Magazine article Sunset

America's Finest Topiary Garden?

Magazine article Sunset

America's Finest Topiary Garden?

Article excerpt

Topiary art requires adaptable shrubs, plenty of gently watered acreage, and many years of cultivation--as well as a certain exuberant eccentricity on the part of the gardener. The West, with its arid landscape and more youthful traditions, has lacked all, perhaps, but the latter ingredient, and Westerners must look in Europe or the East to see highly developed topiary gardens.

In the green heart of northern Maryland's hunt country, such a garden has recently been opened to the public. Here in 1929 a wealthy New York Bachelor named Harvey Ladew acquired a large old farm that he would, over the years, transform into a highly expressive personal estate.

Ladew traveled widely, and was full of imaginative conviction, though lacking professional training. When he liked what he saw, he either bought it and shipped it home or created some replication. The result is an entertainingly eclectic and sometimes quite beautiful manor. Within it, a single decorative theme--the fox hunt--is celebrated through an amazing collection of periods and styles. …

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