Editors' pick

Ladew Topiary Gardens

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Editorial Review

The Ladew Topiary Gardens, just north of Baltimore, have been named “the most outstanding topiary garden in America” by the Garden Club of America and have been featured on the pages of Vogue and the Anthropologie catalogs.

All of the grandeur — more than 150 living sculptures, 15 garden rooms, a swimming pool — of this unique garden could come only from an equally unique man.

Harvey Ladew spent his exorbitant wealth traveling the world, throwing lavish parties and generally living large among friends who included Charlie Chaplin, Cole Porter and Somerset Maugham.

Drawn by its fox-hunting scene, Ladew moved in 1929 from Long Island to Maryland, where he bought the 250-acre estate and eventually created the extensive gardens.

Take note of the fox-and-hounds topiary between the parking lot and garden entrance. When on a fox hunt in England, Ladew saw something similar and committed himself to re-creating it at his marvelous estate.

--Amy Orndorff, April 20, 2012