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.
The croquet court area is lovely (well, the whole garden is amazing!) – the way the irises mirror the arborvitae hedge is really nifty 🙂
I agree Matt. The repetition and restraint is so beautiful in that area.
Oh yes, the yellow garden really is lovely! Do you know what plant was used for the yellow hedges? The irises are also wonderful. I shall look forward to seeing more of this garden Susie. Glad you decided to share it with us! 🙂
Glad you’re enjoying my reminiscence of Ladew. Yellow is not normally my favorite color but I was taken with this part of the garden. I checked the website and the hedge is referred to as golden privet. I’ll update the photo label.
Thanks Susie. I’ll take a look at their website too. 🙂
The croquet court is startling, I do not think I have ever seen planting like it. I can see why this garden is a favourite of yours too Susie, so much to see and admire and it looks so peaceful too. I’d like the Keyhole hedge at home and more space to put in a hidden garden.
Hi Julie. The curving arborvitae and Siberian Irises were a lovely effect and yes, the garden was wonderfully peaceful (though there were crowded areas too). Hope you get your secret garden one day!
Beautiful. I can imagine you could have spent more than one visit checking out all those gardens. I would have wanted a chair to just sit and gaze at those Siberian Iris plants. 🙂
Definitely! I’ll join you in front of the Siberian irises Judy. There’s never enough time to tour a garden like this except for the lucky locals.
What an amazing garden, so much to see and enjoy. Seeing Siberian irises planted in masse makes you realise that they should always be planted like that. Gorgeous.
Yes, amazing Chloris, and I’m sure I missed seeing so many things. The Siberian irises made a great impact.
A beautiful garden. Thank you for bringing it back. I love the Siberian irises…a favorite of mine and my Arranger.
Glad you enjoyed seeing Ladew John. Siberian irises are wonderful. Mine haven’t done well lately so I need to think about moving them.
Thanks for a sunny tour this cold January morning!
Glad you enjoyed the tour Bev. It really is a beautiful place to visit. Stay warm.
If I hadn’t read that these gardens were in Maryland I’d have sworn they were in England! The rhododendrons and purple iris are gorgeous.
Mr Ladew apparently visited England and was influenced by English gardens. If you have a chance to see this garden I feel sure you’d enjoy it.
I am just catching up so if I missed saying Happy Anniversary, sorry and congrats on 4 yrs of blogging. This is a garden I have never heard of and is really quite lovely. I especially love the irises in the Croquet Court.