May 3, 2010

Ladew Garden Rooms

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, Ladew 2010 049climbing flowers (including roses, which are not in bloom yet)Ladew 2010 051 and fountains. Ladew 2010 050 From there, we wandered into the azalea room, with flowers of every shade imaginable. Ladew 2010 054 I love the older varieties which have smaller blooms, Ladew 2010 057 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. Ladew 2010 062 Around the edge of the pond is a variegated green and white liriope. Ladew 2010 058 I caught this image of an azalea floating on the pond, which was reflecting the sky.Ladew 2010 061As we walked towards the next garden room, we were able to discern the theme – yellow with an oriental overtone. Ladew 2010 065 The yellow privet leads your eye down to the Japanese teahouse Ladew 2010 064 and throughout the garden, other bursts of bright yellow catch your attention. Ladew 2010 068 There’s even a gurgling stream lined with yellow and we caught this little guy trying to catch a glimpse of his reflection. Ladew 2010 073 Moving through to the next garden room, we began to detect the scent of lilacs and soon enough, Ladew 2010 075 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.Ladew 2010 080 The staff and volunteers at Ladew use flowers from the property in all of the flower arrangements in the house.
Ladew 2010 081 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. Ladew 2010 082Although 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.Ladew 2010 087One 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.Ladew 2010 091 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. Ladew 2010 094 From the swans aswimming along clipped waves, Ladew 2010 098 to the careful thought that has been given to each and every element in the garden, Ladew 2010 099 the amazing legacy of one of the 20th century’s most interesting men lives on. Ladew 2010 106 Thanks again to everyone at Ladew who put in so much effort to make this day flawless!


  1. Meg, these images of the gardens are so amazing. What a treasure!!

    Art by Karena

  2. What a beautiful gardena and so well thought out. Thank you for "taking" us on the tour too! By the way, the pompom bush is called a Chinese Snow Ball bush, or viburnum macrocephalum. Aren't they stunning? They make me think of a French hydrangea in a tree form. Just lovely!

  3. So much beauty. Thanks for posting these images-I love the overcast East Coast day.

  4. These photos are so beautiful. I played a gig there once, but didn't have time to look around. I'll definitely have to go back.


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