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