May 3, 2015

Ladew Garden Festival

Once again this year, Ladew Gardens hit it out of the park with their annual Garden Festival! But just because the Festival is over, it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do at Ladew.

Every time I visit Ladew, I make it a point to check out the amazing diamond-shaped espaliered apple trees, which face south into the sun. The trees were in bloom and just looked stunning. IMG_0698

As we arrived at the Festival, there were tents everywhere with a huge range of garden ornaments, unusual plants and antiques. IMG_0687

I was particularly taken by this long patch of tulips,IMG_0696 and especially the double-petal white variety.IMG_0699

But plants were blooming all across the property and I realized, after looking at pictures from prior years, that we’re a few weeks later with some of the plants. Other years, the azaleas and double viburnum have been out, but their flowers were nowhere to be seen! Here’s one of the famed topiaries – a rider on his steed, chasing the foxes, just out of the picture. IMG_0751

Honestly, nothing makes me happier than a gorgeous pink flowering tree. IMG_0733If you look back a couple of weeks when I wrote about the Al Capone cherry trees, you can see the difference in blooming times between the reflective heat of the city, and this windy estate in the country.IMG_0757

Here are some of the other things that caught my eye.

This crazy plant with grey-green leaves, bright orange spikes and purple flowers. It’s called Solanum. IMG_0739

Who doesn’t love an artistic pug!IMG_0725

Our booth at Halcyon House Antiques was fabulous!IMG_0782

Here’s another view or two.IMG_0704IMG_0708I lost my marbles. Here they are.IMG_0723

It’s a little hard to discern, but this is a 12-foot long planter with mirrored insets. It’s French. Natch.IMG_0768

I always love there incredible Purple Martin houses and their copper roofs. IMG_0761

Here’s another bird-house. IMG_0720

I saw brushes like this in London and didn’t buy one, so when I saw them, I bought one. It’s very handy.IMG_0777

I  loved this collection of paintings, urns and vases and salvaged tools.IMG_0775

Who doesn’t love a Foo Dog or two. IMG_0771

Ladew Topiary Gardens has a full schedule of events throughout the summer and fall, including a series of Sunday evening concerts that are lots of fun. Click here for more information.


  1. Mad for the mirrored planter.

  2. WOW! So cool!!! So much great stuff to look at! You COULD have picked up that pair of Foo Dogs for me that you show in the very last pic! Interesting pair!

  3. Meg,
    I am hoping you can help me with this puzzle. In the 70's (this may be well before you were born) a woman in Baltimore County wrote a column for a national design magazine, House and Garden, House Beautiful? She mentioned Harvey Ladew and a letter he wrote once requesting "naked ladies". Intrigued we researched naked ladies and eventually planted our own naked lady lilies. I always remembered this when visiting Ladew but do not remember who the writer was. Do you have any idea? Thanks. I always enjoy your blog.

    1. I am pretty sure you're talking about Dee Hardie. She wrote for one of those magazines, and also wrote a few books. She lived up near Ladew and probably knew Harvey. The Naked Ladies are wonderful! I was noticing them at the farm this week. They look like big daffodil leaves, but no flowers.

    2. All praise to Dee Hardie. She turned me on to the novels of Angela Thirkell.

  4. I've been waiting for you to share photos - please post more! Sorry I couldn't make it. Everything went very well here. xo

  5. Whenever I come back to Baltimore to visit family Ladew is one of the first places I go. I need to reconnect with that beautiful My Ladys Manor and the views of pasture land. My favorite is the sign on the dog house "I love this little house because it offers after dark A pause for rest a rest for paws, A place to moor my bark."

    I'm also a Dee Hardy fan!

  6. No blossoms yet, but what a show in August. Thanks for responding. I am delighted to find her name because I can now find more of her writing.


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