Perfectly delightful: the life and gardens of Harvey Ladew

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The Johns Hopkins University Press,
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He played piano with Cole Porter. He rode horseback in the Hollywood Hills with Clark Gable. He partied with Elsa Maxwell. He ate snails with the French writer Colette, in bed. It was all, as he often said, "perfectly delightful." Few more colorful figures embellish American cultural history than the late Harvey S. Ladew, wealthy socialite, fox hunter, artist, traveler, and -- at his country estate outside Baltimore -- creator of the nation's most admired topiary garden. In "Perfectly Delightful": The Life and Gardens of Harvey Ladew, Christopher Weeks offers an immensely readable, chatty account of Ladew's life and the glittering world he inhabited. When Ladew bought his Maryland farm in 1929, he had already lived a life few, if any, could equal: born into the upper stratum of New York society in 1887, he spoke French before he spoke English and took boyhood drawing lessons from Met curators. As an adult he gave decorating instructions to Billy Baldwin (the dean of American interior design), lived as the houseguest of the maharajah of Kapurthala, took a camel caravan across Arabia (with travel tips kindly provided by his good friend T. E. Lawrence), weekended at the stateliest of England's stately homes, lent his favorite horse to the Prince of Wales, matched wits with Edna Ferber, Noel Coward, Sacheverell Sitwell, Beatrice Lillie, and Dorothy Parker (in English) and with Jean Cocteau and Colette (in French), hunted fox in America, England, Ireland, and Italy, and (with Charlie Chaplin) saw off Gertrude Lawrence as she sailed from New York. To this fascinating story of multicontinental revelry, Weeks attentively adds the background and development of Ladew's unique and wonderful Maryland garden, which attracts thousands of visitors each year, and his important role as an early environmentalist. When he began his garden in 1929, Ladew broke new artistic ground, for he was perhaps the first person in America to follow the tenets of English arts and crafts garden design. His achievements were featured in Town & Country, House & Garden, (and its French counterpart, Maison et Jardin), Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. Garden clubs and gardening tourists from four continents strove to outdo one another in praise. This acclaim culminated in 1971, when the Garden Club of America gave Ladew its Distinguished Achievement Award. To bring readers the remarkable story of Ladew and his gardens, Christopher Weeks draws on photo albums, scrapbooks, garden catalogs, thousands of pages of garden memoranda, an unfinished hand-scrawled autobiography, hundreds of letters, and guestbooks that read like a cross between Variety and Burke's Peerage. Photographs reproduced from Ladew's albums -- some taken by him, some by leading photographers of the day, including many by his friend Horst -- illustrate the text. Scores of interviews with Ladew's friends from New York to Florida help to illuminate this remarkable personality.
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Grouped Work ID 5f0464d9-3f97-21f5-9af9-a8419c6e774e
Grouping Title perfectly delightful the life and gardens of harvey ladew
Grouping Author weeks christopher
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-11-16 15:04:52PM
Last Indexed 2019-02-18 04:52:37AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Weeks, Christopher, 1950-
author_display Weeks, Christopher
available_at_aacpl Annapolis Library
collection_aacpl ADULT
detailed_location_aacpl Annapolis Library - MD Gold Star/Temporarily located at the Truxal Library AACC
format_aacpl Book
format_category_aacpl Books
id 5f0464d9-3f97-21f5-9af9-a8419c6e774e
isbn 9780801861123
item_details ils:a801845|31997050380948|Annapolis Library - MD Gold Star/Temporarily located at the Truxal Library AACC|* MD 921 LADEW|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|Aug 25, 2011|ANN||
itype_aacpl Maryland Gold Star / Does not circulate from Annapolis Branch
last_indexed 2019-02-18T09:52:37.287Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Other
literary_form_full Other
local_callnumber_aacpl * MD 921 LADEW
owning_library_aacpl Anne Arundel County Public Library
owning_location_aacpl Annapolis Library
primary_isbn 9780801861123
publishDate 1999
record_details ils:a801845|Book|Books||English|The Johns Hopkins University Press,|1999.|279 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:a801845 31997050380948 On Shelf On Shelf false true false false false true
subject_facet Baltimore Region (Md.) -- Biography, Baltimore Region (Md.) -- Social life and customs, Ladew Topiary Gardens (Monkton, Md.), Ladew, Harvey, Maryland Gold Star Collection, Socialites -- Maryland -- Baltimore Region -- Biography, Upper class -- Maryland -- Baltimore Region -- Social life and customs
title_display Perfectly delightful the life and gardens of Harvey Ladew
title_full Perfectly delightful [Gold Star] : the life and gardens of Harvey Ladew / Christopher Weeks
title_short Perfectly delightful
title_sub the life and gardens of Harvey Ladew
topic_facet Ladew, Harvey, Social life and customs, Socialites, Upper class