Sue, Nancy, Diane and Gayle took a trip to historic Londontown and Gardens in late May. You couldn’t have asked for nicer weather to travel and spend time outdoors!
The site covers 23 acres along the South River in Anne Arundel County. We toured the main building which has accounts of the history of the site and archaeological findings while awaiting our tour guide.
Paraphrasing from their website: Created in 1683, London Town was “an important tobacco port and a major player in the colonial trans-Atlantic trade network. It also served as an important ferry crossing on the main north-south route in the colonies, connecting Charleston, South Carolina with Boston, Massachusetts…The prominence of London Town began to fade in the mid-1700s and with the lack of trade during the American Revolutionary War, the port town simply could not survive”.
Our tour guide led us to the William Brown House which was built between 1758 and 1764, one of two buildings that survive from colonial London Town. Built of brick, it has “four elevated corner rooms separated by a central hall and a transverse passage”. It has been a house, a tavern and later an almshouse over its history. We enjoyed viewing the period furnishings in each room. Outside is a reconstruction of the “Lord Mayor’s Tenement”, a post-in-ground structure of two stories, two rooms and a high sharply peaked roof.
Afterwards, the four of us toured the plantings starting with a portion of the Ornamental Gardens, described as a “large sunlit space, designed to be colorful and welcoming in all seasons”. This is the site with the gazebo picture. As the afternoon became warmer, we were happy to enter the 8 acre Woodland Garden. This “provides a mile long path through a variety of garden settings. These include a Holly Grove, Dry Stream, It Spring Bay, Hosta Garden, Winter Walk, Camellia Collection, Wildflower Walk, Azalea Glade, and Dell”. We generally just wandered over the paths hither and yon.
This day in May was one of dappled sunlight flickering among the trees and shrubs. There were so many colors of green to delight the eye. This period is past the main show of Rhodies, Azaleas and Camellias although a few specimens were still in bloom. It didn’t matter, since the gardens were still wonderful. The groundcovers, shrubs, trees and perennials seemed to make vista views no matter which way one turned. The designers have utilized brighter chartreuse, yellows and bright greens to draw the eye. We all agreed the tour was marvelous and adjourned for a picnic lunch.
The following photo gallery covers the William Brown house, then the gardens. (Click to enlarge and follow arrows.)
Now the gardens: