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 on-site. 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. Bottled water is available for sale in the Gift Shop.

The Ladew Café is open from 11 am - 3 pm featuring delicious artisan sandwiches, salads, quiche, sweets, and more.

Is the Manor House open for tours?
The historic Manor House offers 30-minute docent-guided tours. House tours are offered Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays (10 am - 1 pm, every hour) and Weekends (10 am - 1:30 pm, every half hour) The cost is an additional $5. First-come, first-served timed 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?
Ladew Gardens, a 22-acre historical property in the Maryland countryside, is committed to making its Gardens, Manor House, Nature Walk, Butterfly House, Gift Shop, Café, and programs as accessible as possible.  However, due to the historic nature of the campus and buildings, some areas may present challenges to those in wheelchairs or who have difficulty walking.


  • ~ Formal Gardens – The Hunt Scene, Woodland Garden, Victorian Garden, Berry Garden and Croquet Court are accessible by paved and/or hard packed surfaces.  The rest of the Gardens are lawn and mulched or gravel paths.  Please note that wet ground conditions can make the Gardens more challenging to navigate. 
  • ~ Manor House – The original 18th century structure has had many additions to it over the years, creating the necessity for one or two steps in between many of the rooms.  Only two of the rooms in the Manor House are wheelchair accessible.
  • ~ Nature Walk – The first quarter of the mile-long Nature Walk trail is wheelchair accessible boardwalk, however, the path leading to the Nature Walk is gravel.
  • ~ Butterfly House – The Butterfly House can be accessed via a wheelchair-friendly path through the Café Courtyard and then a short distance across a grass path. The floor of the Butterfly House is gravel.
  • ~ Gift Shop, Café, Studio/Gallery & Restrooms are all wheelchair accessible.

A wheelchair is available for visitor use on a first come, first served basis.  Golf cart tours are available Monday through Friday, for those with mobility issues and must be scheduled a week in advance. 

>View the Accessibility Page<


Do you allow picnicking in the gardens?
Ladew has picnic tables near the parking lot which are available on a first come, first served 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 upon your floral and seasonal preference. The spring bloom of tulips, azaleas, irises, 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. July and August are peak time for summer annuals and perennials. 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 parked car 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.

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 - 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Thursday through Tuesday. No props, changing of clothing, bathing suits, lingerie or nude photography is permitted.

During photography sessions 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.

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.  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 an event is rescheduled due to weather or unforeseen circumstances and you are not able to attend on the rescheduled date, we will refund the ticket price. (If able to switch to another program with the same fee, we can usually accommodate this request.)