Garden Inspiration from Thomas Jefferson

Garden Inspiration from Thomas Jefferson

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Maxwell Ryan
Jul 2, 2008

"As modern gardeners increasingly wean themselves from Miracle-Gro and Sevin, there is much to be learned in these old notes." Anne Raver

This is to inspire you for Garden Month. A number of years ago, I was lucky enough to visit the love of Thomas Jefferson's life: Monticello. Aside from being President, the author of the Declaration of Independence and the founder of the University of Virgina (among other things), he was devoted to the creation and continual development of his home, Monticello (or the "small mountain" as it translates)...

In fact, his devotion was so great that he spent too much money on his house and was deeply in debt when he died. Only through the kindness of friends (who paid off his debts) was his estate able to hold onto the house and preserve it to this day.

Visit it. The interior design is remarkable, but it's relationship to the land around it will blow you away. His gardens sit directly beside the house and were Jefferson's laboratory where he experimented with 330 varieties of edible plants from all over the world and recorded his progress meticulously.

To inspire you today (and if you can't visit soon), I have pulled up a beautiful article that Anne Raver wrote a few years ago after visiting in March:

>> Thomas Jefferson Weeded Here (NYTimes), as well as a few other good links:

>> www.monticello.org
>> Bill McDonough on the importance of Thomas Jefferson as a designer
>> wikipedia.org/wiki/Monticello

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