Thanks for the many good wishes as I marked my fourth blogging anniversary this week with thoughts on garden regeneration. I promise not to relive my entire blog history, but coincidentally tonight I was reminded of my second pbmGarden blog post, in which I listed some favorite public gardens.
I came across that article because I decided to share some photographs from a long-ago day spent in one of those special gardens. During a weekend stay with my youngest sister back in late May 2008, she arranged for us to drive from her then home south of Baltimore, through the scenic roads in beautiful horse country, to visit Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton, Maryland.
Ladew is the legacy of Harvey S. Ladew (1887-1976), who envisioned and created a magnificent garden on part of his 250-acre property. Later through his efforts to preserve his masterpiece and provide for its longterm maintenance, Ladew Topiary Gardens opened to the public in 1971.
Upon our arrival first we toured the Manor House. (This view is actually approaching the back of the house as we neared the end of our day at Ladew.)
The home was quite interesting, but Ladew really became a favorite place of mine once we began exploring its 22 acres of gardens, comprised of 15 themed garden rooms.
We began our self-guided tour by heading up the stone path through the Woodland Garden, just as others visitors were returning.
We soon entered the Victorian Garden with it colorful walls of rhododendron. Inside were elaborately carved concrete table and chairs.
Moving on to the Croquet Court, the first views of the Siberian irises took my breath away.
There was also a Pink Garden, a Rose Garden and then a Garden of Eden with apple trees. This room featured a statue of Adam and Eve, with Adam already holding an apple behind his back as Eve offers one to him. I laughed at the quotation on the entrance steps that read
If you would be happy for a week take a wife;
if you would be happy for a month kill your pig
but if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden.
Ancient Chinese proverb
Across from Adam and Eve, the circular Keyhole Garden is entered through a keyhole shape carved into the yew hedge.
Ladew has beautiful vistas in every direction visible from within the garden rooms.
Next is a Water Lily Garden, followed by perhaps my favorite of all, the Yellow Garden. It has gotten late so I will let you look around the Yellow Garden now and save a few other highlights (including topiaries) for another time. Hope you have enjoyed this garden so far.