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Ladew Topiary Gardens, Monkton

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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Ladew Topiary Gardens Reviews
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206 reviews
  • If you desire a lovely and tranquil country scene, visit Ladew throughout the year. It is gorgeous with great walking trails. Check out their website for special events. Always fun, I bring my out of ...  more »
  • Don't miss the house tour. The brochure made it easy to do a self guided walk of the gardens. I can't say the visitor center staff weren't very helpful or friendly. They were closing up the gift shop ...  more »
  • Worth the price of admission. We went here for the sculpted shrubbery but there are many different gardens with various themes; Rose garden, water lilies, a metal sculpture garden, Venus' temple, a te...  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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