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By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | June 10, 2000
Even though he died nearly a quarter of a century ago, Harvey S. Ladew's 250-acre landmark estate on Jarrettsville Pike near Monkton continues to draw more than 30,000 visitors a year from 40 countries. They come to visit its 22 acres of formal gardens and legendary topiary that the Garden Club of America has designated "the finest topiary garden in America." Known formally as Pleasant Valley Farm and perhaps more commonly as Ladew Gardens, the 15 formal gardens and restored 18th-century manor house are the lasting vision and handiwork of Harvey S. Ladew, the wealthy raconteur, horseman, writer, collector, artist, gourmet, world traveler and horticulturist, who died at 89 in 1976.
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By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | May 25, 2014
Frances W. Riepe, a former interior decorator who had been a trustee of Ladew Topiary Gardens, died May 16 of congestive heart failure at her home in the Brightwood retirement community in Lutherville. She was 91. The daughter of Francis Asbury Warner Jr., founder of the Warner-Graham Co., and Elsie McGee Warner, a homemaker, the former Frances Warner was born in Baltimore and raised on Hollen Road in Cedarcroft. She attended Bryn Mawr School and graduated in 1941 from the Knox School in Cooperstown, N.Y. In 1946, she married George Mitchell Stump Riepe, who later became president of the Warner-Graham Co. Mrs. Riepe earned a certificate in 1964 from the New York School of Interior Design and owned and operated an interior decorating firm from her Guilford home.
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By Evy Herr Anderson and Evy Herr Anderson,Special to The Sun | December 11, 1994
Living plants have been trimmed and trained into ornamental shapes since ancient Rome, but topiary has developed a new sense of whimsy over the past few years.No longer limited to living shrubs and bushes that have been clipped into shapes, the term "topiary" now is used more broadly to describe sculptures that resemble ornamental plants or that make use of living materials to form their shape and decoration.Many of the fanciful forms turning up on dining room tables and sideboards this holiday season suggest living topiary in shape, color, or texture but are constructed with materials ranging from cut branches and cinnamon sticks to costume jewelry.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2013
Some would say that Philip Krach is just a gardener, a man whose existence revolves around the seasons, the emergence of hundreds of iris blooms and roses in the spring, the relentless growth of weeds and grass in the summer, the quick disappearance of the perennials in the fall frost. But watch Krach take hold of a pair of electric hedge clippers at Ladew Topiary Gardens and attack the yew, carving perfect straight lines and curves that only he seems to see so clearly in his mind's eye. Working on a 10- to 15-foot high topiary seahorse, he wields the clippers as though they are an extension of his arms and hands, with a flick of the elbow or wrist this way or that producing a clean line.
FEATURES
By Nancy Taylor Robson and Nancy Taylor Robson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 13, 1998
This time of year, I look at the artfully decorated rooms in magazines, and I want them. Handmade garlands of bittersweet and Russian olive around doorways, kissing balls of boxwood and strung cranberries at the entryway, sprigs of holly in windows held by a dollop of beeswax. I want it all. But the realities of time preclude it. Fortunately, there's tabletop topiary.Topiary, the art of pruning a plant into a geometric or whimsical ornamental shape, has been practiced by horticulturists and amateurs alike since Roman times.
FEATURES
By Jill L. Kubatko | March 1, 1992
Becky can finish what others startLIf you don't have the time, take it to Becky Kuhn's place."We finish any home or craft project that people don't finish," says Ms. Kuhn of her seven year-old business, appropriately dubbed "Finish It Inc."Ms. Kuhn and the seven craftswomen she uses at her home-based White Marsh business will take over just about any project that has complete instructions and materials.They can turn finished stitch projects into stockings or pillows, repair crochet or cross-stitch pieces, and complete afghans.
NEWS
By Mike Klingaman and Mike Klingaman,Sun Staff Writer | September 11, 1994
Though it's rush hour, traffic slows to a crawl along Lake Avenue as motorists study the exotic wildlife there -- and the well-dressed woman who gives the creatures haircuts and shaves.Snip, snip. The bear looks good as new. Clip, clip. The elephant's woody whiskers are gone. The woman moves from beast to beast, pruning shears in one hand while she waves to a passing car with the other.The horticultural barbershop is in the front yard of Maria Taylor, a self-taught Picasso of privet hedges, a woman who looks at shrubs and trees as a sculptor would a slab of granite.
NEWS
November 29, 2006
Holiday workshops -- Historic London Town and Gardens will offer a wreath-making workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday and a topiary workshop until 1 p.m. at 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater. Participants are asked to bring clippers; greens will be provided. Reservations are required. The cost for London Town members is $25 for each workshop or $45 for both. The cost for nonmembers is $28 for each workshop or $50 for both. Information: 410-222-1919.
FEATURES
By Elizabeth Large and Elizabeth Large,SUN STAFF | April 13, 1997
A cut aboveFlorists suggest that before you arrange your flowers you recut the stems on an angle underwater. But it's harder to do than it sounds unless you're a professional with a good sharp knife. (You're not supposed to use scissors; you might mangle the stems.)Now you can prolong the life of your bouquets with an Aqua Blum underwater stem cutter, a handy little tool that makes a clean cut -- on an angle for maximum water absorption. Available locally at Smith & Hawken in Mount Washington for $21.Last year, more than 5,000 people attended the National Arboretum's garden fair and plant auction.
NEWS
January 17, 2006
On January 14, 2006, NADINE QUINTAL BENTZ; beloved wife of the late John "Freddie" Cleggette Bentz; devoted mother of Lynne Bentz, of Baltimore, MD and John Stephen Bentz and his wife Deborah, both of East Providence, RI; loving grandmother of Heidi C. Pinto, of Cape Coral, FL, John C. Bentz, of Troutman, NC and James S. Bentz, of East Providence, RI; dear great-grandmother of David R. Yeargain and Mario E. Pinto. Also survived by Thomas and Topiary. Services and interment private in Druid Ridge Cemetery.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2013
Some would say that Philip Krach is just a gardener, a man whose existence revolves around the seasons, the emergence of hundreds of iris blooms and roses in the spring, the relentless growth of weeds and grass in the summer, the quick disappearance of the perennials in the fall frost. But watch Krach take hold of a pair of electric hedge clippers at Ladew Topiary Gardens and attack the yew, carving perfect straight lines and curves that only he seems to see so clearly in his mind's eye. Working on a 10- to 15-foot high topiary seahorse, he wields the clippers as though they are an extension of his arms and hands, with a flick of the elbow or wrist this way or that producing a clean line.
EXPLORE
By Julianne Peeling | April 15, 2013
What he does: Tyler Diehl oversees the design, planting and maintenance of 22 acres of lush gardens in Monkton. The Ladew property, which is 250 acres in total, includes a nature walk and 15 “garden rooms,” each with its own theme. While most of the design work takes place in the winter, along with seed-starting and mechanical maintenance, a typical day throughout the year involves cleaning, mulching and pruning. How he got his start: As a child, Diehl enjoyed playing outside, reveling in the plants of his own backyard.  “Then one day somebody said, 'You know, you can go to school for this,' ” he says.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | December 29, 2011
Maria S. Taylor, a gardener called the "Picasso of privet hedges" after she transformed a suburban front yard into a topiary menagerie, died Saturday after a fall at her home in the Lake Falls section of Baltimore County. She was 71. "Though it's rush hour, traffic slows to a crawl along Lake Avenue as motorists study the exotic wildlife — and the well-dressed woman who gives the creatures haircuts and shaves," a 1994 Baltimore Sun article said of her. Born Maria Swandell in Glasgow, Scotland, she was raised by nuns in an orphanage.
NEWS
By Nancy Taylor Robson and Nancy Taylor Robson,Special to The Baltimore Sun | December 20, 2008
Even if you're trying to economize this holiday, you don't have to give up greenery. For as little as $8, you can make a potted topiary plant that will not only enliven your holiday table this year, but in holidays to come. "They're easy to care for and they last for years," says Steven Winterfeldt, a horticulturist at Jackson & Perkins, a nursery in Hodges, S.C. Topiaries are living plants that have been trained into distinctive shapes, an art form that started with the Greeks and Romans.
NEWS
By Cassandra A. Fortin and Cassandra A. Fortin,Special to The Sun | April 13, 2008
Donna Hepner said she generally avoids nature whenever she can. But when the opportunity arose to take an outdoor art class, she took it. On a recent afternoon, she sat in a garden and sketched reflections of a tree in a pond, with ink, pencils, and charcoal. As she made marks on the paper, her work took on life. "When you create art outdoors you need to be relaxed and open," said Hepner, 41, of Joppa. "If you try to control nature, it doesn't work well." Hepner was one of several students who participated in art classes offered by the Maryland Institute College of Art at Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton.
NEWS
November 29, 2006
Holiday workshops -- Historic London Town and Gardens will offer a wreath-making workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday and a topiary workshop until 1 p.m. at 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater. Participants are asked to bring clippers; greens will be provided. Reservations are required. The cost for London Town members is $25 for each workshop or $45 for both. The cost for nonmembers is $28 for each workshop or $50 for both. Information: 410-222-1919.
NEWS
By Amy L. Miller and Amy L. Miller,Staff writer | April 26, 1992
When everything else is going crazy in your life, you can always control your plants.At least that's Barbara Steele's theory, co-owner of Alloway Gardens in Littlestown, Pa., who will be demonstrating topiaries and exhibiting herbs May 2 and 3 at the Union Mills Homestead Plant and Antique Show and Sale."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Elizabeth Large and Elizabeth Large,SUN RESTAURANT CRITIC | July 9, 1998
We've heard endlessly about Planet Hollywood's celebrities and its merchandise, but not much about the food. Now that one of the trendy chain's eateries has opened up in Harborplace, I thought it might be time to take a look at the menu. Even those who aren't planning to go now will probably end up eating there sooner or later -- dragged to it by their teen-agers or out-of-town visitors.Not surprisingly, the food is mostly casual fare, with burgers, fajitas, pastas and salads front and center.
NEWS
January 17, 2006
On January 14, 2006, NADINE QUINTAL BENTZ; beloved wife of the late John "Freddie" Cleggette Bentz; devoted mother of Lynne Bentz, of Baltimore, MD and John Stephen Bentz and his wife Deborah, both of East Providence, RI; loving grandmother of Heidi C. Pinto, of Cape Coral, FL, John C. Bentz, of Troutman, NC and James S. Bentz, of East Providence, RI; dear great-grandmother of David R. Yeargain and Mario E. Pinto. Also survived by Thomas and Topiary. Services and interment private in Druid Ridge Cemetery.
NEWS
April 3, 2005
Ladew Topiary Gardens will open for the season at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Visitors to the 22-acre Ladew grounds at 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, will find early flowering bulbs, shrubs and trees. The Manor House will be open for 45-minute guided tours daily. Ladew will be open until Oct. 31. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. Regular admission, including a guided house tour, is $13 for adults, $11 seniors and students, and $5 for children younger than 12. Admission to the gardens and nature walk only: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and $2 for children younger than 12. Information: 410-557-9466.
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