Ladew Topiary Gardens

Named One of the Top 5 Gardens
in North America

Ladew Topiary Gardens

Fall Lecture Series

Fall 2015  

 Ladew presents the Fall Lecture series, featuring distinguished speakers who will offer insights and inspiration to garden lovers and gardeners of all ages and abilities. The featured speakers will take you on a journey through their explorations of garden design concepts, plant selections, growing techniques, floral design, and natural history, while offering rare glimpses into some of the nation’s most beautiful private gardens.  Ladew’s Lecture Series are offered every Spring and Fall.

Held in Harvey Ladew’s Studio, lectures are $25 for members, and $30 for non-members. Lunch ($12) is optional and by reservation. Reservations should be made in advance and accompanied by payment.

Sign up for all five daytime lectures and receive one free!  Ladew Members $100, and $120 for non-members. 
Seating is limited for all lectures.

Coffee is served at 10 am. Lectures begin at 10:30 am promptly.

Registrants’ names are checked at the door on the day of the program (tickets are not mailed). Please call (410) 557-9570 to register or to register on-line click here


New and Underused Perennials to Expand Your Palette
with Ruth Rogers Clausen    
Sponsored by Pinehurst 
Thursday, October 1  |  10:30 am Studio

Are you tired of having your hard work gobbled up by herds of hungry deer? Have you given up on trying to create an aesthetically pleasing garden with interesting plant combinations because you think its no longer possible? Invigorate your gardening enthusiasm with tips from well-known garden writer, author and botanist Ruth Rogers Clausen through her years of experience with growing and knowing the “ins and outs” of perennial gardening right here in deer country! Clausen was trained in horticulture in the UK and has been in the industry for over 50 years.  She was Horticulture Editor for Country Living Gardener for more than 7 years.  Clausen has lectured widely and has written several successful gardening books including Perennials for American Gardens, Dreamscaping, 50 Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants, and newly released for 2015, Essential Perennials: The Complete Reference to 2700 Perennials for the Home Garden.  A book sale and signing will take place. 



Sakonnet Garden - Coherent Design versus Obsessive Collecting with John Gwynne
Thursday, October 8 |  10:30 am Studio 

Join Sakonnet Garden co-founder John Gwynne as he shares the thirty plus year evolution of this secret Rhode Island garden embedded within a native coastal field landscape that originally began as a natural tangle of autumn olives and oriental bittersweet. At the diminutive scale of a cottage garden, its labyrinth of spaces are carved organically out of the original thicket. Each outdoor room reflects the owner’s ongoing experiments with lighting, space, color mixing, collecting and growing wonderful plants.  It is conceived as an intimate place to explore, with multiple paths leading one onward to unexpected experiences.  Gwynne, co-creator of Sakonnet with partner Mikel Folcarelli, is a trained artist and landscape architect.  He is the former vice president/creative director of design for the Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates the Bronx Zoo, where he designed signature, natural wildlife habitat exhibits.  He traveled to many nations helping the society’s efforts at landscape-scale conservation and is still involved with global conservation education and local meadow restoration.  For more information, visit



Windowsill Art with Nancy Ross Hugo

Thursday, October 15  |  10:30 am Studio


Through slides and on-site arrangements, Nancy Ross Hugo will share some of her own windowsill creations (which range from naturalistic to Asian-inspired and contemporary designs), using bottles, jars, and other small vases, to showcase leaves, seed pods, flowers, and twigs in ways to celebrate the seasons. According to Hugo, this simple, easy form of floral design requires very little plant material but results in lavish learning and a deepening appreciation of natural rhythms. Hugo lives, gardens, writes, and arranges flowers in central Virginia. As garden columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, education manager for the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, and writer for Horticulture, Fine Gardening, American Forests, and Virginia Wildlife, she learned early how to combine her love for the outdoors with her passion for writing and knack for explaining complex subjects in simple, straightforward language. Two of her most notable books include Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secret Lives of Everyday Trees and Windowsill Art: Creating One-of-a-kind Arrangements that Celebrate the Seasons. A book sale and signing will take place.  For more information, visit


Stonecrop Gardens: A Hudson Highlands Gem with Caroline Burgess

Thursday, October 22  |  10:30 am Studio

Perched in a dramatic, wind-swept setting in the Hudson Highlands, just sixty miles north of New York City, Stonecrop Gardens was the home of Garden Conservancy founder Frank Cabot and his wife, Anne.  Today, Stonecrop is open to the public and inspires visitors to explore the infinite variety of the plant kingdom through its displays of raised alpine stone beds and a cliff rock garden, woodland and water gardens, an enclosed English-style flower garden, and a 2,000 square-foot conservatory housing tender specimens.  Fresh from the elite horticulture program at the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew and having worked many years for Rosemary Verey at Barnsley House, English horticulturist Caroline Burgess joined the Cabot’s in developing Stonecrop into a public garden in the mid-1980’s.  Under Burgess’ direction, Stonecrop’s gardens have expanded in scope and diversity, and now encompass twelve acres of varied garden spaces containing an encyclopedic collection of plants.  For more information, visit



Thomas Jefferson: Gardener with Peter Hatch

Thursday, October 29  |  10:30 am Studio   Sorry this lecture is full  (call Rachel at 410-557-9570 ext. 261 to go on our wait list)

Thomas Jefferson wrote, "…the greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.”  Peter Hatch's illustrated lecture will discuss the themes that defined Thomas Jefferson’s passion for natural history, landscape design, and horticulture. Hatch will also review the restoration of Monticello's gardens, focusing on Jefferson's revolutionary vegetable garden, and the Jeffersonian legacy in food, wine, and gardening.  As Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello since 1977, Peter J. Hatch has been responsible for the maintenance, interpretation, and conservation of its 2,400-acre landscape. He has written several books on Jefferson’s gardens, including A Rich Spot of Earth, and is an advisor for First Lady Michelle Obama’s White House kitchen garden. A book sale and signing will take place.  For more information, visit




Thanks to Our Sponsor:




We hope you enjoyed our Spring 2015 Lecture Series 

Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities to Evoke Nature with Thomas Rainer Wednesday, March 18  |  10:30 am

sponsored by Pinehurst Landscape Company

We live in a post-wild world, increasingly surrounded by more and more urbanization. How should our plantings respond to this context? Join writer and landscape architect Thomas Rainer to hear how naturally occurring plant communities hold the secrets for a new kind of planting — more layered, more lush, and more full of life than conventional planting. This talk will explore how plants fit together in the wild, showing gardeners how to use those strategies to create more resilient, diverse, and beautiful planting.  For more info, visit



Regenerative Organic Agriculture with Coach Mark Smallwood
Wednesday, March 25   Note NEW date:  Tuesday, March 24  |  10:30 am

With the explosion of support for USDA certified organic products, many understand the concept of organic to represent an absence of toxic chemicals. This is partially true, however, the organic approach is one where the farmer works with nature, not against it. Coach Smallwood explores Regenerative Organic Agriculture — a specific application of organic principles with the goal of building healthy soil over time, which provides a number of benefits including healthier food, healthier people and a healthier environment. For more info, visit


The Bartlett Book of Garden Elements with Rose Love Bartlett 
Wednesday, April 1  |  10:30 am
sponsored by Pinehurst Landscape Company

Whether as grand as an allee, humble as a boot scrape, practical as a drain, whimsical as a birdhouse, essential as a staircase, or ornamental as a sculpture, garden elements can inspire. Join Rose  Love Bartlett as she takes you on a pictorial journey through highlights of the book, The Bartlett Book of Garden Elements, which covers 24 countries. She will discuss the origins and roots of garden design features while providing practical suggestions for the use and maintenance of these elements in the contemporary garden.  For more info, visit



More Than Just a Mere Brown Room: the Legacy of Baltimore’s Billy Baldwin with Jim Abbott Wednesday, April 8  |  10:30 am

In this illustrated lecture, Evergreen Museum & Library's James Abbott will celebrate the lasting contributions of Baltimore's own, internationally recognized tastemaker Billy Baldwin (1903-1983).  Mr. Abbott will identify surviving Baltimore interiors by Baldwin, while enhancing understanding of the 'Monument City's contributions to his iconic design vocabulary.




Plant Success with Ian Cooke
Wednesday, April 15   |  10:30 am

This fast paced presentation will open the door to new and exciting areas of ornamental horticulture.  Plants succeed and fail due to a number of conditions and circumstances. In this presentation we will not only identify these key criteria but understand how they work and how they interact with each other. For more info, visit


Special Evening Lecture, Dinner & Shopping!!!

Native Plants for Native Birds with Gregg Tepper

Thursday, June 4  |  7:00 pm    Sorry Sold Out

Sponsored by The Mill 

Join horticulturist and native plant enthusiast Gregg Tepper for an entertaining and informative lecture on using native plants in your home landscape to attract and provide shelter for our native birds.  He will feature the best trees, shrubs and plants that will appeal to both you and our feathered friends.  Gregg has lectured on native plants extensively in the U.S.  and Great Britain. He is the Director of Horticulture of the newly-formed Delaware Botanic Gardens.

This event is sponsored by The Mill, who will be providing door prizes as well as selling items including plants, bird seed, feeders, houses and more.  For more info, visit and

Lecture includes dinner & drinks, sale of plants & bird feeding supplies, and door prizes!
5:30 pm            stroll the gardens
6 – 7:00 pm     dinner and drinks are served
7:00 pm            lecture

$25 for members . $30 for non-members







The Well Designed Photograph with Rob Cardillo - Thursday, October 2


Great garden photographs aren't just out there waiting. They must first be uncovered and translated through the eyes, heart, lens and screen of the photographer. Find out how professional garden photographer Rob Cardillo uses simple design principles to add depth and personality to his prize winning images.





 Trees in Western Art with Leopoldine Prosperetti  - Thursday, October 9

Explore how sylvan imagery evolved as a specialized artistic skill in Western Art. Considering the infinite forms in nature, how does the painter shape a tree when tasked with representing trees in a picture? Albrecht Dürer and Titian led the way. Rubens and the Dutch followed suit. Painters of the 19th century romanticized their trees or turned them into ego-documents of a suffering soul like Vincent van Gogh. In 1912 Piet Mondrian took the final step and a flowering apple tree became a work of abstract art. 



Private Gardens of the Hudson Valley with Jane Garmey - Thursday, October 16

 Jane Garmey will highlight several gardens in her new book Private Gardens of the Hudson Valley -- evocative and beautiful, grand and modest, carefully tended and much loved by their owners. As an Englishwoman coming to America, she has made her own voyage of gardening self-discovery through encountering the perils, pitfalls, challenges, and pleasures of gardening in this part of the world. 




 A Dance to the Music of Time, The Evolution of A Garden with Chuck Newhall - Thursday, October 23

The 35 year journey of creating the world-class property, Brightside Gardens in Caves Valley, Owings Mills has been a labor of love for Chuck Newhall and his family.  Join Chuck as he describes the creation of the gardens’ 54 “rooms” that feature the arts, literature, mythology, garden follies, breathtaking vistas and more.    


 Elegant Holiday Arrangements with Jake Boone - Thursday, October 30 

Join floral designer Jake Boone as he demonstrates his “more is more” approach to holiday decorating .  Jake will create several centerpieces and arrangements from fresh greens, beautiful flowers, and shimmering ornaments.  Arrangements will be for sale following the program.  For the past 37 years, Jake Boone has been a real estate agent with Hill & Company Realtors.  ____________________________________________________________________________

Skylands Photo

Jens Jensen and "Skylands": His Maine Masterpiece with Patrick Chasse

Danish-American landscape architect, Jens Jensen, immigrated to the mid-west over 100 years ago. He celebrated the area's indigenous scenery by creating the prairie style of landscape architecture and leading a movement to conserve natural areas. In 1926, he designed a landscape in Maine for "Skylands," Edsel Ford's new summer home there, using the Maine natural context for his design and plant palette. This property was purchased by Martha Stewart in 1997, who set about restoring it.


photo of Heidi Hesseleinphoto of Heidi Hesselein

40 Trees and Shrubs You Should Know by Heart with Heidi Hesselein

Heidi Hesselein, co-owner of Pleasant Run Nursery, will highlight her favorite woody plants for versatility and beauty. Her focus is on plants which have multi-seasonal interest, proven longevity in the landscape, and the toughness of a workhorse. The majority of the plants have been trialed in the extensive display gardens at Pleasant Run Nursery.


The Gardens at Eyre Hall:  A Garden of the Past, Present and Future with Laurie Klingel

Laurie Klingel, head gardener at the historic gardens of Eyre Hall on Virginia's Eastern Shore, will guide us on a tour using superb garden photography, horticultural insight, and historical anecdotes. Whether you've been to Eyre Hall 10 times, or have never been before, you'll enjoy this photographic tour of Eyre Hall's contemporary mixed borders, original outbuildings, and boxwood parterres.

photo of Kirby HouseEnglish Gardens with Katherine Astor

Join Katherine Astor as she shares some history of the Astor family and the 26-year restoration of her residence, Kirby House and Estate, in Berkshire, England. She will discuss the history of English Gardens and how they have evolved over the years, as well as share some of her favorite gardens, including Highgrove, Througham Court, Farleigh House, and Eastleach House. 


photo of Rita RandolphFour Seasons of Containers with Rita Randolph

Join Rita Randolph and see how all kinds of plants are combined into what many people call "eye candy," from small tabletop centerpieces to large commercial installations. Rita is a true artist and containers are her canvas, often spilling with unusual and colorful plant material. With an emphasis on Foliage FIRST, Rita will demonstrate why it's so important to combine textures and colorful foliage first; then add flowers, which are a bonus!



photo of monarch butterflyAll Aflutter:  The Life and Times of a Butterfly with Arabella Dane

Everyone loves butterflies in their gardens, but how do you attract the greatest variety of species? Join Arabella Dane as she shares her passion for butterflies and butterfly gardening. She will discuss how to attract, entertain, and enjoy these beautiful creatures in each stage - egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly. She will elaborate on habitat needs; including caterpillar host plants and nectar sources, as well as conservation and the amazing life journey and migration of Monarch butterflies. 


My Lady's Manor map

Majesty and My Lady's Manor with J. Scott Watkins

Join us, as the Manor celebrates its 300th year, for a look into the area’s connections to Britain's aristocracy and royal family. From Charles I to Wallis Simpson, The Duchess of Windsor, J. Scott Watkins will explore the impact several monarchs and members of the Calvert family made in creating My Lady's Manor and its mystique.


picture of the book Stone in the Garden by Gordon HaywardThe Uses of Stone in the Garden with Gordon Hayward
Stone furnishes the framework, the structure, and the sense of permanence that transforms gardens. Whether in the form of retaining or free-standing walls, terraces or walkways, as bold, standing stones or as boulders at the edge of a small stream, stone lends a garden focus, providing the perfect foil to plants. In this slide-illustrated lecture that grows out of his book, Stone in the Garden, garden designer Gordon Hayward will talk about the many creative as well as practical roles stone can play to give a garden a feeling of timelessness, structure and solidity. 

picture of Christie HamiltonRazzle Dazzle 'Em: Flower Arranging Demonstration with Christie Hamilton
Learn to add a little more pizzazz to your floral arrangements for home entertaining or personal pleasure.  Join Christie Hamilton as she deomonstrates a mixture of traditional and contemporary floral-design technniques and displays images of masterpieces from past special events.  Hamilton is well known for the work she did through her own floral-design company in Connecticut, which provided arrangements for events in the most beautiful New York City venues, including the main ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria, the beautiful Gold Room at The Plaza, and the Windows on the World. Hamilton currently enjoys a less frantic life of gardening on the Eastern Shore of Maryland,  participating in the Talbot County Garden Club and selling wool from her prize-winning ewe flock and eggs from her Heritage Breed chickens.    

picture of a painting by Zoffany
David Garrick's Garden: Inside 18th-Century London with Matthew Hargraves

Matthew Hargraves, curator of British art at the Yale Center for British Art, will discuss gardening, art, and the stage in London during the 18th century.  His inspiration, a painting by Zoffany of actor David Garrick in his garden, was acquired by Harvey Ladew and hung in the manor house Drawing Room.  Hargraves will discuss the passion for British art in 20th-century America, David Garrick and his impact on British painting, and even explore a bit of the garden history of Twickenham.  Hargraves is Curator for Collections Research and Head of Collections Information and Access at the Yale Center for British Art, where he has worked since 2005.  A specialist in British art of the 18th century, he received his Ph.D. from the Courtauld Institute at the University of London in 2003 and has since published broadly on the art of the period, including a major study of Britain's first public exhibitions in the 18th century.  Visit  

picture of the book Private Edens by Jack Staub

Private Edens:  Lessons in Creating Your Own Garden Paradise with Jack Staub
After two years  of traveling the East Coast, photographing exceptional country gardens and interviewing their owners, author, playwright, gardener and lecturer Jack Staub shares the primary principles of surrounding yourself with an earthly paradise.  Showcasing 21 inspirational gardens, with the aid of Rob Cardillo's stunning photographs, Staub demonstrates how the love owners have for their land and their pride in its horticultural trnasformation, can turn a house on a plot of land into a "home": a place of soul-enhancing respite, consolation and reconnection.  Staub is the author of the celebrated "75" series of edible gardening books, which includes 75 Exciting Vegetables for Your Garden, 75 Remarkable Fruits for Your Garden, and 75 Exceptional Herbs for Your Garden.  With his partner, the renowned landscape designer Renny Reynolds, he is the owner of historic Hortulus Farm in Wrightstown, PA.  A book sale and signing will follow.  Visit  


 The Layered Garden with David CulpPicture of David Culp Spring Lecture book

Join David Culp as he shares his beloved Brandywine Cottage and two-acre Pennsylvania garden where he mastered the design technique of layering—interplanting many different species in the same area so that as one plant passes its peak, another takes over. The result is a nonstop parade of color that begins with a tapestry of heirloom daffodils and hellebores in spring and ends with a jewel-like blend of Asian wildflowers at the onset of winter. David Culp is a former contributing editor to Horticulture magazine, served as chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Hardy Plant Society and is Vice President for Sunny Border Nurseries in Connecticut. His articles have appeared in Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Fine Gardening and Green Scene. His garden has been featured several times in Martha Stewart Living and on HGTV. Brandywine Cottage is listed in the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens.    


Picture of Lloyd Traven Peactree Farm at Ladew
Bringing Awesome to Your Garden with Lloyd Traven

In a time when it seems every place has exactly the same plant selections, we all need fresh ideas, new choices, different methods and a whole new design concept. Water-friendly, edibles, foliage, container combinations—the rules have changed and a new world awaits. Come along with Lloyd as he shows some of the best new ideas you can take home and use this spring! Lloyd Traven and his wife Candy own Peace Tree Farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, a respected operation among international horticulturists. Lloyd is an advocate for small growers, with a passion for growing quality plants matched only by his commitment to using advanced technology combined with sustainable and organic growing techniques. 

Picture of Mark Willard at Ladew
Creating an Outdoor Room with Mark Willard

Just like a room in your house, think of your garden, outdoor terrace or rooftop deck as a "room". Unlike the controlled environment of interior rooms, an outdoor room includes many other living things and the opportunity to experience weather and seasonal changes. A well-planned outdoor room can enrich your living environment comfortably and conveniently. Mark Willard has over 25 years experience in planning, urban design and landscape architecture. Mark has worked on several award-winning projects both locally and internationally. In 1999, he started his own firm and has built a reputation for high quality design service and client satisfaction.  

Picture of D. Landreth Seed Co. at Ladew
The D. Landreth Seed Company and 
The Story of America's Great Seedhouses with Barbara Melera

Did you know that in 1798 the first zinnia seeds were sold in America; that the spinach you eat today was developed in 1826; and that the information contained in seed catalogs taught generations of Americans how to farm and live off the land? Come trace the history of the seed trade in America from 1784, when the first seedhouse establishment was opened, through the 20th century. Learn about the founding of Breck, Buist, Ferry Morse, Burpee, Park, Henderson, C. H. Lippincott and Bodger, as well as Landreth.   


Picture of Barbara Paul Robinson book at Ladew
Rosemary Verey: The Life and Lessons of a Legendary Gardener with Barbara Paul Robinson
Rosemary Verey was the last of the great English garden legends. Although she embraced gardening late in life, she quickly achieved international renown. Verey was the acknowledged apostle of the "English style," on display at her home at Barnsley House, the "must have" adviser to the rich and famous, including Prince Charles and Elton John, and a beloved and wildly popular lecturer in America. During a sabbatical from the leading international law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton where she was the first woman partner, Barbara Paul Robinson worked as a gardener for Rosemary Verey at Barnsley House. A hands-in-the-dirt gardener herself, she and her husband have created their own gardens at Brush Hill in northwestern Connecticut, featured in articles, books and television. Barbara has published articles in the New York Times, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Hortus