Tiptoeing through the tulips was never more satisfying than when going behind the hedgerows and garden gates for the annual Hammond-Harwood House “Secret Garden Tour.” Saturday and Sunday, June 4th and 5th from 10AM-3PM, garden enthusiasts and the curious-at-heart can slip into some of Annapolis’ finest examples of landscaping and gardening. Tickets are $30 in advance/$35 day of. Tickets may purchased online at www.HammondHarwoodHouse.org or by calling 410.263.4683 ext 10.
This self-guided tour, which begins at Maryland Hall at the corner of Chase and Constitution Ave. (just off Spa Road), will immerse guests in the Murray Hill and Spa View Heights neighborhoods where the land dates back to the original Acton and Hammond landholdings in the 1700’s. Sixteen gardens are featured in this year’s tour full of discoveries and new ideas in landscaping and outdoor living areas for guests – one of the gardens even features a bee-keeping area! In addition, this year’s tour includes two Spa Creek Conservancy parks. Docents will have garden descriptions for each location.
Throughout the nineteenth and early 20th centuries, subdividing began creating the current neighborhoods as Annapolitans know them today. In the 1880s, a railroad track was constructed to carry passengers to the summer resort at Bay Ridge, a quiet neighborhood that lies between Spa Creek and Maryland Hall. That track eventually became Amos Garrett Boulevard.
Hammond-Harwood House, once called “the most beautiful home in Colonial America” is an American architectural treasure. Located at 19 Maryland Avenue, construction was begun in 1774 by gentleman planter Matthias Hammond; the home’s architect, William Buckland, studied in London and brought with him a wealth of astounding and clever ideas for the home which is a five-part Anglo-Palladian with some of the finest woodcarving and plaster work in the nation.
The home houses one of the finest decorative and fine arts in Maryland and some of its most treasured items are those that were here in the 19th century when the house was still a private residence.
Other highlights include a large collection of paintings by Charles Willson Peale and other members of the Peale family, and a number of furniture pieces by the well-known Annapolis cabinetmaker John Shaw.
Hammond-Harwood House preservation is supported throughout the year by annual fundraisers, such as the Secret Garden Tour. For more information on the tour, and on Hammond-Harwood House, please go to www.HammondHarwoodHouse.org.