo looks. It's like a bad rendering with a new bridge plopped down in an existing garden. Do you see it that way too?

A very real (yet unidentified) plant...

And an only slightly less fake looking photo to wrap up this weeks Chanticleer Friday post.

Where we've been, where we are, and where we've yet to go...
My previous posts on Chanticleer:

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  1. Much of Chanticleer is too over the top for me, but t this section is perfect. And it is nice to see plants I grow like P. obvata which seeds beautifully around my garden, Syneilesis and the Crassirhizoma. Love the ginger under the Syneilesis; unfortunately it did not last in my garden. Such a beautiful ground cover.

    1. The ginger and the syneilesis is such a great combo, I meant to look up the name of the ginger so thanks for the reminder!

  2. Jeanne DeBenedetti KeyesDecember 22, 2023

    Gorgeous! Love that Tea House bathroom. Very interesting bamboo "tree forts". Something to do with all of my bamboo canes! I like that bamboo bridge. You may be right about the bridge you shared. It looks like Teak? Maybe it just needs some large foliage plants to grow around it?

    1. And maybe a little weathering and age, it was so perfectly new!

  3. I find Asian garden aesthetics very appealing, like what you captured in the panoramic photo of the bamboo bridge (#28). The new bridge, although very appealing, may simply be too new: after few years out in the elements it would hopefully acquire enough patina to fit more harmoniously in the garden.
    The potted pyrrosia reminded me that I intended to divide mine. I have just the right pot for it too... all that's missing is courage :-D

    1. I think you're right, the bridge does have that shine of NEW that just can't blend into an existing space well. You can do it! I've divided a couple pyrrosia and they take to it well.

  4. I've never heard of a bamboo cycad. No parallel evolution as far as I can see but the visual similarities are interesting. I love that Acer henryi, another plant I've never seen before. As to the floating floral arrangements, I think I need to change things up and try that if I can find an appropriate "vase."

    1. Oh! I would love to see some floating flower arrangements with all the material you have to work with.

  5. Yes, what a magical place, indeed. The walkways, the bridges, and the structures were fabulous along with the plants. I must go back in the other seasons, too. Great coverage, Loree.

    1. Spring at Chanticleer must be amazing...

  6. A lovely place to take a break, relax and soak it all in. Case in point, sitting and enjoying allowed you to see the bamboo fort. I didn't really appreciate Japanese gardens when I first started gardening as they weren't flamboyant enough but now I appreciate their subtlies and their ability to create a peaceful contemplative and reflective space.

  7. The unidentified 'real' plant in the penultimate photograph might be Napaea dioica (Glade Mallow, a midwestern native perennial).

    1. Ah yes! Thank you... that definitely looks right.


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