Friday, December 14, 2012

Chansonette Flowers & Art and Chadds Ford Greenhouses-a hidden gem for any plant lover

The Brandywine Valley is filled with amazing resources for any type of plant lover.  One such lesser known gem is Chadds Ford Greenhouses and the space they share with Chansonette Flowers & Art.  Chansonette is the floral design enterprise of the extremely talented artist Anne Eder. For many years Chansonette was housed in the borough of Kennett Square.  Anne's stamp on Kennett is still very evident in the enchanting decorations and floral displays she has created for the Library, Talula's Table and more.  It was Anne's close relationship with Talula's that first brought me to the wondrous greenhouse space known as Chadds Ford Greenhouses, as they paired up to hosted a Cheese Tasting and Orchid sale in this magical space.  Chansonette currently occupies a corner of one of the large greenhouses at Chadds Ford Greenhouses. 
Chansonette display within Chadds Ford Greenhouses
Words cannot do justice to this breathtaking horticultural display.  I could spend hours exploring the ever changing menagerie of plants, pottery, greenhouse rooms, props and ephemera.  It is as if you stepped into a story book magic garden or gotten the keys to the staff-only greenhouses at Longwood. The monolithic glass greenhouses are filled with all kinds of diverse floral treasures. Enormous cactus and agave provide a sense of antiquity and permanence; the perfect backdrop to a variety of smaller plant specimens all available for purchase.  While Chansonette's corner highlights succulents, orchards, air plants and some of the stranger displays the plant world has to offer; the rest the greenhouses feature a more traditional array of seasonally appropriate plants.  I encourage you to click through the facebook album from a recent visit to the greenhouses to get a better picture of the true diversity of the plants that are available from this garden center. 
If you still have holiday decorating to do or want to give the gift of plants, I cannot recommend enough a visit to this oasis just off of rt. 1 between Chadds Ford and Painters Crossing.  The vibrant displays of color along with the richly fragrant humid air is a great respite from the winter doldrums-like a trip to the tropics without leaving the area.  The selection of seasonal favorites like cyclamen, Christmas cactus or amaryllis all have the potential for a last minute fairly inexpensive holiday hostess gift. 

Christmas Cactus
If you are in need of a gift for the person who has everything perhaps an air plant ( Tillandsias ) would work.  They are very popular right now. I have to admit that I am addicted to these low maintenance little creatures.  Chansonette has a really nice selection available, including some beautiful Tillandsia "arrangements and ornaments" available on their Etsy Site.  Although online shopping is convenient I also strongly encourage you to treat yourself to a visit to this paradise in our backyard.  Your deserve it.  Happy plant buying. 

Tillandsias on the windowsill

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