A Magical Hillside Garden, Right in Baltimore

by Susan Harris
Some people get bored in retirement; others put off retirement because they fear that fate.   But for well-known Baltimore gardening fanatic Nell Strachan, retirement from the practice of law was totally liberating.   More time for the garden!  More time for public gardens, helping to make them better!  She’s on the board of  the Cylburn Arboretum and the Horticultural Society of Maryland and I’m betting there’s more.

So how about that garden of hers?  It’s so stunning, you have to ask how it got that way.  I’m happy to report she has an answer – she learned everything she could from Master Gardener training, classes at Longwood Gardens, and years and years of gardening.   And she’s lucky to work collaboratively in the garden with  Michael Rosendale, who teaches horticulture at Community College of Baltimore County-Dundalk.  According to both Nell and Clyburn’s top gardener Jennifer Forrence, Michael’s a superb gardener and garden designer.  Nell and husband Peter Ward have lived here since 2001.  There’s more about them and their gardening travels here.

Below, this shot just makes me wish I had outdoor cats.  Mr. Primrose here is so photogenic!  He’s posing in the only sunny spot on the property, alongside the street.

Imagine – this pond and shade garden are just outside your front door.

In the steep, wooded back garden, hardy begonias steal the show in September.

Next, the view of the house from the bottom of the back garden.

And from the top looking down from the deck?  Kinda scary for the height-averse, and there are plenty of visitors who won’t stand in this spot.

Hard to disagree with the quote on this sign displayed in Nell’s garden.   I bet no one’s ever accused her of being half-hearted about gardening.

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4 Responses to A Magical Hillside Garden, Right in Baltimore

  1. susan says:

    Thanks for the tour, Susan!

  2. joyce says:

    Majestic. thank you.

  3. Charles G. Bernstein says:

    Good thing you both are retired with lots of free time. Quite an undertaking

  4. Cynthia Shapiro says:

    What a specatcular garden! I love it and it is my fantasy (one of them – ha ) to do just what you guys are doing one day!

    You’ve both accomplished something amazing!

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