Friday, December 29, 2023

Chanticleer Friday: Pond Garden and Bell's Run Creek

This is my seventh Chanticleer Friday post. I'm going into such detail because each area that I've featured feels like it's own unique space, it's part of the amazing whole that is Chanticleer, yet different enough to be a stand alone garden. 

Also, visiting this garden was something I'd wanted to do for years, and I'm enjoying reliving it through editing my photos and writing about it. While I would visit again in a heartbeat, chances are slim that will happen. I live on the other side of the country, and visiting the Philadelphia area again is not terribly likely. With these posts I can pop back in whenever I want to!

So, as the title says, today's post is on the Pond Garden and the area around the Creek, the parts roughly within the orange ovals...

"Whether you enter from Asian Woods or the Gravel Garden, the Pond Garden is an ebullient expression of gardening in its naturalistic form. Plantings edge unapologetically over the pathways, blurring the line of sight at various points. Always a major attractant for wildlife, water is the hub of activity—from damsel flies hovering for prey, red-eared slider turtles sunbathing on rocks, and the occasional waterfowl alighting for a break from flying. Shrieks of joy can be heard from children and adults alike when the koi and other fish in the pond are given their afternoon feeding.

The large pond was constructed in the 1970s and remained unplanted to serve as a mirror for the trees that surrounded it. Additional smaller ponds later were built to connect the garden with the wisteria-laden Arbor. A pump located in a modest stone springhouse circulates water throughout the ponds. Plantings now have matured with the ponds whose edges are not visible. One key attraction are the lotuses (Nelumbo ‘Mrs. Perry D. Slocum’) whose voluptuous blooms and sculptural seedpods are a photographer’s delight." (source)

Yes, they are!

The variegated bamboo was lush and dense.

As were all the plantings around the ponds.

Those chunky stairs travel up through the Gravel Garden...

Which is a post for another day.

But there are some chunky stairs to climb in this week's post...

This area is referred to as the Arbor, and I absolutely loved it. It had a vibe that tied in nicely with the Ruin Garden—which we'll be visiting next week—but was definitely it's own thing.

Those chairs were much more comfortable than they look, although they could have benefited from a foot-stool.

Not that I was able to sit for long, there were so many interesting details to photograph...

Looking out towards the ponds...

I could not find mention of this agave on the plant lists for this part of the garden, but I'm pretty sure it's an Agave parryi some something.

I think the potted plant is a Dasylirion wheeleri.

And of course growing on the arbor is a wisteria, can you imagine how beautiful it must be when in bloom?

Wandering around the ponds again now...

Abelmoschus manihot, aka “Sweet Hibiscus”.

Paulownia tomentosa

The "modest stone springhouse" where the pump that circulates water through the ponds is located.

This beautiful water bowl garden has me dreaming of trying something like this in my garden, of course we all know that raccoons would destroy it in no time.

I kind of lost track of exactly where these next few photos were taken. Some where after leaving the springhouse and following along Bell's Run Creek, working my way up to the pathway that cuts over to the Ruin Garden.

Fertile fronds of Matteuccia struthiopteris (I think).

I don't know which I liked more, the planting pocket in the low wall, or the stone leaf in the creek.

A sit-spot I didn't take advantage of. There were several other visitors just to the side, out of frame, and they were rather loud.

This foliage belonged to a vine growing on a trellis, I think it might be Ipomoea quamoclit, aka cypress vine, or cardinal creeper.

This stunning flower appears to be another type of ipomoea, could it be Ipomoea purpurea, the common morning-glory?

I was unable to find it on the garden's online plant-lists.

This post ends with a carved leaf drinking fountain. Next week, the Ruin Garden!

Previous Chanticleer posts: Kick-off | Teacup Garden | Tennis Court Garden | House and Terrace Gardens | Elevated Walkway, Serpentine and Bulb Meadow | Asian Woods

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  1. I'd like to be filthy rich and live in a place like that! I adore the ponds, especially those with lily pads. I've thought of creating a water bowl garden myself but - raccoons...The subtle elements like the leaf in the planting pocket and the water fountain are wonderful in themselves.

    1. That water bowl was so striking, I'd dreamed of doing such a thing in the past but seeing that one re-ignited the idea. But of course, racoons take all the fun away.

  2. In all my visits, I've missed the stone leaf in the creek! Always something new to discover.

    1. For sure, and that's the best part right?

  3. I know that feeling one has when revisiting a cherished garden through photos... it a wholly immersive experience that can only be bettered by physically being there.
    The arbor is wonderful and I could definitely imagine it in full wisteria blooming goodness. I loved the simplicity of the 3 cement planters, their hard edge soften by the spilling grass.
    Multiple photos near the pond, (#10), show trees with frothy white canopy... do you remember what they were?

    1. I can't name that tree. I looked thru the photos that I didn't post thinking maybe there was a close-up but I found nothing. My neighbor has a Cornus controversa 'Variegata' that I can see over the fence and I dislike very much. In my mind that's what this tree was, which is of course ridiculous as it looks nothing like it...

  4. Such gorgeous photos and yes that is an annual morning glory. Each weekly post just reinforces how special this garden is and how much I really want to visit. In a webinar with Dan Benarcik, he mentioned there were many gardens to visit in the area all relatively close to each other so it would definitely make a trip worth while.

    1. Oh yes, you definitely should visit! Longwood is nearby and very worth a stop and there's the Morris Arboretum which is fantastic. I've got photos of both to share...

  5. Those chairs under the arbor look like they would be at home at a witch's house. That drinking fountain at the end is beautiful. It would make a nice planted water feature.

  6. So... I know you've battled raccoons in your tanks in the past. Would they really interfere with such a small water bowl pond? I love the idea, but we too have raccoons, but so far they don't bother my gardens...

    1. For some reason this won't let me log in with my google account. I do comment occasionally, my name is Whitney.

    2. I meant to answer the raccoon question but it got missed! The answer is yes. I've done small water bowls around the garden (floating flowers and leaves) and they find them and use the water to wash up, wash their food, or just play in. Sometimes I can get away with it early in the season, but they become even worse in August.

      As for the logging in with Google, I think it might have to do with which web browser you're using.


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