One of the most amazing things about Ladew Gardens is the way that it’s divided up into garden rooms which flow seamlessly from one to another, but each with a specific theme.
Naturally, there’s a Rose Room, with arches, climbing flowers (including roses, which are not in bloom yet) and fountains. From there, we wandered into the azalea room, with flowers of every shade imaginable. I love the older varieties which have smaller blooms, fragrance and seem to float on their stems.
We could hear water gurgling, and came upon the beautiful lily garden with its quatrefoil-shaped pond. Around the edge of the pond is a variegated green and white liriope. I caught this image of an azalea floating on the pond, which was reflecting the sky.As we walked towards the next garden room, we were able to discern the theme – yellow with an oriental overtone. The yellow privet leads your eye down to the Japanese teahouse and throughout the garden, other bursts of bright yellow catch your attention. There’s even a gurgling stream lined with yellow and we caught this little guy trying to catch a glimpse of his reflection. Moving through to the next garden room, we began to detect the scent of lilacs and soon enough, we came across a grove of lilacs in pale purple, white and a deep purple.
As we headed up the hill to the centerpiece of Ladew Gardens, we stopped to look at the amazing pompom bush (I am pretty sure that’s not its real name, and certainly not the Latin one!), which was in full bloom. The staff and volunteers at Ladew use flowers from the property in all of the flower arrangements in the house.
To the left of this allée are the magnificent topiaries and to the right are the series of garden rooms. At one end is the main house and at the other is a small temple, topped with a swan. If you look at last year’s pictures, here, you can get a sense of this. Although Harvey Ladew was an international playboy and never worked a day in his life, he did spend a lot of his time tending to his gardens, trimming the topiaries until they were just right. Do take a look at last year’s posts for pictures of the topiaries, as this year’s pictures are not great.One of the things I loved was this Lutyens bench nestled under the huge yews. This bench is a classic garden ornament and fits perfectly in this venue. As we moved down to the great lawn and its central fountain, we couldn’t help but to admire the extraordinary amount of work which goes into preserving these special gardens. From the swans aswimming along clipped waves, to the careful thought that has been given to each and every element in the garden, the amazing legacy of one of the 20th century’s most interesting men lives on. Thanks again to everyone at Ladew who put in so much effort to make this day flawless!