All good things have to come to an end, and so does our visit to Chanticleer, the glorious gardens of the former Adolph Rosengarten Sr. estate (his firm eventually became part of Merck Pharmaceuticals). In previous posts we entered the grounds, began touring, and came across a great sweep of lawn to a field of poppies bordered by pines.
To complete our visit we stroll into the Woodland Gardens, where shy bluebells hide:
Further along are Asian Gardens, lavish with wildflowers and native Asian plants. Several of the plantings are complete with streams, the “blood” of Japanese garden symbolism:
In one of these inviting watery places sprawled a visitor all at ease. A vintage Northampton postcard to the first viewer who can identify this visitor for us:
By all accounts Adolph Rosengarten Sr. had a lively sense of humor. He named his showplace Chanticleer after an estate in Thackeray’s novel The Newcomes, which was “mortgaged up to the very castle windows” but “still the show of the county.” He, or his son, or someone close to the family, decided that this showplace, like any proper 18th century property, would only be complete with a hermit and a ruin. And so, in 18th century style, one was provided. The Ruin was built that way, to look like a ruin, on the site of the home Adolph Sr. had built for Adolph Jr. It is a regular hermit’s hideaway, and we were lucky enough to glimpse the shy hermit himself:
There are many kinds of humor, some of which are black rather than sunny. In a corner of The Ruin is a dark stone trough filled with running water, and in the water are strange big stones. It wasn’t apparent what they were at first sight, so we wandered over to take a closer look:
Wow! Some escapes are more drastic than others. A rather permanent way of getting away from it all, I’d say. Other escapes, like the Playhouse, are simply whimsical, however odd:
How would you like to be a child, and grow up in this enchanted landscape as your own?