These green oases – with ornamental, heirloom or native plants, topiary, outdoor sculpture and historical roots – can easily be the colorful centerpiece for a Maryland getaway.
Whether you are an avid gardener, birdwatcher, appreciator of art – or just looking to enjoy nature, stretch your legs, and walk your dog – our public gardens are an inexpensive way to enjoy the outdoors and celebrate the seasons.
1 Ladew Topiary Gardens - Baltimore County
Harvey S. Ladew (1887-1976), who established the topiary gardens here, was, according to the British magazine Tatler, "a gardner, sporting art patron and good companion." It seems only fitting, then, that a life-sized foxhunt scene – one of two-dozen garden rooms on his former 250-acre property – is arguably the most recognizable topiary forms in the region. For more insights on this and other masterpieces, Ladew's 'In the Garden' series and spring lectures offer a variety of gardening-related talks.
More about Ladew Topiary Gardens
3535 Jarrettsville Pike
Monkton, MD 21111
2 Brookside Gardens - near D.C.
An azalea garden, rose garden, children's garden, formal garden, fragrance garden, and Japanese-style garden, all surrounded by a "Heart-Smart Trail," are part of this 50-acre collection of public gardens. The property – part of Wheaton Regional Park – also has two conservatories and a horticultural reference library in its visitor center.
More about Brookside Gardens
Arts & Culture
1800 Glenallan Ave
Wheaton, MD 20902
3 Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens - Baltimore City
The Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens has distinct environments that allow the display of plants from all over the world.
More about Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens
3100 Swann Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21217
4 Sherwood Gardens - Baltimore City
Six fabulous acres of natural beauty. A great time to visit is late April when thousands of tulips are in bloom.
More about Sherwood Gardens
4100 Greenway St
Baltimore, MD 21212
5 Heritage Museums & Gardens of Dorchester - Eastern Shore
Three historic buildings with interactive exhibits about farm life, industry, timbering, water trades, hunting and trapping, and Native Americans and families of the area. Group tours arranged.
More about Heritage Museums & Gardens of Dorchester
History & Heritage
c/o Dorchester County Historical Society
Cambridge, MD 21613
6 Historic London Town and Gardens - near Annapolis
Overlooking the South River, London Town was a 17th-century tobacco port, and today, only about a quarter of the town's original 100 acres remain. Within the historic area are the Colonial Kitchen Garden, African-American Foodways Garden and Richard Hill Medicinal Garden, which include herbs, heirloom flowers and vegetables, fruit trees and various crops. London Town also features the Woodland, Ornamental and Environmental gardens.
More about Historic London Town and Gardens
839 Londontown Rd
Edgewater, MD 21037
7 McCrillis Gardens - Bethesda
Donated to the Maryland-National Park Capital Park and Planning Commission in 1978 by William and Virginia McCrillis and managed by Brookside Gardens, McCrillis is known for its stellar shade gardens. The site has a pavilion and benches, and is home to the Brookside Garden School of Botanical Art and Illustration.
More about McCrillis Gardens
6910 Greentree Rd
Bethesda, MD 20817
8 William Paca House and Garden - Annapolis
Tour the colonial mansion of Declaration of Independence signer, William Paca, and walk through his luxurious two-acre colonial garden.
More about William Paca House and Garden
History & Heritage
186 Prince George St
Annapolis, MD 21401
9 Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center - Southern Maryland
Art intersects nature at this Southern Maryland destination. The sculpture garden has a quarter-mile pathway winding through a collection of museum-quality sculpture – some of it on loan from the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Annmarie also has more than 500 hybrid azaleas. While you're here, be sure to inquire about the classes and exhibitions offered by the arts center.
More about Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center
13480 Dowell Rd
Dowell, MD 20629
10 Sotterley Plantation - Southern Maryland
The garden at this tidewater manor (circa 1710) located on the banks of the Patuxent River was designed in 1910 in the form of an 18th-century garden. It includes vegetable and herb gardens, fruit and nut trees, and an array of flowering plants – all typical of a colonial garden.
More about Sotterley Plantation
History & Heritage
44300 Sotterley Ln
Hollywood, MD 20636
11 Cylburn Arboretum - Baltimore City
In 1954, the city established Cylburn Wildflower Preserve and Garden Center on the site of a successful 19th-century businessman's summer home. The 207-acre property, with its post-Civil War mansion and expanding collection of trees, was renamed in 1982. Volunteers have designed three miles of trails and various gardens to create a center for environmental education and horticulture. The annual Market Day, featuring plants and flowers for sale, seminars, arts and crafts, and a range of family activities, occurs on the second Saturday in May.
More about Cylburn Arboretum
4915 Greenspring Ave
Baltimore, MD 21209
12 Adkins Arboretum - Eastern Shore
This 400-acre garden on the Eastern Shore has the Delmarva region's largest collection of native plants: 600 species of shrubs, trees, wildflowers and grasses. Visitors can walk along five miles of pathways through woods, meadows, streams, wetlands and gardens.
More about Adkins Arboretum
12610 Eveland Rd
Ridgely, MD 21660
13 Homestead Gardens - Annapolis
Stroll the landscaped grounds for design ideas, relax with gourmet coffees, visit with the llamas, or explore the garden center for the perfect item to complement your home.
More about Homestead Gardens
Scenic Points & Landmarks
743 West Central Ave
Annapolis, MD 21035
14 Lilypons Water Gardens - Adamstown, near Frederick
Waterlilies by the acre in production ponds and demonstration ponds attract visitors from around the globe. Blooming season is mid-May to mid-September.
More about Lilypons Water Gardens
6800 Lily Pons Rd
Adamstown, MD 21710