Is it the well-considered vignettes, or the plant combinations that continue to surprise? My first visit 15 years ago was with our entire office. At that time, many of the current gardens had not been developed. It wasn't until a visit several years later that I was enthralled.
A visit to
is a recharge to my plant design brain - I see both challenges and provocations to my design eye. When plants I know are arranged with some I don't know I often just smile - and learn some new varieties.
The free mixing of natives, non-natives, and tender exotics, to the greater good of studies in forms and textures, places this garden in a different category than most.
I arrange to visit once or twice a year. This way I can watch different 'experiments' evolve. At this point, a trip to Chanticleer is like visiting a friend: Fun to check in - and to catch up on what is new.
Jay Graham, FASLA