For years and years, a visit to Ladew Topiary Gardens north of Baltimore had been on my someday list, and I finally got there last month when Alison and I took our annual Garden Week trip. The tour of the historic house included a lovely oval library, named one of the 100 most beautiful rooms in America, and displayed the belongings of a wealthy man who loved foxhunting, traveling (he consulted T.E. Lawrence before a jaunt to the Middle East) and, of course, gardening.
Topiary is not my favorite art form, but in this setting - the soft, rolling hills of the Maryland hunt country - and on this scale, it's charming. Most famous is the portrayal of the fox hunt, complete with two portly hunters.
Among the many gardens are the sculpture garden
and the topiary gardens by the house. Here's a view looking back across the "Bowl," where they hold outdoor concerts on summer Sundays.
Equally famous are the garden windows - this one looking out onto the misty colors of flowering trees in the distance - and the swans swimming along the border of the Bowl.
Pretty tulip beds - the white ones must be species, but which ones?
The yellow, orange and apricot tulips in the yellow garden framed by golden evergreens were very effective.
And the Adam and Eve statues are famously seen looking back from the keyhole garden. In a week or two the azaleas surrounding the statues would be in bloom.
Now that I've finally been there, I don't need to return, but I would recommend a visit if you're in the neighborhood.