July 17, 2008

Polo at Ladew Gardens

I was talking to my mother and she reminded me that she's going to a polo match next week. The match, which will benefit the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, just blocks from my house, is in honour of an old family friend who died from a fall in a riding accident.
Ladew Gardens was the former home of Harvey Ladew, a wealthy socialite who settled in northern Baltimore County and created one of the most incredible topiary gardens in the US. Mr. Ladew was a fox-hunter, gardener and sporting art patron. His gardens, which are open to the public, are a testament to these three passions. He was friends with many notables from the 1920's and 30's, including Richard Rogers, Noel Coward and Cole Porter. Billy Baldwin, a Baltimorean, was also a very good friend.
The topiary gardens at Ladew are spectacular, but there are also Italianate gardens, a Great Bowl and others, which make up the garden rooms so popular in England in the years between the wars. The main house is open for tours and is especially great to visit at Christmas when it is decorated for the season. Throughout the year, there are concerts, courses, and polo matches on the property. It's about 30 miles north of Baltimore City and in the midst of Maryland's Hunt Country.
For more information about this interesting man and his gardens, read Perfectly Delightful: The Life and Gardens of Harvey Ladew, written by Christopher Weeks and published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 1999. I am still looking for a copy of this book after my sister gave the TWO copies my father had to Book Thing. (See M21, it's not all good!)

Images: Ladew Gardens


  1. Oh lovely Meg. Have you ever been a docent?

  2. I meant because you have a flair for providing info and guiding tours :)

  3. well, the bookthing was good that day for whomever got those 2 books! haha

  4. Your posts are like no others....a wonderful peek into the lives of the well heeled and their gracious lifestyles in settings that transport us to the past. How lovely.... Ginny

  5. ditto Ginny!!
    what a beautiful landscape! wow!

    the man that taught me driving was name Mr. Ladew - no relation I can assure you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And no matter how many times I see it, I love your header, its one of my favorites.

  6. i almost spit out the water i had just taken a sip of when i got to that last line! you are too funny!

  7. I've always heard of Ladew Gardens, but know little about it. Thanks for the info! I agree with Courtney about the docent thing... or perhaps you should work for the Baltimore Visitors Bureau or something! ;)

  8. How funny Peak... Last summer I worked for the group that markets living in Baltimore. It was the wrong job at the right place though.


Thank you for reading and commenting on Pigtown*Design. I read each and every comment and try to reply if I have your e-mail address.