As Heard on The Daily Gardener Podcast:
Today's book recommendation: The Art of Gardening by R.William Thomas & The Chanticleer Gardeners
This lovely book came out in 2015, and the subtitle is Design Inspiration and Innovative Planting Techniques from Chanticleer.
Chanticleer is a 35-acre public garden outside of Philadelphia, and it is regarded as one of America's top gardens. Chanticleer has a staff of six gardeners, and each gardener is responsible for the design, planting, and maintenance of a section of the garden. Thus, this book was written by all of the different gardeners. As the garden's Executive Director likes to say, “Chanticleer is essentially a large demonstration garden. Our guests take away ideas on how to garden in their own home spaces.”
This is the perfect book for the off-season. It's a book that is loaded with beautiful photos and fantastic ideas that are great for planning next year's new landscaping projects. This is a beautiful book for browsing and dreaming - and would make a lovely gift for the holidays.
I love what the Executive Director R William Thomas says in the introduction about the value of walking through the garden. He wrote:
"[The son of the garden's founder, Adolf Rosengarten Junior, began each day with a walk around the garden accompanied by his corgi. He greeted the staff, encouraged them to work hard, grabbed a snack at the Apple house, and reviewed the property. I, too, begin each day with a walk around the garden with my corgi. It’s much more than a lovely stroll. It’s an inspection tour, a remembrance of what the property was, and most important, a meditation on what it can be.
I stop frequently looking both up close and into the distance. What does this part of the garden look like to a first-time guest? Is it as good as it can be? How will the area look in a month? In three months? A year? In a decade? Could this bed be better? Is it time to try something new? Should this path be moved? Is that tree going to block the view in 20 years? Would a tower draw guests up the Bulb Meadow, the hill above the Asian Woods? Can we illuminate steps to improve accessibility? Do all the garden areas hold together as one garden? I also pull a few weeds clear the spillways, prune an occasional branch, pick up the litter, and check the restrooms."
Great questions and a great practice to follow in our own gardens.
SI HORTUM IN HORTORUM PODCASTUM IN BIBLIOTEHCA HABES, NIHIL DEERIT.