by Kathy Hudson
Each day, early and late,
I sit on a chipped brick step,
the lichen-covered bench or chair,
surprised to be here
in this house, in this city.
Last Saturday, The Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens of Baltimore was, as ever, full of well-maintained plantings inside and out. It was also full of families, two in particular: the Rawlings family and the Silber family. ￼ ￼ ￼
Pauline Vollmer, the grande dame of Baltimore horticulture, recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Among various festivities in her garden, she celebrated with principals and staff of the renowned Washington, D.C. landscape architecture firm Oehme van Sweden (OvS) A few days later she celebrated with officers and members of the Horticultural Society of Maryland.
The celebration with OvS might also have been considered a celebration of the firm, which pioneered the New American style of gardens. The Vollmer garden, originally designed in the 1960s by the late Wolfgang Oehme, is considered the first residential project of OvS.
On a recent Sunday, I attended the 100th birthday celebration of a house on Elmwood Road in Roland Park. Although I’d been to the house before, I had not been there during the daytime since childhood.
Gardens take on a special look in fall. With leaves falling and plants turning brown, the landscape looks more relaxed.
Shorter days and the end of the blooming season make each flower more appreciated: the final roses, the ubiquitous chrysanthemums, a wild-card zinnia, a dahlia.