"I do close-ups and look for flowers that are interesting," Pyes said.

Last year, he enlarged photos from Sherwood Gardens and made posters for his own enjoyment.

Pyes' dog, Fred, a miniature daschund simply sniffed at the flowers.

Physical therapist Stephanie Berger, 36, of Catonsville, packed a picnic and her children into the car and headed for the gardens. Why?


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"The tulips and the flower and it' a gorgeous day," Berger said as her son, Xavier, 2, toddled round with a football.

"I want to go get lunch," said her daughter, Katherine, 5.

"We're going to get lunch in the car," her mom said.

They could have had a cookie across the street. Katherine Giroux, 8, sat at a table in her family's driveway, selling lemonade and her own home-baked brownies and cookies.

The oatmeal cookies were blue ribbon winners for her age group at the Maryland State Fair. She hawked them as "my award-winning cookies."

Everything was 25 cents, too good a deal for people to pass up as they parked their cars and walked to the gardens.

"They're pouring in," marveled Katherine, who made a sign for her table that said, "The baker is in."

Another sign said, "For Sherwood Gardens," which was the point - to raise money for the upkeep of the gardens, said Katherine's mom, Ann Giroux, who's organizing the 2013 Guilford centennial celebration.

Money poured in, too, from Katherine's friends, Caroline, and Nicholas Miller, who live in Sherwood Mansion, and strangers like Margaret Snapp, 67, of Towson.

"I didn't expect treats here," Snapp said.

More money will come from the annual Tulip Dig on May 26, from 7-11 a.m., when people can bring buckets, shovels and bags and take home tulips for 30 cents per bulb.

Proceeds will go to Stratford Green, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that maintains the Guilford Association-owned gardens.

But for now, people are enjoying Sherwood Gardens at the height of its glory, and, pardon the pun, digging the tulips.

"It's been a weird spring," Ann Giroux observed. "It's been cold. It's been hot. But people are still coming out."

To see a Sherwood Gardens photo gallery, go to http://www.explorebaltimorecounty.com.