A Romance with Nature: The Falling Garden

A Romance with Nature: The Falling Garden (HM1HNZ)

Location: Towson, MD 21286 Baltimore County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 24.948', W 76° 35.268'

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Gardens and Parterres, ca. 1785-1904

Hampton National Historic Site

The jewel of Hampton's cultural landscape and the focus of Ridgely family horticultural pursuits for 150 years is the Falling Garden. Constructed under Charles Ridgely "The Builder" in the 1780s, the Falling Garden was one of the largest earthmoving projects in America. The terraces were planted with geometric gardens called parterres from the French meaning "on the ground." Originally laid out by 1810, they are attributed to William Booth, a renowned designer of the period.

In the mid-19th century, Eliza Ridgely, third Mistress of Hampton, transformed the Falling Garden. Her gardening legacy remains apparent, with the creation of the Victorian Carpet Bedding displayed in Parterre II, in the plantings of many trees throughout the site, and in the construction of a number of outbuildings including several greenhouses. Professional gardeners supervised the planting and maintenance with workers, paid or enslaved, supplying the labor. The parterre designs you see before you are the same layout as those documented in plans and photographs in the late 19th century.

(Inscription in the lower right) Parterre I, shown in this 1879 photograph, retained its original geometric configuration through seven generations of the Ridgely family. The other parterres changed following the influences of gardening trends of the day.

Historical Period18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century
Historical PlaceHome
Marker TypeHistoric Home
Marker ClassHistorical Marker
Marker StyleFree Standing
Placed ByNational Park Service-United States Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at 9:03am PST -08:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 363314 N 4364122
Decimal Degrees39.41580000, -76.58780000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 24.948', W 76° 35.268'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 24' 56.8800" N, 76° 35' 16.0800" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)410, 443
Can be seen from road?No
Is marker in the median?No
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1114 Gypsy Ln W, Towson MD 21286, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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