A Romance with Nature: The Falling Garden
Gardens and Parterres, ca. 1785-1904
óHampton National Historic Site ó
The jewel of Hamptonís 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
Erected by National Park Service-United States Department of the Interior.
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.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Oranges in January (within shouting distance of this marker); Domestic Service Buildings-Behind the Big House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Captain Charles Ridgely (about 300 feet away); Ridgely's Pride (about 400 feet away); Ice Cream in July-Icehouse, ca.1790 (about 400 feet away); Hampton: An American Story (about 400 feet away); Wartime Support (about 700 feet away); In Memoriam (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Towson.
Categories. • Colonial Era • Patriots & Patriotism • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 4, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 309 times since then and 21 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.