Bold Romantic Gardens

Vollmer Residence

Baltimore, MD • Completed 2011


Oehme, van Sweden & Associates
Wolfgang Oehme
James van Sweden

Wolfgang Oehme began this project in 1962, radically transforming a typical suburban landscape into the progenitor of the New American Garden. As van Sweden wrote in Gardening with Nature, “Removing two-thirds of an American suburban lawn was quite revolutionary in the early 1960s; however, before long the Vollmers asked to have the remaining lawn removed and planted with perennials.”[1] Mrs. Vollmer called the garden “an environment of serenity with a fascinating variety of forms and textures,” adding, “it changed my life.”[2]



[1] James Van Sweden, Gardening with Nature (New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 2003), 149.

[2]. Ibid, 147.

[3] “Reflections by Sunny Jung Scully, August 2010,”, last modified October 2, 2010.


Wolfgang wasn't happy unless he had total control to move things around till they were happy in their setting. Having been part of the horticultural extravaganza in Berlin - he was ever exploring new plants to introduce.[3]

Sunny Scully Alsup


Learn More

The Artful Garden, Bold Romantic Gardens, Ornamental Grasses and Process Architecture No. 130. see resources




The Photographers

Roger Foley (American, b. 1951)
Foley earned a B.A. in art from the University of Notre Dame with a concentration in photography. He published his first solo book, A Clearing in the Woods: Creating Contemporary Gardens in 2009, and his work has won top honors from the Garden Writers Association. His photography can be found in hundreds of books, and his commercial work has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and websites. He conducts workshops and frequently lectures for various groups, including the American Horticultural Society, and the Garden Club of America.