Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, (301) 962-1400, brooksidegardens.org. Free is a very good price for access to 50 acres of gorgeous gardens, although the butterfly exhibit costs a minimal fee. The Japanese style garden sounds intriguing, as does the formal garden. Be sure to stop and smell the, um, fragrance garden. Don't miss the Summer Twilight Concert Series June 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30. Bedding Design with Nicky Beadle, a free garden demo in an informal setting, takes place June 1 or stop by for the Brookside's 40th birthday Party July 19 with birthday cake, family fun, and an early concert.
Chanticleer, 786 Church Road, Wayne, Pa., (610) 687-4163, chanticleergarden.org. Chanticleer is known as a pleasure garden, offering an escape from the hustle bustle of everyday life in their orchard, pond garden, Asian woods, and house garden. Here you will find nature's alternative to the desk chair: furniture made from bamboo and a living room set made entirely of stone.
Druid Hill Conservatory and Botanic Gardens, Druid Hill Park, McCulloh and Gwynn Falls Parkway, (410) 396-0180. A lovely Victorian glass structure that offers visitors a peaceful moment surrounded with plants. A walk through the Orchid Room delivers you to the Palm House in the large front space and the back three greenhouses replicate desert, Mediterranean, and tropic habitats.
Dumbarton Oaks, 32nd Street between S and R streets, Washington, (202) 339-6410, doaks.org. If you prefer your gardens on the scholarly side, give Dumbarton Oaks a whirl. But, ironic name for a research library and collection, no? More suited is the name of one of the founders, Mildred Bliss. That is precisely what one will find here: bliss.
Ladew Gardens, 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, (410) 557-9466, ladewgardens.com. With their topiary garden, Ladew can't shake the references to Edward Scissorhands, but why would it want to? Everyone loves Edward, and Ladew Gardens is movie magic come to life. Its best known feature is a clipped hunt scene atop a hedge that mimics one that Harvey Ladew admired in Gloucestershire, England, but the koi pond is lovely. Fancy Italian sports cars will be on display at the Ferrari Car Show June 2. In the Garden Series takes place June 23-Aug. 25, when you can earn the skills that pay the bills at Ladew, straight from the gardeners who work there; includes admission to the garden and nature walk.
Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pa., (610) 388-1000, ext. 100, longwoodgardens.org. You'll be seeing 20/20 after leaving a visit at Longwood--20 indoor gardens and 20 outdoors. Not to be missed is the Open Air Theatre Fountains with 750 nozzles pumping 2,000 gallons of water per minute with 600 lights flashing red, blue, green, white, and yellow. Trippy. Plan your visit for the Fireworks and Fountains evenings May 24, July 4, and Aug. 8: Bring a lawn chair or blanket to kick back and enjoy a spectacular display of fire and water with a Longwood first, disco music. Come down early to partake in delicious BBQ.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201