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Ladew Topiary Gardens, Monkton

#12 of 55 in Historic Sites in Maryland
Garden Historic Site
Ladew Topiary Gardens are nonprofit gardens with topiary located in Monkton, Maryland. The gardens were established in the 1930s by socialite and huntsman Harvey S. Ladew (1887–1976), who in 1929 had bought a 250acre farm to build his estate. The house and gardens are open April through October, weekdays and weekends; an admission fee is charged.The grounds contain 15 garden rooms, each devoted to a single color, plant or theme, arranged around two cross axes with vistas. The axes meet in an oval swimming pool. The garden is particularly noted for its topiary, which was strongly influenced by Ladew's extensive travel in England, where he frequently went fox hunting. Ladew designed topiaries depicting a fox hunt with horses, riders, dogs, and fox clearing a hedge, a Chinese junk with sails, swans, and a giraffe, among others. It was proclaimed an "exquisite garden estate" by The New York Times. The Garden Club of America has described it as "the most outstanding topiary garden in America." The grounds also contain a 1.5mi nature walk.The house was built in stages, starting in the late 18th century, with a mid-19th century addition and other additions in the 20th century. The oval library is particularly noteworthy, and has been called "one of the 100 most beautiful rooms in America". Both the grounds and house, which contains a good collection of antique English furniture, opened to the public in 1971.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
199 reviews
  • We enjoyed the house tour and the gardens. We ate at the cafe too which is not too expensive for a quick meal. I would totally recommend visiting Ladew especially if you are local Harford county resid...  more »
  • Beautiful gardens and house on this estate. Also has a restaurant on site. You can easily spend a day here and walking the grounds is good exercise. The gardens and house are beautifully maintained.  more »
  • This is a place that is fun for most ages. We have gone there three different times of the year, w/ differant family members & it's always very interesting. Spring is the prettiest time, but summer & ...  more »
  • Absolutely loved it. I wasn't sure what to expect, and there are many gardens that all have different themes. The house is beautiful, and has a really great tour. My husband and I went for the day and ended up becoming members! Can't wait to bring family here. Highly recommend!
  • Amazing gardens, relativity big. Wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking in grass and off paths. The house was interesting but I did not find the tour that informative, I wish they would have 'set the scene' more. Also not enough benches or seats so be prepared to stand/walk the whole time. I saw a water snake, frogs, turtles and dragonflies and butterflies. This place is very beautiful and well manicured.
  • Great topiary garden. The grounds went on and on with surprises around every corner. The iris garden was amazing. The topiary were fun and whimsical. Just a great overall experience.
  • Something for everyone. Topiary gardens. Fascinating house and grounds. Butterfly house. Outdoor sculpture exhibit. Extensive woodlands and meadows.
  • Beautiful gardens and grounds. Stroll through at your own pace. Don't miss the large koi pond or the artist's work in the field below the house.

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