Garden Photo of the Day

A closer look at the gardens of Stemmer House in Maryland

Back patio with 15th century Italian well

A week and a half ago we all commiserated with Barbara Holdridge over the loss of her new garden(refresh your memory HERE)–it was heartbreaking. She gave us a small glimpse of the garden she left behind at Stemmer House to move to her new home, but I think we all wanted to see more. Barbara obliged by sending me a bunch of photos last week. Here they are! Barbara, I'm sure you have so many good memories of this beautiful, stately garden. It's wonderful!

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Stemmer House garden map

Front terrace with arch in background

The belvedere overlooking the pond

Copper fountain with wisteria standards

Patio and courtyard with waterlily pool

Patio with Antoine Bourdelle sculpture

Entrance to the gardens

East wing in spring

Tricolor beech

Blue bridge in the Japanese garden

Caesar, Cleopatra, and cygnet

Chinese dogwood, salvia, pavilion

Driveway with azaleas and armillary

Firefly gate to the gardens

Pond and Chippendale bridge

Stemmer House, west wing side

Stemmer House

In the kitchen, my prized AGA stove with Iras and Darcy

Partying on the patio

Moon gate in the Japanese garden

View Comments


  1. Meelianthus 03/28/2015

    Intriguingly beautiful ! Thanks for posting these pics Michelle.

  2. perenniallycrazy 03/29/2015

    This is such a treat! Another garden on my wishlist for sure. Thank you for sharing these and making our day.

  3. user-1020932 03/29/2015

    beautiful, tranquil as well as stunning. these old historic homes always speak to me and i have been fortunate to have been involved with a few restorations of antebellum homes / gardens here. thanks for sending these to Michelle it was a real treat to see Stemmer House.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/29/2015

    Your gardens at Stemmer House have so much heart, Barbara...and I am using the present tense on purpose. Even though you are no longer the legal owner, your commitment to the enduring beauty of your property during those 40 years is what makes it so timelessly special. I am completely captivated by all the beautiful structures ...they are so elegant and so well situated in their surroundings. It must've been such a privilege to live there.

    1. BoxwoodBarbara 03/31/2015

      Dear Meander , Michelle and All,
      Thank you for sharing these images of my Stemmer House, its gardens and its memories. I can't imagine how I might have spent those forty years in any way that would have given me as much joy. Happy gardening to you all!

  5. hontell 03/30/2015

    This is one of those posts i wish I could blow up to full screen. Woke up to snow on the ground in north Jersey, and helped it melt. Beautiful gardens.

  6. sheila_schultz 03/30/2015

    I agree wholeheartedly with Michaele (Meander1), the gardens of Stemmer House are timeless. Creating and nurturing such magnificent gardens is a gift, Barbara. You did the land of Stemmer House proud! I hope you smile each and every time you think about the beauty you created and shared.

  7. GrannyMay 03/30/2015

    I cannot image downsizing from this grand setting to growing only indoor plants. Thank you for sharing, Barbara.

  8. GrannyCC 03/30/2015

    Thank you for giving us a glimpse of your wonderful garden again. Happy memories for you and hopefully your legacy is being well cared for now you are no longer there. Maybe you will be able to find another patch to sink your hands into. With your talents and experience I am sure that you would be welcomed as a volunteer in any public gardens,

  9. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/30/2015

    So elegant! From the swans to the moon gate to the AGA range. An incredible feat!

  10. eddireid 03/30/2015

    Hello Barbara, it was so kind of you to send the photographs for us all to admire Stemmer House and Gardens. What a treat. Your forty years of care show in it all and we appreciate how much this place was loved. Noone could have achieved it all without passion. Thank you again.

  11. sheila_schultz 03/31/2015

    Dearest Barbara... I just checked into GPOD again and looked through your photos for the second time. The one that made me smile was the one with your dinner party on the patio. The hats, the pearls, the smiles... the gathering of friends. Your dinner parties in the gardens must have been glorious! Thinking about the laughter you had in the past and figuring out how to make that happen again in your new home with your indoor garden is something to think about... life is about adventure, and I'm quite sure your adventures have been glorious and will continue!

  12. NCYarden 03/31/2015

    Barbara, this garden is most impressive. I can only begin to imagine all you did to create and maintain such a beautiful space...a lot of space. I realize 40 years is quit e a bit of time, but still the effort and result is marvelous. I certainly hope this garden has a future, as it is truly a gift you have bestowed upon this land.

  13. foxglove12 03/31/2015

    What a truly heartbreaking story. Losing two gardens I would be devastated. That aside, I believe I would have to be dragged away kicking and screaming to leave the Stemmer garden AND that AGA stove!

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