Friday, September 21, 2018

Thomas Jefferson's Gardens at Monticello

Recently, I noticed that I've written several posts over the years wherein I ended the post with a promise for Part 2.  I had every good intention of writing the follow-up post, but somehow I never got around to it.  Life moved on quickly, and we were onto the next thing.  This time around, I've decided to write my "Part 2" as soon as possible so that I don't forget or just get too busy later to do so.  A few weeks ago, I wrote about our visit to Charlottesville, Virginia, in September 2017, and talked a little bit about Thomas Jefferson at the end of that post.  
Jefferson's unique home, Monticello, is certainly worth a visit if you get the opportunity to go.  We weren't allowed to take photos inside the house, so I can't show you the inside, but we took pictures of the exterior of the house and his gardens.  Even at the end of September, they were still pretty.
Our garden tour guide told us that Jefferson designed these winding flower borders to resemble the informal flower gardens that were becoming popular in England at that time, rather than the formal, Italianate style gardens.  Personally, I have always preferred the English gardens and borders.  :)  
Some of the flowers were looking a bit leggy and straggly, but the colors were still brilliant.
These blanket flowers are the perfect colors for fall.
The vegetable gardens were so impressive.  During his years of gardening, Thomas Jefferson grew over 300 varieties of 90 different plants, and he was meticulous about documenting the successes and failures of each.  Jefferson obtained many seeds and plants from around the world, particularly when he served as the U.S. Ambassador to France.  His garden was very much an ongoing, living science experiment.
Beautiful nasturtiums.
Above is an iconic view of Jefferson's gardens; I've seen this same image many times in books, on postcards, etc.  Believe it or not, we visited Charlottesville and Monticello in July of 1988 -- the year after we got married.  Take my word for it folks, don't go in July!  😳  It's so hot up on that mountain, you just can't believe it.  Anyway, these gardens made such an impression on me that I never forgot them, and all these years I've been looking forward to returning.
I love, love this brick garden pavilion; it's the epitome of classic and charming.
A different view of the pavilion and some healthy-looking corn stalks.
Love the terra cotta cloches on the left,
and the stick "tee-pees" for the beans to grow on. 
We only have a few pictures for James Monroe's home, Ash Lawn-Highland.  I wish we could have taken pictures inside these historic homes, but that's not allowed.  You can visit this website to read more about President Monroe and the home he built near his good friend, Thomas Jefferson.
You can see a portion of the back of the house above.
If you visit here regularly, you know I love old colonial gardens.  
I thought these Asters were pretty; can you spot the dragonfly in the picture?
I thought these flowers were appropriate for this post, as Asters are the official flower for the month of September.  
I cropped this picture so you could see this shade of blue-green that they've painted the shutters, porch trim and railings -- so pretty.
If you're interested in colonial-style gardens, you can see other gardens here and here.  Thanks so much for your visit!  Can you believe the first day of fall is only a few days away?  I hope you all have a great weekend!


  1. 🍂Lovely photos, Denise. The view from the garden is absolutely stunning. Yes, I know that you have a great fondness for Colonial gardens. You must incorporate a lot of those ideas for your own garden???

  2. We loved touring the house and gardens. We've been twice to see it.

  3. Those are beautiful gardens, Denise, and so extensive. Jefferson had great vision. The brick gazebo is a charming and unique space there. Lovely photos. Thanks for the tour.



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