Fall Lectures

Multiple Dates & Times
  • Get Tickets
  • Details
Event Stats
Event Description

Ladew’s Fall Lecture Series features distinguished speakers who will offer insights and inspiration to garden lovers and gardeners of all ages and abilities. The presenters will take you on a journey through their explorations of garden design concepts, plant selections, growing techniques, floral design, natural history, decorative arts, history, or environmental sciences, while offering rare glimpses into some of the nation’s most beautiful private gardens. Ladew’s Lecture Series is offered every fall and spring and is held in Harvey Ladew’s Barn Gallery and Studio.

The details

$25 for Members 
$35 for Non-members 

SERIES DISCOUNT Sign up for all five daytime lectures and receive one free! 
$100 for Members
$140 for Non-members

Select the icon below to register for the series.

$15 is optional and by reservation

10:00 am Doors open 
Coffee and Danish served
10:30 am  Lectures begin

Reservations should be made in advance and accompanied by payment. Registrants’ names are checked at the door on the day of the program. Tickets will be sent via email or smartphone, or held at will-call. New this season, we are no longer accepting mailed registrations. Please call 410.557.9570 if you would like to pay by check.


The Unexpected Houseplant
with Tovah Martin (with book sale)

Get ready for the Houseplant Revolution. What the world needs now is more green close by – and houseplants are the answer. These aren’t your grandmother’s dowdy, dusty versions... these are houseplants with panache! Have you ever thought of growing a perennial as a housemate, for example? Heucheras and primroses are just a couple of the unexpected houseplants recommended in this lecture. You’ve tried and failed with houseplants? Here’s how to make your windowsill into a success story without quitting your day job. You and kangaroo paws are going to live happily ever after.

An avid (verging on obsessed) gardener indoors and outside, Tovah Martin is the author of many gardening books – Her newly published title, The Garden in Every Sense and Season hit the bookstores in April 2018. That book follows The Indestructible Houseplant, The Unexpected Houseplant, and The New Terrarium as well as Tasha Tudor’s Garden. A freelance writer, her articles have appeared in publications throughout the country including Country Gardens, Garden Design, Traditional Home, Martha Stewart Living, Cottage Journal, Milieu, Yankee, Connecticut Cottages & Gardens as well as Gardens Illustrated and The Daily Telegraph in Europe. She is an accredited Organic Land Care Professional through NOFA, an honorary member of the Garden Club of America and the recipient of their medal for outstanding literary achievement. In 2013, she received the Gustav Mehlquist Award—the highest honor bestowed by the Connecticut Horticultural Society. She has appeared on the Martha Stewart Show, PBS television series and the CBS Sunday Early Show as well as many other television and radio broadcasts. She speaks throughout the country and has lectured aboard the QE2. Tovah can be found at www.tovahmartin.com and she posts on Facebook at Plantswise by Tovah Martin. 

A book sale will take place following the lecture.

Heroes of Horticulture: Americans Who Transformed the Landscape
with Barbara Paul Robinson (with book sale)

Here are the vibrant stories of eighteen contemporary heroes of horticulture – institution builders, plant explorers and garden creators who have all had a major impact on the American landscape. Over the course of their careers, these heroes have worked to preserve and enhance our public spaces, setting new standards for aesthetics and encouraging wider public participation. Whether you work the soil or not, you’ll listen to their stories with a sense of wonder and admiration, and there’s a good chance you’ll derive some practical horticultural benefits as well!

Barbara Paul Robinson worked as a gardener for Rosemary Verey at Barnsley House.  A hands-in-the-dirt gardener herself, she and her husband have created their own gardens at Brush Hill in northwestern Connecticut, which has been featured in articles, books and television. Her new book is Heroes of Horticulture: Americans Who Transformed the Landscape; her first book was, Rosemary Verey: The Life and Lessons of a Legendary Gardener. A frequent speaker, Barbara has published articles in the New York Times, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Hortus; she has also written a chapter in Rosemary Verey’s The Secret Garden. To find out more about Barbara, visit brushhillgardens.com and godine.com/book/heroes-of-horticulture/.  A book sale will take place following the lecture.

The Garden and the Library: The Botanical Legacies of Bunny Mellon
with Sir Peter Crane

Rachel Lambert Mellon is perhaps best known for her exquisite sense of style and her association with Jacqueline Kennedy. But she was also a dedicated gardener and a collector-connoisseur of botanical, garden and landscape books, manuscripts and art. Informed by the works in her library, as well as unerring taste and deep horticultural experience, Mrs. Mellon became an accomplished garden designer. Most notably, she designed the Rose Garden at The White House during the Kennedy Administration. In this talk, we will explore the multiple botanical legacies of Mrs. Mellon, and show how they will live into the future as the Oak Spring Garden Foundation.

 Sir Peter Crane, FRS is President of the Oak Spring Garden Foundation. From 1999 to 2006 he was Director of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and from 2009 to 2016 he was Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. He is known internationally for his work on the diversity of plant life – its origin, fossil history, current status, conservation and use. He received the International Prize for Biology in December 2014.

A White House Christmas
with Laura Dowling (with floral demo/book sale)

 Join Laura Dowling, former Chief Floral Designer at the White House, for a lecture and floral demonstration focusing on tips and techniques for holiday decorating in ‘the White House style.’ Laura will highlight the talented team of volunteers who assisted her in creating amazing décor that carried out the First Lady’s vision, showcased America’s artists and handcrafted designs, and celebrated beloved Christmas traditions and American ideals. Enjoy behind-the-scenes anecdotes and stories about what it was like to design and implement holiday décor in the iconic White House setting.

Laura Dowling served as Chief Floral Designer at the White House from 2009 until 2015. As creative director for flowers and décor, she managed White House floral design and installations for special events and the Obama family residence. Laura focused on the conviction that flowers can be more than just decorative objects. Her White House floral designs were thoughtfully conceived to convey important diplomatic messages, meaning, and metaphor. Her first book Floral Diplomacy at the White House is published by Stichtung Kunstboek (March 2017). Her latest book, A White House Christmas, also published by Stichtung Kunstboek will be for sale. Laura is known for her contemporary and romantic style of flower arrangement featuring a free interplay between flowers, floral boughs, and branches, berried twigs and leafy vines, combined with more formally designed bouquets. Inspiration is taken from the splendor of abundant gardens, balancing artistic vision with the beauty and free form of nature.  A book sale and flower arrangement sale will take place following the lecture.

Woodland Treasures
with John Lonsdale (w/ plant sale)

In this talk, John Lonsdale will discuss a selection of the many unusual and beautiful woodland plants which he grows in his garden in Exton, PA. The presentation will highlight genera including Trillium, Galanthus, Cyclamen, Corydalis, Hepatica, Erythronium, Cypripedium, Epimedium, and Arisaema, members of which are suitable for a variety of conditions from dry shade to vernally moist sunlit woodland edges. John is particularly interested in pushing the limits of cultivation of many of these plants, and the talk will emphasize methods for their cultivation and propagation.

John Lonsdale is a Research Specialist at Longwood Gardens, where he is responsible for managing the experimental nursery and plant trials. Born in England, John has grown and propagated a wide variety of alpine and woodland plants and bulbs for more than 30 years and is a recipient of the Alpine Garden Society Gold Merit Medal. He regularly contributes articles to the publications of a number of horticultural societies, lectures widely and maintains a website (www.edgewoodgardens.net) featuring over 10,000 images of plants growing in his Exton, PA garden. He contributed a chapter discussing Cyclamen in North America to the book, Genus Cyclamen in Science, Cultivation, Art, and Culture, published by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.  John received his Ph.D. from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1985.  A plant sale will take place following the lecture.

Select Tickets
Sorry, there are no upcoming events in this series.
Venue Details
Map of Venue Location.
Ladew Topiary Gardens 3535 Jarrettsville Pike
Monkton, MD 21111