Driving along the lush, rolling hills and pastures of Jarrettsville Pike, it’s almost easy to pass by the entrance of Ladew Gardens. What the nondescript entry hides, however, is a fairy tale garden unlike any in Maryland. Described by the Garden Club of America as “the most outstanding topiary garden in America,” these 22 acres of pure bliss are a unique treasure.
Initially drawn to the area for fox hunting, native New Yorker Henry Ladew relocated to this scenic locale in northern Baltimore County in 1930, purchasing the 200+ acre Pleasant Valley Farm. With the help of local farmers, Ladew transformed a section of his land previously used for crops into this incredible setting. Eager for all to share in his extraordinary achievement, Ladew Topiary Gardens opened to the public in 1971 and currently hosts approximately 80 annual events and programs.
A beautiful scenic drive leads up to the Manor House and its surrounding barn and studio. The breathtaking view from the back of the estate home beckons you out into the grounds. Meticulously manicured topiary hedges form private outdoor rooms as well as a croquet court and lead down to the Great Bowl.
A brick walled Rose Garden feels lifted directly from the works of Frances Hodgson Burnett and pulls wanderers further in, enjoying the Garden of Eden, Water Lily Garden, tranquil Yellow Garden with its meandering brook, and the White Garden. From there visitors can relax with a cup of tea at the Tivoli Tea House and marvel at the nearby acclaimed Sculpture Garden. The Iris Garden guides one down to a wooded nature walk. A final stop at the Butterfly House is the perfect end to a magical day.
Looking forward to another incredible season beginning April 1, 2018!