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Hearth & Home August 2016

Parting Shot: Seats of Stone

Photos Courtesy: ©2016 Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

When first we saw them, we loved the images of a stone sofa and chair, so meticulously created, so fitting for a garden setting (that’s a stone remote control resting on the left arm of the sofa!). We found them while browsing the ’Net, and began a search for more information.

We tracked them to the blog site of Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, a retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Carolyn Walker started the company 34 years ago, in 1982; she has two acres of display gardens and two mail order businesses.

“I chose to specialize in shade plants,” she says, “because there are a lot of huge trees around here, but other nurseries didn’t offer very many shade plants.” Walker has developed a particular concentration on snowdrops, of which there are over 2,000 varieties, hellebores, miniature hostas (the Mouse Ears series) and regular hostas.

Fascinating stuff, and a very interesting woman, but could she tell us a bit about the wonderful stone sofa and chair and who created it?

“Well, first of all,” she said, “they are not mine. They are in a garden called ‘Chanticleer – A Pleasure Garden,’ about 10 minutes away from me. It is internationally famous and one of the best, if not the best, gardens in the United States. They have a lot of very creative garden furniture. I took pictures of every piece of garden furniture they have and then wrote a blog post on it.” (Go to Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, then search for “Chanticleer Part II: Garden Seating.”)

A call to Chanticleer got us the name of the stone sculptor responsible for the two items – Doug Randolph, a former employee. Let’s all enjoy the whimsical nature of his art, and admire the hard work involved in making it.

For more information contact: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, 325 South Roberts Road, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. Phone: (610) 525-4664 or visit

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