Flowers and rich foliage at Chanticleer’s Pond Garden

Is any garden feature more alluring to people than a body of water? I think not. As Diana and I emerged from Chanticleer‘s shady, green Asian Woods during our early June visit, the sunlit and flowery Pond Garden greeted us (the pond was hidden from view at first), set off by a verdant lawn leading up to Chanticleer House in the distance. I had to explore!

To orient you, let’s jump across the pond to the uphill side so we can look down on the whole scene. The pond garden looks small from here, but it actually emcompasses a series of small ponds surrounded by coarse, flowering plants and bright and dark foliage combos.

Zooming in for a closer look, let’s admire white waterlilies…

…burgundy-and-gold spuria iris…

…and the sunshine-yellow spires of Carolina lupine (Thermopsis villosa).

The bees like them too.

Friendly koi

White daisies against rusty red Japanese maple

While the pond garden was abloom with early summer flowers, it also showcased beautiful foliage combinations, especially with dramatic contrasts of gold and burgundy.

Like this groundcovering chartreuse bamboo (I think) and burgundy columnar tree.


One more

Really, there was gold enough to make King Midas happy.

Trollius chinensis ‘Golden Queen’

Primrose in the foreground

Primrose in sunset hues

Diana stopped to photograph them too.

Coming back around to where I entered the garden, I admired the long view again, with golden foliage and pink phlox in the foreground.

The broadly striped lawn leads up toward the Ruin Garden — and someone’s pointing the way — but I’m not ready to show you that just yet.

A short way upslope from the pond, a stone-pillared arbor offers a shady spot to look out over the ponds. Four throne-like wooden chairs evoke Cair Paravel.

Queen Diana the Adventurous tries one out.

Moving on…

…is that the Stone Table? No, just a stone bench for a couple enjoying the view…

…which is quite nice.

Clematis ‘Huldine’ (if I’ve ID’d it correctly) was shining like moonlight on water.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of Chanticleer’s Pond Garden!

Up Next: Chanticleer’s Tennis Court Garden of gold and white. For a look back at the Elevated Walkway’s meadow garden and the green Asian Woods Garden, click here.

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14 Responses

  1. I adore ponds, the plants around and in them. I really like this burgundy and yellow look. I have some of that in my garden too.

  2. Diana Studer says:

    I have planted a Prunus nigra. I love that effect of a deep dark pool of foliage among the ‘same old same old’ green.
    A copper beech would be wonderful!!

  3. Kris P says:

    I really need to see this place in person someday but, in the meantime, I appreciate seeing it through the eye of your camera.

  4. Nell says:

    Do you know what the plant is with blue-flowered spires in the ‘Moving on’ image? It looks a lot like Physostegia / obedietnt plant, but I only know that in white or pink, and it’s more of a late-summer bloomer than a June focal point. That’s a lovely, cooling vignette, whatever it is.

    The pond garden was less appealing than most other parts of the garden when I visited Chanticleer on a too-rushed trip 12 years ago — formless, billowy, and the planting seemed a little random. But it coheres nicely now (though gold/maroon foliage combos aren’t my favorite thing, they’re fun to visit.)

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I don’t know it, Nell. I tried to ID as many of the key plants as I could from Chanticleer’s extensive plant lists, but there were many I just couldn’t find. —Pam

  5. hb says:

    Such an alien climate–grass that’s green not brown!–but in a good way. I wonder what that burgundy columnar tree is–nice.

    Must have been a really fun visit.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      It was, HB. It’s so lush and green there, but you’ll feel a welcome sense of familiarity in the Gravel Garden, which is coming up soon. —Pam

  6. Nell says:

    hb, I believe the fastigiate red-leaved trees are cultivars of copper beech: Fagus sylvatica ‘Riversii’, ‘Red Obelisk’, and ‘Fastigiata’. Info from [plant lists from the other gardens also available at the site.]

    The plants are listed by bed/area within each garden section, and Pam’s picture made it possible to ID this as the Kidney Bed, underplanted with gold dwarf bamboo (Pleiblastus something ‘Aureus’) — which I only know because I’ve been re-reading The Art of Gardening book about Chanticleer.

    Can’t tell from the image where those cooling blue and whitish flower spires are planted, so they’re a lot harder to find possibilities for.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Thanks for the additional IDs, Nell, especially the gold dwarf bamboo, which I remembered reading about somewhere — no doubt The Art of Gardening! The blue and white flower spikes were right in front of the arbor that overlooks the pond. —Pam

      • Nell says:

        Thanks for the additional location info! Thus equipped, in the arbor section of the Pond Garden plant list, I found a good candidate: Penstemon calycosus (smooth beardtongue). It’s variable in color, from blue-lavender to pink to cool whitish.

        The Chanticleer lists make you realize how intensively these areas are planted; there’s a ton of layering, which helps assure interest in every season for almost every section. Wow. (You _are_ going back every third Friday from now through October to document the changes for us, aren’t you? )