By Joel Furches
Spring and summer are the seasons for nature’s sights and sounds. For lovers of the outdoors, one must-do activity is to stroll through a beautifully kept garden and see the bursting colors of the flowers so artfully planted therein. The demand for public gardens is surprisingly high, even in the modern age, and a number of venues are more than happy to exercise their talents in order to provide people with a place to go and check out the floral delight that they provide.
Ladew Topiary Gardens
3535 Jarrettsville Park
Monkton, MD 21111
Topiary Gardens refers to a type of hedge-trimming technique which turns bushes into sculptures. Ladew has more than its fair share of sculpted bushes – depicting such things as a fox hunt, a Japanese boat and a giraffe – but the garden also features acres and acres of beautifully kept flower beds and gardens. If you are a fan of flowers, consider taking a walk through the gardens, across the yards and along the lily ponds within Ladew. You may visit the colonial mansion on the grounds, and enjoy the tea and snacks served there, or talk to a groundskeeper about how the garden is planted and maintained. Altogether, an excursion at Ladew makes for a fun and sight-full day.
Baltimore, MD 21218
Having the singular distinction of being called the most famous tulip garden in North America, Sherwood Gardens offers free admission with no need for reservation. Over 80,000 tulips are planted each season, and while the property is known most distinctively for its tulips, Sherwood Gardens has a wide variety of beautiful blooms – some of them fairly rare for the area. These include such gems as dogwoods, old English boxwoods, flowering cherries, azaleas, magnolias, wisteria and more. Sherwood also contains a number of rare trees to add to the scenery. While the gardens are at their best during the April/May period, you are invited to visit at any time, and find something still blooming.
Rawlings Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
3100 Swann Drive
Baltimore, MD 21217
Flower gardening goes back a long way, historically. In the case of the Rawlings Conservatory, it goes back to 1888. This beautifully-built conservatory is a tribute to late 19th century architecture, and contains a total of 35 different flower beds in five different climates. The five “houses” include the Palm House, the Orchid Room, Mediterranean House, Tropical House, and Desert House. This gives you the opportunity to see flowers and plants from all over the world in one green house. To call Rawlings a green house, though, is a bit modest. This enormous facility (which covers an acre and a half), is more like an indoor park. With architecture like a palace, and a tranquil path that winds its way through the various houses and includes seating and viewing areas, Rawlings plays out more like a trip to an art museum than a visit to a green house. Only, in this case, the art is alive!
205 Hanover Road
Reisterstown, MD 21136
Glyndon Gardens is a great place to go to view flower beds – but its primarily a gardening center. If you want to see some flowers, and maybe plant a few of your own, Glyndon gives you both services in one place. The home of some beautiful flowers, you can go here to get ideas for your home flower garden, then talk to the friendly and knowledgeable staff in order to make your dreams a reality. Once you’ve seen the sights and spoken to the professionals, go ahead and purchase the items you need to get your home garden started. All of these benefits in a single trip!
4915 Greenspring Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21209
The gardens of Cylburn gradually built up on what was once a private estate. The mansion on the estate was owned by businessman and artist Jesse Tyson. Over his years, Tyson created a large number of watercolor paintings of trees and flowers. The gardens that were eventually planted on the estate were inspired by – and model – Tyson’s paintings. In the present, people are invited to visit the estate, look at the paintings, and then stroll the grounds, soaking up the scenery.
Related: Best Outdoor Art In Baltimore