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Baltimore's Best Gardens

Updated on February 5, 2014

Visit Baltimore Gardens

Although few tourists venture farther than the Inner Harbor, Baltimore has much more to offer than Camden Yards, The Science Center and the National Aquarium. Join me on a tour of Baltimore's best gardens, all of which are an easy 20 minute drive from the Inner Harbor attractions. Best of all, they are free! Learn about the Howard Peters Rawlings Botanical Garden and Sherwood Gardens.

Baltimore/Washington Gardens Link List

Here's a link list to my favorite public gardens found in the Baltimore Washington region.

Garden Gifts

Garden gift ideas from Amazon

Howard Peter Rawlings Conservatory

A Baltimore Historic Landmark

Formerly known as the Druid Hill Conservatory, the Howard Peter Rawlings Conservatory is the crown jewel of Baltimore city's public gardens. Located at the edge of Druid Hill Park, the Conservatory underwent extensive renovations in 2004 when the Mediterranean room, the Tropical room and the Desert room were added. Architecture and history buffs will appreciate the Palm house which dates back to 1888, and the historic Orchid room is always filled with beautiful specimens. The resident horticulturists create three seasonal displays; The Spring Flower show, the Chrysanthemum display and the Poinsettia show. Hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00AM to 4:00PM.

Visiting Hours

Hours of Operation are

10:00 AM to 4 PM

Wednesday through Sunday

The Mediterranean Room

The Mediterranean room is a fragrant oasis. © Chris Scroggins

The Tropical Room

A collection of air plants graces the south facing wall of the Tropical room. © Chris Scroggins

The Desert Room

The desert room is a great place to soak up the winter sun. © Chris Scroggins

The Orchid Room

Blooming orchids are constantly being added by the resident horticulturists. © Chris Scroggins

The Palm House

View a beautiful collection of palms in a unique architectural setting. © Chris Scroggins

Poinsettia Tree, 2011 - A view of the poinsettia tree located inside the orchid room, 2011

© Chris Scroggins

Holiday Display 2009 - La Flor de la Nochebuena, December 12, 2009 - Jan. 3, 2010

© Chris Scroggins

Poinsettia Puebla - This year's holiday display features over 20 varieties of poinsettias in a unique south of the border setting.

Poinsettia Puebla. © Chris Scroggins

Seasonal Displays

A view of the 2008 chrysanthemum display. © Chris Scroggins

The Resident Cat

Lucky visitors may get a glimpse of Puss Puss the resident feline. © Chris Scroggins

Spring 2009: "No Rhyme or Reason" - The Spring Display 2009

Beautiful tulips and hyacinths in the reception area. © Chris Scroggins

Easter Lilles and blue Hydrangeas

Easter lilles and blue hydrangeas. © Chris Scroggins

Pink Parrot Tulips and Hyacinths

Parrot tulips and hyacinths tucked into a sunny corner. © Chris Scroggins

A Picture Perfect Floral Display

A picture perfect floral display in the reception area. © Chris Scroggins

The Dish ran away with the Spoon

The dish ran away with the spoon. © Chris Scroggins

Three Blind Mice

One of the three blind mice on the loose in the Tropical House. © Chris Scroggins

Summertime at Peter Rawlings

© Chris Scroggins

Crape Myrtles

Enjoy a picnic lunch amidst the mature crape myrtles on the east side of the garden.© Chris Scroggins

Summer Perennials

Summertime flowers like these pink and white cosmos attract lots of bees and butterflies. © Chris Scroggins

Butterfly Photography

Skippers, bees and butterflies like this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail will delight photographers looking for attractive nature subjects. © Chris Scroggins

Browse the gift shop

An interesting selection of gardening books and note cards for sale. History buffs will enjoy "Druid Hill Park, the Heart of Historic Baltimore" by Bowditch and Draddy. © Chris Scroggins

Books on Orchids and Orchid growing

Orchid books are great holiday gift ideas for the orchid grower you know.

Baltimore Gardens Festivals/Events

Keep these garden festivals in mind for next Spring.

Rawlings Conservatory Membership

Would you like to become a member and support the Rawlings Conservatory?

Membership Levels:



Household: $40

Send to:

Baltimore Conservatory Association

P.O.Box 5668

Baltimore, Md. 21210

An inspiring book for Brown Thumb Gardeners

If you're like me, you'd rather visit and photograph great gardens than create them! Here's a gem of a book for you or the plant challenged person in your life.

If you enjoyed your visit here, please leave me a note. You can let me know which photos you like most, too. Please pass this link on to anyone who might enjoy learning about Baltimore's special gardens. Thanks!

Baltimore Gardens Guest Book

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    • PastorCher profile image

      Pastor Cher 

      6 years ago from United States

      What a lovely lens. Your photography is beautiful.

    • norma-holt profile image


      8 years ago

      Wonderful lens on a beautiful part of the world. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hey Chris!

      Great to see you in the garden today!!! Can't wait to see new photos of our Mango!

      Love the butterfly photo, well and the others as well!!!

      See Ya' soon!


    • MacPharlain profile image


      9 years ago

      Great work on the photos! I really like the play of light and shadows in the Palm House shot. The Easter lilies & hydrangeas shot is another favorite.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      These are wonderful photos! I lived in Baltimore years ago and these take me back to wonderful times spent in the Conservatory. A very masterful collection!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!

    • x3xsolxdierx3x lm profile image

      x3xsolxdierx3x lm 

      9 years ago

      Those pictures were absolutely beautiful. thank you and 5 stars :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      How in the world did you get all those great shots without one of those crazy Hort .

      people getting in the way?!? See ya' 'round the garden!!!

    • Kiwisoutback profile image


      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Beautiful photos! I'm lensrolling this to my Washington DC sightseeing lens. I wanted to make it to Baltimore when we were in DC last year, but we didn't have time for the visit. I'll probably get there next year, we're in the VA/Maryland area fairly often.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      The conservatory is one of the few places in Baltimore that one can enjoy a peaceful connection with nature all year long. Your pictures capture this feeling splendidly.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      Baltimore Gardens are beautiful - thanks for the lenroll - I've lenrolled this into Garden Paths! 5*

    • NatureMaven profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      [in reply to SemperFidelis] Wow, thanks for the blessing, Semper, I really appreciate it!

    • teamlane profile image


      9 years ago

      Love the pics!

      Blessed by a SquidAngel today!

      ~ Colleen :o)

    • NatureMaven profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi Erin! Thanks for visiting, and thanks for the feedback! I will be adding more photos soon. Stay tuned!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I want one of those staghorn ferns so bad I can taste it! Glad you included a pic of one!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      That is the best picture of miss kitty! Great job on the site. You should fill this site with more photos. My favorite is the palm house shot.

    • monarch13 profile image


      9 years ago

      Beautiful pictures! Welcome to Squidoo!

    • NatureMaven profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Dear EJ Stokes,

      It was a pleasure creating this site. I've gotten so much joy from visiting the Conservatory over the years. Promoting the garden is a way I can give something back to the volunteers and horticulturists who's work and creativity make the Rawlings Conservatory a unique destination in Baltimore.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a wonderful website. It inspires and makes it more likely that one who wants to enjoy these wonderful garden treasures (esp the Rawlings Conservatory where I am a volunteer) will actually go to visit them!. Thanks so much for creating it.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      My name is Bonnie and I’m a Giant Squid Community Organizer here on Squidoo. I think you’ve got a quality lens on your hands and should check out the Giant Squid Program! Giant Squids are the best-of-the-best on Squidoo and get some amazing perks.

    • NatureMaven profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thanks, Shelly. You are right, I AM lucky!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I squidooed right over from Tipi's--you are so lucky to have such beauty available to you year round, hope you go often! Every room is a delight!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Beautiful lens! - This will be lens -rolled to Ellsworth Rock Garden, thanks for visiting me there! - Best Wishes!


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Reminds me of The Butterfly Conservatory that I've visited a few times. Feels like it's time for another visit soon. Thanks for inspiring the good memories!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      9 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Great photography and great lens. I really wanted to be sitting on one of the benches. It looks like a wonderful place to visit.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Lovely images, and Puss Puss looks healthy and happy.


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