We feel kind of silly admitting this, but before this weekend we had never heard of Sherwood Gardens, even though we live close enough to walk there easily. Obviously, we haven’t been paying very much attention. We live nearby to Guilford, and we go through there all the time, but we’d never gone right by it before. Even with all the time we spend consuming local media, we’ve managed to miss even recent stories in the Sun and on WJZ about the gardens. Even the Baltimore Brew, which we read regularly in our RSS did a Sherwood story last week that escaped our notice.
So when we were riding our bike up Underwood Road on Saturday, we were taken completely by surprise.
The photos don’t nearly do it justice. We were absolutely floored to just be riding along up to Belvedere Square and accidentally find six acres of gorgeous tulips in bloom. Okay, so it may not technically be a secret garden. It may even be regarded as one of the finest tulip gardens in the world by people who know about tulip gardens. If you’re like us though (and we think you are), you don’t know about tulip gardens. You know about dive bars and punk rock and rowhouses. And maybe Patterson Park.
City Parks are nice and all, but Sherwood Gardens in bloom kind of makes them look like so many Soviet Era dogshit and empty liquor bottle farms. It’s that gorgeous. As that Brew article points out, it’s owned and maintained by the Guilford Association (these photos are from their website), and no detail is overlooked in keeping the grounds as lush and manicured as they were in the 1920′s when they were the private playground of some of Maryland’s richest and most powerful residents. Secret Garden or no, it is at least an underpublicized garden, one of those open secrets that permits those in the know to feel as though they too are part of that privileged few.
Late April and early may are the ideal times to see the tulips, and the annual tulip bulb dig is scheduled for May 26th this year. As soon as the weather dries out we suggest you make your way out for a stroll. We’re planning on walking the gardens several times in the next 2 weeks, and may even bring along a date and a picnic basket.