As I pull up along the driveway, a scene of a fox hunt unfolds on the field in front of me, leading up to the main office. A man atop a horse trails behind three hounds, each eager to catch the fox in front of them. “People still fox hunt?!” You might exclaim as you read the passage above. But I’m at Ladews Topiary Garden in Maryland, where pictures are formed by plants trimmed in ways that entice your imagination.
As you enter the garden, you may not realize what awaits. Everything looks like your average botanical garden. Well, as average as a botanical garden can be. The fields are green, spanning across 32 acres. Flowers bloom all around you. But then you are instructed to check out the Butterfly Sanctuary. What’s that you ask? A butterfly sanctuary? This place just got interesting.
As you walk about, you can’t help but notice the incredible about of life surrounding you. Bees fly from blossom to blossom, doing what they can to contribute to the pollination cycle that they are imperative too. Hummingbirds drink nectar from the flowers, darting around your head and at each other. Take a moment and find two hummingbirds in the same area and realize how territorial these little birds are. Friendly to each other they are not.
Hours can get lost walking around the grounds and I would recommend at least a full morning to be able to simply wander. There are 15 “rooms” in total, each with a different botanical or topiary theme, all designed by Harvey Ladew, a self taught gardener. Ladew passed in 1976, but for the last (wow) almost 50 years, (has it really been that long already?) the estate has been maintained and it is well worth the stop.
Closest Supercharger: Aberdeen MD 23 mi
Maryland House Travel Plaza, I-95, Aberdeen, MD 21001
Ladew Topiary Garden
3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, MD 21111