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Outstanding Topiary in Maryland

By Linda Tancs

The Garden Club of America once described the clipped hemlocks at Ladew Topiary Gardens as “the most outstanding topiary garden in America.” That’s high praise, considering its architect, Harvey Ladew, had no professional training. The socialite-turned-gardening enthusiast purchased Pleasant Valley Farm in Monkton in the 1920s and carved 22 acres of gardens out of fields previously used for crops and livestock. He also transformed the old white farmhouse into the stately manor house enjoyed by visitors today. In addition to the formal, cultivated gardens, there’s a 1-mile nature walk including a short boardwalk through wetland forest and fresh water marsh. Just 30 minutes from Baltimore, it’s located in the heart of horse country.


To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

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