Sherwood Gardens is located on 6 sprawling acres in the North Baltimore neighborhood of Guilford. Each year the tranquil expanse is planted with around 80,000 tulips. April and May are the best months to see Sherwood in full bloom. The park has no fence and is open to the public.
Guilford was once the estate of Revolutionary War veteran General William McDonald. McDonald named his property after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse where he was wounded. Upon the good General’s death, his son, Billy, installed a boat lake, horse track and a massive 50 room Italianate mansion designed by local architects Edmund Lind and William Murdoch.
Baltimore Sun publisher Arunah S. Abell purchased the rural property in 1872 for his family’s country seat. The Guilford Park Company acquired 210 acres in 1907 from Abell’s heirs for a million dollars and began developing shortly thereafter. The boat lake was drained and made into a community park named Stratford Green.
When the Olmsted Brothers designed community opened, local oil baron John Sherwood purchased a lot near Stratford Green and set about building his home. The conservationist’s love of gardening found him importing Dutch tulips and transplanting Colonial period trees from Southern Maryland. He purchased adjoining lots and created a vast flowering landscape. The Guilford community has maintained the park ever since Sherwood’s death in 1965.