Mission: To maintain, promote and nurture Ladew Topiary Gardens -- including it's 18th-century manor house and 15 formal gardens designed by the late Harvey S. Ladew, a gentleman, horseman, fox hunter, farmer, world traveler, linguist, writer, raconteur, artist, music lover, collector and horticulturist. Regarded as a 20th-century landscape architectural monument, the 22 acres of gardens have been called "the finest topiary garden in America" by the Garden Club of America. The manor house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Latest accomplishment: Completion of a $2 million capital campaign that provides funds for new handicapped accessible restrooms, gift-shop remodeling and restoration of the gardener's cottage.
On the horizon: Ladew starts its outdoor summer concert series at 6 p.m. today with a performance by the Dunloggin Pipes and Drums in the Great Bowl. Also, expansion of a gardening program that teaches city school children the principles of conservation and horticulture. A nature trail is scheduled to open in the fall of 1999.