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'An Escape From Our Everyday Lives': An Oasis Awaits At The Magnificent Gardens On The Main Line

WAYNE, Pa. (CBS) – From shopping spots to music and the arts, there are plenty of ways to stay entertained around the Main Line. But if you're looking to relax and take in some natural beauty, there are some hidden gems in the area.

Tucked away, on 35 acres in Wayne, awaits an oasis. It's surrounded by lush green and pops of color.

It's Chanticleer, a pleasure garden.

"When you come, we're hoping you relax a bit," executive director Bill Thomas said. "I think of it as an escape from our everyday lives."

It certainly was back in 1913 when Chanticleer served as the summer home for the Rosengarten family.

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But since opening to the public in the early 1990s, what was a blank canvas of lawn and trees has transformed.

"It's really just a great place to walk around and enjoy," Thomas said.

The winding paths take visitors by the old tennis court, which is now used for its clay-rich soil.

The terrace garden, complete with a pool, and what's called the ruin – a garden that sits in the footprint of a former home on the grounds.

gardnes pool
(Credit: CBS3)

"The house was taken down and the ruin was made to look like the house fell in to disrepair," Thomas said. "I think you'll be inspired by what you see here and get some ideas to take home."

Just three miles away in Devon, a retreat to the country at Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens.

"There was no garden here before," Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens executive director Harold Sweetman said. "It was just a natural Pennsylvania woodland and we've developed it for public access. We're naturalistic, we're sustainable, we're ecological. That's why we look and feel like nature is doing all the work."

Jenkins is known for its world-class collection of rhododendrons.

Visitors will also find 500 species of wildflowers.

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Not to mention the many trees that create nature's most perfect picture frame.

"We have magnificent views out over the great valley to Valley Forge National Historic Park," Sweetman said.

Jenkins is a garden for all seasons too, open every single day of the year.

To the youngest public garden on the Main Line, Stoneleigh in Villanova opened just last year.

(Credit: CBS3)

But people have been peeking in for much longer than that.

"They're astounded," Stoneleigh director Ethan Kauffman said. "I think so many people have driven by this place for years, decades even. And when they finally get to see the splendor in person, they're just blown away."

The once private estate dates back to the 1870s, but visitors only need to look up to see its rich history.

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"One of my favorite aspects of Stoneleigh is that we have so many amazing trees," Kauffman said. "We have really gorgeous, majestic trees that are over 100 years old."

Stoneleigh has also added 20,000 plants to the grounds over the past two years.

It's proof that there is always something new sprouting along the Main Line.

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