Clef Notes: Chanticleer Gardens

Location: Wayne, PA

When’s the last time you’ve stopped and smelled the metaphorical (or real) roses?  Have you taken some time to slow things down and appreciate your surroundings?  Head to a museum, local zoo, aquarium, or garden?  A few weeks ago, a friend and I had visited Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne, PA.  Not a typical outing that I would choose, mainly because I just don’t think of this type of attraction. But, honestly, it was such a fun time! The gardens were beautiful, the property wasn’t SO big that you were exhausted afterwards and the price was reasonable.

When we arrived we were greeted by an employee who was knowledgeable and passionate about the gardens.  She explained to us what which of the flowers or plants were in season and where to go to catch the best views. We were given a quick map tour and she sent us on our way through the property.  There are paved (or maybe it was loose stone?) pathways to guide you along the tour, however, you’re encouraged to step off the path to take advantage of different viewing areas of the gardens. There would be walkways of grass that were mowed a little shorter than the rest of the lawn to suggest, “Hey, check this out over here!”

The first garden we went through was a small courtyard of the main building of the property, immediately we were impressed. Snapping photos and trying to capture the beauty of the landscape that surrounded us. Throughout the tour there was an area of what seemed like the ruins of an old stone building, a cute little house with fun decorations inside, a beautiful stream that would eventually lead us to a small farm of homegrown produce and so much more!  With each turn that we took, we were in awe of the beauty of the nature that surrounded us.

I would say it took us about an hour and a half to walk through the entire garden.  The paved path was a mile long, but once you start to stray of the pavement and check out the side views, it’s easy to get distracted with the overwhelming sites of the property. There were also restrooms along the way, if needed.  Even the building that housed the restrooms looked like it was an attraction!

Throughout our walk through the garden I kept thinking to myself, “Why don’t I do this more often?”  It forced me to slow down and observe how stunning nature could be. Living in the city, I don’t get many opportunities to do that around home.  It was therapeutic, the time seemed to pass by a little slower as I appreciated all the details I could ingest.  Neither of us were in a hurry to get through the garden, in fact, we would take our time so we wouldn’t miss any of the grass pathways as we strolled through.  It wasn’t a very busy day for the garden, so we may have gotten lucky there, but it was quiet; the other visitors that were there seemed to respect that this is an area of quiet inflection and appreciation.

For so much of our lives we’re rushing from one place to another and days fly right past us.  This visit reminded me of how important it is to take some time to slow things down, learn something new and appreciate the beauty in life.  What’s your favorite way to slow things down?

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