Helen Avalynne Tawes Garden

Spring Scene

Contact: ​410-260-8189​

Anne Arundel County​

Tawes Garden
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland 21401​

Hours: sunrise to dusk

Gift Shop Hours: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Tuesday - Thursday. Closed on State holidays

This intimate public garden is conveniently located directly across from the Naval Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis on the grounds of​​ the Tawes State Office Building, headquarters for the Department of Natural Resources. Representations of the state’s various geographic areas are featured in this five-acre garden. They include a Western Maryland forest, a streamside environment and an Eastern Shore peninsula. In addition, the barrier-free garden contains pleasant ponds, a raised planter with plants of varied textures, tastes and fragrances and many cultivated plantings. Admission, guided tours (by reservation) and many programs are free of charge. Prior to construction of the Tawes State Office Building in the ​early 1970s, the garden site was a flat cinder lot. For many years, it provided a home for the West Annapolis carnival.


Helen Avalynne Tawes

Helen Avalynne TawesThe garden is named in honor of Mrs. J. Millard Tawes, a former first lady of Maryland. She and Governor ​Tawes were the State's gracious hosts from 1959-1967.

Helen Avalynne Tawes, known to friends as either Avalynne or Lou, was born and raised in Crisfield on Maryland's Eastern Shore. On Christmas day in 1915, she married J. Millard Tawes, a young Crisfield businessman, who would later become Maryland​'s 54th Governor. Music was an important part of Avalynne's life. She began singing at age 5 and later studied piano and voice at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. At Government House gatherings, she would often entertain guests by playing her electric organ. Her main hobby was cooking. In her husband's campaign for Governor, rather than distribute political information, she handed out pamphlets containing 22 recipes. These recipes and many more are featured in what became her best-selling cookbook "My Favorite Maryland Recipes" published in 1964. In addition to her cookbook, Avalynne Tawes is remembered as being very stylish, hospitable, and charming.​