Inspiring Gardens from Monticello

Recently I had the opportunity to tour the home and grounds of our third President, Thomas Jefferson, at Monticello in Virginia. Monticello was a plantation of 5,000 acres and Jefferson experimented with many plants, trees, flowers, fruit trees, and vegetables. Jefferson designed and planted his oval shaped flower beds in 1808 around the four corners of his house.  He loved the informal style of his landscape design. In addition to the flower gardens, Jefferson documented the planting of over 160 species of trees including mulberry, locust and ornamental trees. When Jefferson referred to his “garden”, he meant his vegetable garden.  

He grew 330 varieties of some 99 species of vegetables and herbs. The vegetable garden is 1000 feet long.  My daughter was most fascinated by the fact that his favorite vegetable was peas and that he planted 23 varieties in his garden!

My parents, owners of Flowers & Thyme, don’t have a plantation of 5,000 acres but they certainly enjoy the many flowers, trees, fruit trees and vegetables around the grounds.  My mother enjoys finding new perennials and annuals to plant each year while my dad takes care of pruning and spraying the fruit trees on the property.

Both work in the vegetable garden cultivating, planting, weeding, and harvesting their produce.  Much of the fruits, vegetables and herbs that are from the gardens are then served to the guests at breakfast.  The flowers from the many landscaped beds are arranged by Dad and displayed in the rooms. I appreciate and enjoy their love for gardening. Plan a visit to Flowers & Thyme Bed and Breakfast and enjoy walking around the flower and vegetable gardens!

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