Mount Clare – Baltimore, Maryland

Photograph Courtesy of Mount Clare Museum House
Photograph Courtesy of Mount Clare Museum House
Mount Clare was built as a summer home by Charles Carroll, Barrister in 1756. Mr. Carroll, Barrister (as opposed to four other Charles Carrolls living at the time in Annapolis, MD, therefore the distinction Barrister) married Margaret Tilghman from the Eastern Shore of MD (while single Charles paid 20 schillings a year as a "persistent bachelor".) Margaret, his wife, was an avid gardener and Mt. Clare had a greenhouse where citrus trees were grown in tubs and a pinery for pineapples (no longer in existence.) It is thought that while General George Washington was passing by Mt. Clare on his way back to Mt. Vernon he looked over his (right shoulder?) and remarked to his aide de camp, Tench Tilghman (cousin of Margaret's) "I want to build a greenhouse. Tench, could you ask your cousin how she built hers?" There ensued correspondence (as researched by the Mt. Clare staff and noted in letters between Margaret and Tench and subsequently Washington himself), how the greenhouse should be laid out, how it should be heated by a fireplace with flues running under the floor and how the window sashes should open from the bottom as well as the top for proper circulation. As noted in other letters, Mrs. Carroll gave General Washington citrus trees for his greenhouse. To look at the recipes that Mrs. Carroll used for her dining, it is understandable that she would need lemon and lime juice to make her delectable desserts.
Claudia Tarantino, Figs as Orange Twist, 2004, Porcelain, Underglaze and China Paint, Courtesy of Artist
Claudia Tarantino, Figs as Orange Twist, 2004, Porcelain, Underglaze and China Paint, Courtesy of Artist
April 7 thru may 23: "Teapots: Objects to Subjects" will be on display at Mount Clare. Teapots designed like a stack of cardboard boxes, a female sunbather and a painting of Botticelli are among the innovative designs by the best entries of the 2004 Survey of Contemporary American Teapot at the Craft Alliance in St. Louis, Missouri.

Andrea Wulf to Speak at Monticello

The Brother Gardeners
The Brother Gardeners
Andrea Wulf, trained as design historian at Royal College of Art in London and British author of the recently published, "The Brother Gardeners," will speak at Monticello in Charlottesville, VA on Wednesday, May 13th. "Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession" is the story of a garden revolution that started with John Bartram from Philadelphia sending to Peter Collinson in London plants and seeds. So began an exploration of flora and fauna that mesmerized the British Empire. To register contact: www.monticello.org. To read reviews of Ms. Wulfs' book, her blog is www.andreawulf.com

Ladew Topiary Gardens, Monkton, MD

Opening Day is March 28th. Tally Ho! is SUNDAY, March 29th. The hounds, the horses and the mounted riders in their "pinks" from the Elkridge Harford Hunt Club will present information about this 200 year old tradition here in Monkton, about 20 miles north of Baltimore. Three weeks later the 99th running of "My Lady's Manor Steeplechase" timber races to benefit Ladew will take place. Harvey S. Ladew, dubbed "gardener, sportsman, art patron and good companion" by the "Tattler" was a New York socialite who, after World War I, spent time in England. There he was influenced by Gertrude Jekyll (preeminent English garden designer) and discovered topiary when in Gloucestershire, England. He was also influenced by Italian gardens, two cross axes for long vistas with a single color, single plant or single theme in the "garden rooms" at the end of the axis. The Garden Club of America voted Ladew Gardens the most outstanding topiary garden in America. www.ladewgardens.com www.marylandsteeplechasing.com
Hunt Scene with Fox  Courtesy of Ladew Topiary Gardens, Monkton, MD
Hunt Scene with Fox Courtesy of Ladew Topiary Gardens, Monkton, MD
Hounds Scent Lycoris Squamigera 'Naked Ladies' Courtesy of Ladew Topiary Gardens, Monkton, MD
Hounds Scent Lycoris Squamigera 'Naked Ladies' Courtesy of Ladew Topiary Gardens, Monkton, MD
Hounds Scent Daffodils  Courtesy of Ladew Topiary Gardens, Monkton, MD
Hounds Scent Daffodils Courtesy of Ladew Topiary Gardens, Monkton, MD

Crystal Palace, London, England

Sydenham Crystal Palace Fountains
Sydenham Crystal Palace Fountains
Crystal Palace was built in 1851 by Joseph Paxton for the Great Exhibition and was constructed in Hyde Park, London. The vaulted glass and iron structure influenced Pierre S. du Pont in the building of Longwood Gardens Conservatory. In 1854 the Crystal Palace was moved to south-east London. Over the years until 1936 when it was destroyed by fire, it was a venue for many types of events including horticultural shows and had an aquarium. The building was an important venue for music, in part because the vaulted roof enhanced the sound. Paxton's work in the grounds was influenced by the Palace of Versailles and his engineering influenced the building of Crystal Palaces in Gothenburg, Sweden, Madrid, and Milan. http://www.crystalpalacefoundation.org.uk/

The Batchelors Cotillon in Baltimore

The Bachelors Cotillon in Baltimore takes place traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving. Begun in the mid 1790s, the Members of the Cotillon presented their daughters at an evening ball at various venues over the years, the most notable of which, and for the most past century, was at the Baltimore Lyric Opera House (commencing in 1894). Each debutante received a number of bouquets for the occasion which are then all transported to the Lyric and adorned over the sides of each opera box of the young lady in a spectacular cascading array of floral splendor. Today most of these traditions are continued, though the venue has shifted to the large ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel, where specially constructed boxes are made to replicate those of the Lyric House. The venue change was necessary when the Lyric was remodeled in the early 1980s, and the removable seats of the orchestra over the old original ballroom floor were replaced with stronger, safer permanent seats, forever precluding any further ballroom dancing from that time on. As one florist commented, “Baltimore’s Cotillon is truly unique.” I’ve never seen so many flowers.” This bouquet was created by Betty Davis.
Baltimore's Batchelors Cotillon
Bouquet by Betty Davis