This year, Ladew Topiary Gardens in Harford County, Maryland, is celebrating 50 years as a public garden.
Ladew Gardens, named “One of the Top 5 Gardens in North America,” deemed “the most outstanding topiary garden in America” by the Garden Club of America, and featured as one of “Ten incredible topiary gardens around the world” by Architectural Digest, is located 20 miles north of Baltimore, according to the Gardens’ website. Designed and developed by Harvey S. Ladew, the Gardens and historic Manor House are known throughout the world. Both the House and Gardens are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The breathtaking gardens that Ladew designed and created were inspired by the world-class landscapes he had seen during his many European travels. They include water features, statuary and most notably, hundreds of topiary. Introduced in England, Ladew’s gardens became a popular destination for garden lovers; his friends would set up card tables in the front yard and collect 75 cents from curious visitors wishing to tour the whimsical property.
In 1971, after failing to find an organization to take over his house and gardens, Ladew created the Ladew Topiary Gardens Inc. The organization was charged with the preservation and care of his 22 acres of beautiful gardens and historic house that had been his life’s work.
Over the past 50 years, Ladew Topiary Gardens has become a nationally recognized destination for nearly 50,000 guests each year. Visitors come to explore the award-winning gardens, tour the historic Manor House, discover seasonal and year-round surprises on the Nature Walk, and learn about the mysteries of metamorphosis in a native Butterfly House.
This year marks the successful organization that Ladew Topiary Gardens has become over a half-century, rooted in the vision of its founder, the commitment and work of its Trustees and volunteers and the engagement and support of its community.
Ladew hosts over 130 programs and events each year ranging from the Garden Festival in May, to concerts in the Great Bowl throughout the summer.