A visit to Chanticleer: Asian Woods & Stream Garden

During our tour of Chanticleer in early July, the mistiness of early afternoon gave way to bright sunshine as we dipped into the Asian Woods garden below the main house. Tall trees, their lower trunks wrapped in wire trellises for climbing vines, create a serene wood and lead to a winding stream, its banks sheltered by the umbrella-sized leaves of butterburr (Petasites hybridus). A secret sitting area is hidden around a bend.

Mystery. Seclusion. Tranquility.

“While most of the plants in this garden are native to Korea, Japan, and China, the design style is of an American woodland garden,” explains Chanticleer’s website.

The naturalistic design was a pleasant contrast to the formality of the House Garden we’d just seen.

Tucked here and there among the trees, unique seating areas offer plenty of opportunities to just sit and admire the view.

Here’s another painted chair, this time with a bamboo design that echoes the bamboo grove behind it.

Even the restrooms, built to resemble a Japanese garden house, are lovely.

In this garden and the nearby Stream Garden, what really caught my eye were the path designs, like this one—a starburst made of stone that makes you stop to look around in a small glade.

I think this “paved” area is constructed from pieces of wood laid on edge. I love the effect.

Here’s another path that leads you inexorably onward with a railroad effect.

A closer look

And my favorite—a spiral that expands outward to touch a stone bench tucked among the ferns.

Between the Asian Woods and the Pond Garden, you emerge from the woodland into a sunny space edged with orange daylilies.

They dance under leggy, sheltering bamboo—a unique combination to my eyes.

Later today—the Pond Garden. Click here for a look at Chanticleer’s hydrangeas and the House Garden.

All material © 2006-2008 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

19 Responses

  1. Sylvia (England) says:

    Pam thank you for sharing this lovely garden, you have taken some inspiring pictures. I have read other blogs about Chanticleer and each is different, it must be a very special place. If I ever visited the US this is a must see.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful garden.

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

    I’m glad you are enjoying the tour, Sylvia. It’s an incredible garden. But if you do ever come to the U.S. I do hope you’ll pay a visit to Texas too. ;-) —Pam

  2. What a treat, Pam, to visit Chanticleer with you.

    My pleasure, Donna. —Pam

  3. Lori says:

    Oh, I am loving your tour of Chanticleer! The different paving materials are all so creative, and like sculpture in their own right. And the perspective of the first picture with the huge-leafed plants made me think “Fairy garden! With fairy-sized people!” Thank you so much for sharing your visit with us. :)

    These giant leaves did create a magical feeling. There were many such surprising and whimsical features in the garden. More to come in the following posts. —Pam

  4. Gail says:

    Pam, What a fantastic garden….the Asian Woodland is beautiful. The entire garden is so well designed and thought out. Didn’t you want to run under the giant leaves and sit in the pond! The texture is everywhere and wonderful.

    I wanted to just sit and look at so many parts of this garden, but to do so would have taken a much longer visit than we had time for. I plan to go back again one day and spend the whole day here. —Pam

  5. […] the path with me tomorrow for pics from the Asian Woods and Pond Garden. Click here for images of the Teacup and Tennis Court […]

  6. Frances says:

    Hi Pam, each garden is lovely, so well designed. So the path material is long narrow stones in some places and wood set on edge in others? A real artist was at work here, and more painted chairs too, I love the bamboo leaves. What would an Asian garden be without bamboo? Those huge leaves would make great leaf castings, but would need chicken wire for reinforcement.

    Hi, Frances. Yes, these paths are just a small sampling of the many path materials we saw throughout the garden. We also found stepping-stone paths, grass paths, and solid paving. But these narrow, shady paths were my favorites. —Pam

  7. Julie says:

    Fantastic photo of the young people venturing below the big leaves, Pam. Is that some kind of ginger?

    Thanks, Julie. I don’t know what kind of plant that is. To be honest, a lot of these lush eastern plants were completely foreign to me, and while each garden had a plant list you could peruse, there were no labels on the plants themselves. I decided to just let it all wash over me rather than try to ID plants during our limited visit. Maybe someone reading this will know and ID it for us. —Pam

  8. Jenny says:

    I have a “thing” for hardscape and love the pathways in the Japanese gardens. They are really set off by the planting or is it the other way round. I particularly like the slate used on end. It is something you see a good deal of in Europe.

    I have a thing for hardscaping too, Jenny, especially intimately scaled paths and seating areas. I didn’t know that the slate on end is common in Europe. I’d never seen it used before. —Pam

  9. Just beautiful. Such a feeling of tranquillity the place has and that is very evident from your excellent pictures. Chanticleer is definitely on my list of places to visit.

    Thanks, Dorothy. I’m glad you’re enjoying the virtual tour. —Pam

  10. […] Here’s an overlook of the Pond Garden. At the middle left, you’ll see the orange daylilies at the edge of the woods, which I showed up close in my earlier post. […]

  11. Eric Bronson says:

    Wow, I feel like I go to tour the garden myself! You really did a good job giving us a photo tour. Thanks for sharing!!!

    It’s my pleasure, Eric. I love sharing gardens that I’ve visited. Thanks for your comment. —Pam

  12. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What a wonderful garden. This is my favorite so far. I guess because I have to garden with a lot of shade like that. I just love the pathways with the skinny stone used as pavers. The starburst is superb.

    Isn’t it? I’m thinking about how I can work something like that into my garden. —Pam

  13. Wow, those paths are amazing! It adds so much movement to the garden. The long path almost looks like a school of fish. I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to do this in my own garden! Thank you for sharing this.

    You’re welcome! I always come home with a head full of ideas after a visit to a garden as creative as this one. I’m glad you’ve found an idea here too. —Pam

  14. Wow… what a beautiful review. I would like to have a bathroom that looks like a teahouse! And that spiral is amazing, too.

    I wonder if some of those stones set on edge could actually be roofing tiles? I know that sometimes you see old roofing tiles set on edge like that… is there a way to find that out, maybe?

    Could be, Kim. I should have examined them by touch to see if I could determine the material. —Pam

  15. What a spectacular garden, Pam – if I ever ended up in PA for some reason it would certainly be worth a trip! I wonder if the big leafed plant is one of the Gunneras?


    I was counting on you for the plant IDs, Annie. ;-) It looks a bit like that giant plant that Eliz up in Buffalo was wanting for her garden. —Pam

  16. Randy says:

    Those are the most incredible photos. What an enchanting garden it must be! Do you know what the large leaf plants are at the stream?

    Hi, Randy. I don’t know, but Annie (above) speculated that it may be a gunnera. —Pam

  17. That looks like a great garden to just sit and think in, or follow one of those paths to see where it goes. I like how they are made.

    So did I, Carol. And yes, this is a wonderful garden to just sit and think in, or just observe. —Pam

  18. […] path branches off from the arbor, leading to a secluded potting area behind the house. I saw similar paths at Chanticleer this summer, and I’d intended on making one for my former garden. I’ll have to think […]

  19. […] Another path branched off from the arbor, leading to a secluded potting area behind the house. I’ve admired similar paths at Chanticleer Garden. […]