What is Topiary? (and other frequently asked questions, we’d be happy to answer) 


TOPIARY To • pi • ar • y (tö’pi-er’i), adj. [ L. topiarius, concerning an ornamental garden < topia (opera),ornamental gardening < Gr, topos, place], designating or of the art of trimming and training shrubs or trees into unnatural ornamental shapes.
n. [ pl. TOPIARIES (-iz)], 1. Topiary art or work. 2. A topiary garden.


How far is parking from the house and gardens?
Plenty of free parking is available onsite. Overflow parking is field parking and still only a short walk to Admissions. It is only about a 1 to 2 minute walk to the Manor House, Gardens, Gift Shop and restrooms.

What visitor conveniences do you offer?
Public restrooms are located near the Gift Shop. A water fountain is located in the restroom foyer.  Water is available for sale in the Gift Shop.

Harford County's popular Eats & Sweets will soon be serving up delicious artisan sandwiches, salads, sweets, and more at the Ladew Café! (beginning June 1st).

Picnicking is welcomed and picnic tables are located near the parking lot and are to be used on a first come first serve basis. Trash receptacles are not available. Please carry out what you carry in. Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome; picnickers should leave pathways accessible for other guests. Tables, glassware, fresh flowers, alcohol, and cooking of food are not permitted.

Is the Manor House open for tours?
The historic Manor House has reopened with 30-minute docent-guided tours. House tours are offered Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays (10 am - 1 pm, every hour) and Weekends (10 am - 2:30 pm, every half hour) The cost is an additional $5. First-come, first-serve tickets are sold in the Gift Shop. Free for Ladew Members. (Tickets are not sold online. Reservations are not accepted.).

Are the House, Gardens, Butterfly House and Nature Walk trail accessible?
The House is equipped with a ramp for limited wheelchair access. The Gardens are partially accessible to wheelchairs. Paths are paving stones, bricks, gravel or grass. Please note that wet weather can make the gardens more difficult to navigate. The paths leading to the Butterfly House are grass and gravel. The first quarter of the Nature Walk trail is a wheelchair accessible boardwalk.

Do you allow picnicking in the gardens?
Ladew has picnic tables near the parking lot. They are available on a first come, first serve basis. Picnicking is also available on the lawn or on benches throughout the gardens, except for in The Hunt Scene and The Great Bowl. Please pack out your trash. Tables, glassware, fresh flowers, balloons, alcohol, and cooking of food are not permitted.

Is alcohol permitted on the property?
In compliance with Harford County Liquor Board, alcohol is only permitted at private after-hours party rentals or sold by special permit by Ladew Gardens at events.

What is the best time of year to see the most blooms?
There are multiple opportunities to see the gardens at peak bloom, but it depends on your floral and seasonal preference. The spring bloom of tulips, azaleas, shrubs and flowering trees is most colorful from mid-April to mid-May, depending on the weather. June is peak for the roses and early perennials and if summer annuals and perennials are your thing, July and August are peak time. The fall is also beautiful with late season perennials, annuals and colorful deciduous trees. 

Can I bring my pet?
Pets are not permitted on the property, nor are there provisions to temporarily house them during a visit. Please do not leave pets in your car in the parking lot during warm weather since shade is minimal. Properly identified service animals that provide assistance for guests with disabilities are permitted.

Do you have an ATM?
No, however, we accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and debit cards.

Can I bring my frisbee or football?
Sports equipment of any kind is not permitted on the property.

What is your photography policy?
We welcome guests to take casual photographs of their visit for their own personal use. However, personal photographs and videos may not be used for commercial purposes. Bathing suit and lingerie photography is strictly prohibited. The use of props and the changing of clothes is not permitted.

Wedding photography is a benefit for those that have booked their ceremony and or reception at Ladew and must be scheduled in advance. Any other wedding photography is not permitted.

Commercial photoshoots must be scheduled in advance and are subject to approval and fee. This includes portfolio photography for aspiring photographers and models and student or class projects.

Family and portrait photography by professional photographers is permitted, but must be scheduled and pre-paid at least 48 hours in advance. The fee is $200 and includes admissions for the photographer and 2 people. In case of cancellation either by the photographer or Ladew Gardens, a full refund will be provided. All photography must be done within our normal business hours - 9:00am-3:00pm, Thursday through Tuesday. No props, changing of clothing, bathing suits, lingerie or nude photography is permitted.

Guests are not permitted, at any time, to sit or lean on topiary, walk in flower beds, block pathways, step into ponds or other water features or interfere with the enjoyment of other guests.

Drone use is strictly prohibited on the property.

Upon entering the premises, you grant Ladew Topiary Gardens and its agents the right to videotape, film, and photograph you and use your likeness in connection with the commercial production, and in the distribution, exhibition, and exploitation thereof.

Can I paint in the Gardens?
Plein air artists are welcome at Ladew. Artists requiring a chair must bring their own (artists may not work while sitting on any benches or chairs belonging to Ladew). Artists may not set up on hard surfaces, in flower beds or block pathways. Any liquids used by artist (water to clean brushes, etc) must be disposed of properly and not dumped on any surface in the Gardens. Artists must have the ability to transport their own equipment in and out of the Gardens. Staff is not available to assist.

Can I have a small ceremony or dedication at Ladew?
Weddings, wedding receptions, religious and non-religious ceremonies, commemorations, and dedications must all occur after hours and are subject to rental fees. Please see our Rentals page for details.

What is the new Benefit for Ladew Members?
Ladew Gardens has partnered with Cuseum to offer our members a complimentary digital membership card. This eco-friendly and sustainable platform will provide you the convenience of easy admission, and you never have to worry about losing or forgetting your card at home. The new digital membership program was recently launched and by now, you should have received instructions to download your new digital card. Guest passes associated with your membership are stored electronically in our system. New and renewed memberships will not receive guest passes in the mail. The guest passes that have been sent preciously are valid until their expiration date. 

Anything else I should know?
For the safety of your children and enjoyment of other guests, children must be supervised at all times.

Guests are not permitted to enter the pool in The Great Bowl or any other water feature.

Sports activities, pets and loud sounds belong elsewhere. Cancellation Policy: All sales are final. If the event is rescheduled due to weather or unforeseen circumstances and you are not able to attend a rescheduled date, we will refund the ticket price, minus the processing fee. (If able to switch to another program with the same fee, we can usually accommodate this request.)

Cancellation Policy:
All sales are final. If the event is rescheduled due to weather or unforeseen circumstances and you are not able to attend a rescheduled date, we will refund the ticket price.