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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Towson in Baltimore County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A Romance with Nature: The Falling Garden

Gardens and Parterres, ca. 1785-1904

 

— Hampton National Historic Site —

 
A Romance with Nature: The Falling Garden Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 23, 2014
1. A Romance with Nature: The Falling Garden Marker
Inscription.  
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,

A Romance with Nature: The Falling Garden image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 23, 2014
2. A Romance with Nature: The Falling Garden
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.
 
Erected by National Park Service-United States Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraPatriots & PatriotismSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 39° 24.948′ N, 76° 35.268′ W. Marker is in Towson, Maryland, in Baltimore County. Marker is on Hampton Lane. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 535 Hampton Lane, Towson MD 21286, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Oranges in January (within shouting distance of this marker); Greenhouse #2 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Behind the Big House (about 300 feet away); Ice Cream in July (about 300 feet away); Captain Charles Ridgely (about 300 feet away); Ridgely's Pride (about 400 feet away); Hampton: An American Story (about 400 feet away); In Memoriam (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Towson.
 
A Romance with Nature: The Falling Garden image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 23, 2014
3. A Romance with Nature: The Falling Garden
A Romance with Nature: The Falling Garden image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 23, 2014
4. A Romance with Nature: The Falling Garden
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 4, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 357 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 4, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 15, 2020