It is still warm during the day, but a little nippy at night, when I decided to visit Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton, MD, to see some colorful fall foliage and berries. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that flowers were still cranking out blooms and that caterpillars in the Butterfly House were still making chrysalises. In the Butterfly House, I was treated to a Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar turning a bright orange color prior to shedding his skin and forming a chrysalis (the stage forming a butterfly).
Ladew Topiary Gardens, in Maryland, is a world class garden, that I am fortunate to have in my backyard. Visiting frequently to experience the events, classes, and workshops, gives me an opportunity to see the gardens in every season and I am never disappointed.
A colorful figure, the late Harvey S. Ladew (1887-1976) was a world traveler, artist, and the creator of an extraordinary garden, Ladew Topiary Gardens. Born into privilege in New York City, Ladew was treated to a world class education. It was during Mr. Ladew’s early travels that he became inspired by the gardens of Europe, and in the early 1920’s, he discovered the art of topiary in England when he saw a clipped hunt scene atop a hedge in England.
The fox hunting environment of the Maryland countryside attracted Harvey Ladew where he purchased the 200+ acre Pleasant Valley Farm in Baltimore County, not far from where I live. The old white farmhouse was in primitive condition – it had neither heat, electricity nor plumbing, and the garden consisted of some old lilac bushes.
After renovating the house, Mr Ladew turned his attention to the farm fields surrounding his estate, into 22 acres of exquisitely designed gardens. From his trips to England and Italy, he knew what sort of garden he wanted – lots of clipped topiaries and garden “rooms”, a revolutionary idea at the time.
He designed topiaries depicting a fox and hounds, a Chinese Junk with sails, swans, and a giraffe, among others.
Ladew is open for business and the day I visited, there were a fair amount of people, but nothing alarming and crowded. You are asked to wear masks in any congested areas, but for almost the entire time, I never needed to wear one.
Garden Glow, which I have attended and presented at will be virtual this year. My Monkton Garden Club, created a Garden Lady last year out of pumpkins and floral arrangements that was showcased at Garden Glow. A different experience this year with COVID, I am anxious to see what people come up with! This year Ladew says – “It’s Your Carving. Ladew is Your Garden. You are the Glow.” Love this! Some past creations:
For a delightful fall visit, go to Ladew Gardens to check out their visiting hours and other virtual events.