Longwood or Chanticleer in August?

gillian_(z5 PA)June 24, 2006

My cousin who lives in Philly is getting married mid-August. Since I am already going to be in the area I thought it would be a good idea to add a trip to either Longwood or Chanticleer. I have been wanting to visit both for years but never seem to get it together to plan a trip. Do any of you from the Eastern part of PA (or who have been to both) have an opinion as to which is better to see that time of year?



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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

I have been to both, although I haven't been to Longwood in a long time and did finally get to Chanticleer a few years ago. I would say that Longwood is more formal (and also has a very large indoor conservatory that can be visited year-round to see things in bloom), whereas Chanticleer is much less formal and more whimisical (although Longwood has its whimsy too). Both have large outdoor garden areas (or "rooms"), with distinct themes, with Chanticleer's seeming to have more down-to-earth bedding choices and Longwood more estate-type plantings.

Longwood is about 10x the size of Chanticleer (325 acres vs 35 acres), so that might help deciding which to go to if you could only go to one. Also Longwood is more well known and is large enough that it has a restaurant and gift shop. It also costs more than Chanticleer ($14 except Tues. which is $10 vs $5.00). This is Longwood's Centennial so they do have special things going on this year.

Both places have similar growing conditions and have similar plants around, although obviously landscaped differently.

I don't know if I would pick one over the other personally (although I found Chanticleer less overwhelming). But if you check out their websites, that might help you decide. As a gut response to someone who might not get back over here any time soon if ever - go to Longwood, if anything due to the name recognition beyond this area and the fact that it is their centennial.

Chanticleer Garden
Longwood Gardens

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 2:23PM
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floragal(z5 PA)

My vote is for Chanticleer! I've visted public gardens all over the East Coast, and it's one I'm compelled to see again and again. I come home with new ideas for my garden each time I visit. Part of the reason for this is the amount of garden art at Chanticleer, and jenny is right, it isn't as overwhelming as Longwood (which I admit, I've only visited once). While Longwood was quite impressive,there wasn't alot that I could take away from there, idea wise.

I live 2 1/2 hours from Chanticleer, and since discovering it last year, have tried to go monthly just to see the changes. Each time I'm 'wowed' all over again.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 6:47PM
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Mike Larkin

it is worth it to take two days and see both. Would not want you to miss either !

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 9:17PM
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gillian_(z5 PA)

Thanks so much for the responses. I do appreciate knowing this is Longwood's Centennial, that news alone is making lean in that direction. I have heard a lot of great things about Chanticleer, I was thinking before I posted I might prefer to go there. I do wish I could do both but I doubt I can talk hubby into two days of garden visits. Of course if the guys decide to go play golf over the weekend...I might have a shot!

Thanks again for the responses!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 10:20PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I hope they do decide to go golfing! I think both are must sees when visiting the Philly area.

I've been to Longwood a few times and it's great for taking pictures and long strolls and for seeing swaths of color...... I think it would be a good spot to bring non gardeners, there's alot of the wow factor with the large fountains and large floral displays. Also like Jenny mentions it has a gift shop, restaurant, and one of the DuPont mansions to tour. You really need a full day there.

That said...... I love Chanticleer, it's a public garden with heart, soul and a sense of humour. A serious gardener can easily find a day's worth of interest.... a non gardener would find about two hour's worth of strolling and relaxing.
I love what they do with their tropical plantings and there are unusual plants tucked in everywhere. Like Floragal said it's a garden I would visit through the seasons again and again. I don't think I would say the same for Longwood.... I can look back on my pictures and that usually tides me over for a while.

Either way enjoy your visit!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 10:53PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

gillian - let's hope you can talk the guys into letting you do your own thing and you can do both! I have to say with respect to Chanticleer that having found combos like these, using peonies (1st pic) and TB irises (2nd pic), both using gold foliaged sedges, grasses, and even weigelas, impressed me quite a bit (this was what was blooming in May):

floragal mentioned garden art and here's a sample, along with some landscaped "ruins" :

What's cute is that there's an area that has a large stone bench carved like a sofa, along with a stone "easy chair" complete with a stone "remote control" to mimic a whimsical outdoor livingroom. It was too cute!

Hopefully this will whet your appetite to try to do both! :-D

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 7:04AM
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floragal(z5 PA)

Hey! That couch and chair are pretty darned comfy too! Especially on a hot August day. When we were there last August it was ninety degrees, and sitting on that cool stone was refreshing.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 8:54AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I'm up for it!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 12:54PM
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It would figure you'd come this way after I move overseas.

I loved Chanticleer. Longwood is huge, and while very impressive...a bit much to see in one day. You end up feeling like you have to rush through to see everything...but at the same time what you do see is wonderful.

Chanticleer...charming, much more intimate...invites you to slow down and take it all in...wonderful!

Wish I was around to crash your tour!


    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 11:05AM
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gillian_(z5 PA)

What?? Moving overseas...when? where? (well I guess I see the new "Denmark" next to your name) why? For how long? Details woman, details!!! Shoot..I wonder if I can squeeze in a visit before you go...that is if you are still in PA.
Sorry it took me a while to respond, I just got back from vacation where we didn't have computer access readily available.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 12:46PM
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