Tulip Delight at Baltimore’s Sherwood Garden

Our original plan last Saturday was to drive with our friend Carol from her house in Maryland to Longwood Gardens. But then I remembered that this required a four hour round trip. As much as I wanted to see Longwood, having just driven from Springfield to Chicago and then flown to Baltimore, a four hour drive was distinctly unappealing.

And so I searched on the internet for gardens in Baltimore. What I found was Sherwood Gardens, a six acre park near the campus of The Johns Hopkins University and less than an hour away.Β The fact that every year 80,000 Tulips are planted at Sherwood clinched the deal.


Note: when visiting Baltimore, do not say (as I did) John Hopkins University, or even Johns Hopkins University. It’s The Johns Hopkins University, thank you very much. To say anything else is to invite scorn from the natives.

Anyway, Sherwood Gardens is a very traditional sort of park: flowing lawns graced with shade trees, shrubs, and beds of flowers (most notably Tulips, in April and May).


It’s a very popular sort of place. On the Sunday we visited it was full of people strolling, picnicking, and playing with their kids. Oh, and photographing each other, especially parents photographing their kids. The people-watching was as good as the tulip-gazing.


A map was available that indicated the names of the tulips. The one above is ‘Alibi’. This year they’ve had a warm spring in Baltimore. Many of the early tulips were already done blooming, and quite a few others were close to losing their tepals.


This one is ‘Parade’, I think, a Darwin Hybrid.


Blooming Azaleas complemented the Tulips nicely.


This white Tulip is ‘Pays Bas’.


The dark purple Tulip is ‘Saigon’.


At the end of the Tulip season, the public is invited to bring their trowels and buckets and dig out all the tulips. They can take them home for 30 cents per bulb. This year’s Tulip Dig, if you’re interested, is May 28 from 7 t0 11 AM.


The orangey Tulip is ‘Teletubby’. Kind of an unfortunate name, though years ago I spent many hours watching children’s television. Why not ‘Mr. Rogers’, or even ‘Ernie’?


I always loved how the Tulip tepals can catch the sunlight.


Here ‘Saigon’ is mixed with ‘Flaming Flag’. Both are Triumph Tulips.


After giving all the Tulip beds a close examination, it was time for a picnic. While we were eating a group of twentysomethings nearby started playing bocce ball, which provided some entertainment.

When the Tulips are done blooming, the beds are filled with annual flowers. Like I said, it’s a traditional sort of park.

In any case, Sherwood Gardens made for a satisfying garden visit on a Sunday in late April.

49 Comments on “Tulip Delight at Baltimore’s Sherwood Garden”

  1. I’m 20 mins from John Hopkins n oops I say it w/o the The. I have never been and will be going on the next beautiful day. And most deffently be digging up some of those pays bas. Thank you for posting

  2. A lovely display, and the idea of letting people dig them up is ingenious… I have often wondered what happens to all those plants in annual displays when their time is up and this is an excellent alternative to chucking them out. I recently saw a report about a tulip festival somewhere in England, (10,000 tulips!), and afterwards they are all dug up and donated to hospital gardens or old folks homes. πŸ™‚

  3. You have managed to make me envious of all of these tulips and hungry. Both look great. ha… One reason I don’t have more tulips, other than my laziness, is that in my mind these big masses of tulips are the way to plant them. They make a statement this way. When I put dribs and dabs around the garden I am not satisfied. Your picnic looks so darned yummmy. I am glad you had some relaxed entertaining moments.

  4. How ingenious that people have to pay to do all the work to remove the tulips! My husband is a Balto native and we’ve always referred to Johns Hopkins as simply Johns Hopkins, no The or University included. Sometimes, just to be low-rent, we call it Hopkins. πŸ˜‰

  5. I recently visited a park that had a massive azalea collection. There too it was packed full of people photographing kids, a wedding, sweet 16 photos. I think it is really smart to charge the public to do the work. I suppose it funds part of next year’s purchases. I think tulips are appealing in large swaths. I find that they are a lot of work for a short bloom time in my garden. It is far to hot for them to look good for any length of time. Lovely visit!

  6. How lovely to find such a relaxed and beautiful space to spend time with your friends. Inviting visitors to dig up the bulbs when they’re done is such a good idea. I do love large drifts of tulips but I think I prefer lots of varieties mixed up together. Hope your garden has been ok while you were away πŸ™‚

  7. Thank you for this great information. I live only 2-3 hours away from Baltimore and I don’t know about this place. I only wish I could go and dig up some tulips. They are so absolutely gorgeous. How do they manage to plant so many? I guess they have scores of gardeners who go on their knee and plant them. What amazing sights. Thanks for sharing.

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