Ladew Topiary Gardens

Named One of the Top 5 Gardens
in North America


This portion of the path passes through a small grove of ever green conifers. Evergreen trees retain leaves or needles throughout the year. Conifers are trees that produce seeds in cones instead of flowers. The conifers here are loblolly pines (Pinus taeda), which typically grow in Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, but are rarely found north of Baltimore. They grow rapidly and make good construction lumber; perhaps that is why Mr. Ladew planted them. An evergreen conifer more typical of our region is the white pine (Pinus strobus). To distinguish these two pine species, compare their needle clusters; loblolly clusters have three long (6-9 inch) needles; white pine clusters have five short (3-6 inch) needles, Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) from Western Maryland has also been planted here.

Note that few plants live directly under a pine stand. The heavy shade and dense bed of acidic needles hinder the growth of many plants, including hardwood seedlings that could grow taller than pines and shade them out. Eventually the pines age, thin out and die, admitting more light and enabling hardwoods, such as black cherry and tulip poplar, to replace them.


View a map of the Nature Walk