Ladew Topiary Gardens


hunt scene
     This past weekend I visited Ladew Topiary Gardens north of Baltimore, Maryland in the hunt countryside of Harford County.  The Garden Club of America called it "the most outstanding topiary garden in America."

     Harvey Ladew purchased the 200 acre Pleasant Valley Farm in 1929 and created flower and topiary gardens on 22 of the farms's acres.  Mr Ladew grew, trained and maintained the topiary shapes himself and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal of the Garden Club of America.  Once a year topiary trimming begins in July and takes three months.  As you enter the gardens, the first topiary is the hunt scene with horse and rider, hounds and fox of clipped yew.  It has become the international symbol of the Ladew Topiary Gardens.

swans on waves
     The Great Bowl is a 2 acre bowl-shaped lawn where summer concerts series take place.  It is surrounded by topiary swans swimming upon waves of yew.

sculpture garden topiaries
     The sculpture garden contains several topiaries such as sea horses, a heart with an arrow through it, and a butterfly on a flower.

Chinese junk topiary
     Many statues, fountains, and pools are found throughout the gardens.  This Chinese junk floats in a pool with many fish.

pool with fish
the Terrace Garden
     The Terrace Garden contqains three terraces of Canadian hemlock hedges sculpted into obelisks, windows, and garlands.

part of the Terrace Garden
     In addition to the topiary gardens there are also 15 flower gardens.  Harvey Ladew was one of the first in America to create garden rooms, each devoted to a single color, plant or theme.

The iris garden conatins 65 iris varieties and 770 plants
The yellow garden contains all yellow flowers and shrubs

The rose garden contains shrub, climber, and china roses
        Mr. Ladew was a self-taught gardener who died in 1976.  The Manor house, in which he lived, and the gardens are on the National Register of Historic Places.  I am so glad I finally visited these gardens.  The topiary gardens were spectacular and delightful, and the flower gardens were among the most beautiful I have seen.


  1. I've never heard of these gardens and am intrigued. I'm not much into topiaries but these look like fun. :o)

    1. These gardens were different from anything I've seen, and fun to look at and walk through.