Home & Design

The verdant Terrace Gardens descend from the manor house toward azaleas in bloom. Photo: Helen Norman

Adam and Eve sculptures frolic in the Garden of Eden. Photo: Helen Norman

A portrait of the late Harvey S. Ladew in his beloved Oval Library.

A life-sized topiary hunt scene of horses and riders (pictured), hounds and foxes welcomes visitors to Ladew Topiary Gardens north of Baltimore. Photo: Eric Kvalsvik

Garden Oasis

Exotic outdoor rooms and topiaries galore await at this Baltimore gem

No landscape-lover’s tour of the Mid-Atlantic is complete without a visit to Ladew Topiary Gardens, 20 miles north of Baltimore. This 22-acre refuge boasts 15 garden rooms, an historic manor residence, a native butterfly house, a mile-long nature trail—and more than 100 topiaries, from swan hedges to pirate ships afloat in a koi pond.

Harvey S. Ladew, an avid fox-hunter and world traveler, purchased the farm estate in 1929. He renovated the property’s 18th-century residence with help from renowned interior designer Billy Baldwin. Later, taking inspiration from the gardens of Europe, he landscaped the grounds in opulent style.

Today, visitors can take in docent-led tours of the manor, which still displays Ladew’s collections of English antiques and equestrian-themed art. Outside, the Rose, White, Yellow, Sculpture and Iris gardens are among the outdoor rooms waiting to be explored on the manicured grounds.

Open from April 1 to October 31, Ladew hosts a number of special events this year. During the Garden Festival on May 7, an array of small trees, exotics, specialty containers, decorative garden furniture and architectural treasures goes on sale. The Butterfly House is open from July 5 through late September. The 2022 season also features workshops, walks, yoga and Nature Therapy wellness classes. ladewgardens.com



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