As craftsmen, listeners and partners, we're always making comparisons. Which material works best for this installation? Which features accelerate our client’s initial vision? What haven’t we considered? Where have I seen an example that shows what I’m trying to explain?
For me personally, comparing the options and looking for innovation is a quest that redirects with each new challenge. Our News is a warehouse of this steady research, and my thoughts along the way.
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A Hidden Gem
Even if you aren’t an avid gardener, If you live in the Philadelphia area you probably have visited Longwood Gardens several times. Someone’s in from out of town and you need to entertain….the obligatory trip to Longwood is sure to entertain and impress.
This Thursday my friends at Wallace Landscape Associates introduced Erin, my wife, and I (along with a few of their clients and colleagues) to a hidden gem, Chanticleer Gardens. Despite have driven by the beautifully gated entrance on Church Road in Wayne it hadn’t registered that something to be discovered lie inside. A side effect of always being focused on my destination I suppose….
Chanticleer began it’s life as way for the Rosengarten family (think Merck) to escape the heat of the big city and enjoy a cool retreat in the country. It is hard to picture it now, 100 years later as our employees drive in from the Lancaster County farmlands to work in Delaware County, that this was once a rural retreat. Construction began on the home in 1913 and a great deal of improvements continued into the “irrationally exuberant 20’s”, I guess some things don’t change much.
In the interest of full disclosure, gardening really isn’t my thing, Erin loves to dig in the dirt around our house for hours, and I’m willing… to let her work. But I thoroughly enjoy listening to people that care passionately about their vocation discuss what they are seeing when they look at the highest levels of their craft. Laura Miller a landscape Architect with Wallace and a principle with the firm was kind enough to explain what the gardener’s were trying to accomplish with the different plant combinations. I tried to keep my comments to a minimum such as “What species is that tree?” the response I would get is “uhh….that’s an Oak tree George,” me- “Oh….right”
The garden tour was enjoyable and I thoroughly enjoyed learning a more about the work that follows our projects after we have completed construction. Highlights of the tour for me were the reflecting “table” in a ruin and the whimsical stone lawn furniture. According to Jeff Dolan, an architect with Period Architecture, the stone was surprisingly “comfortable.”
The reflecting table was impressive when you consider that over its 15’ length and 5’ width it would have to be placed perfectly level with the only tolerance for error being the surface tension of the water. Very Cool!