April 13th marked the 271st birthday of the 3rd President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Monticello in Charlottsville, Virginia—Jefferson’s bountiful gardens, which he tended with famous enthusiasm—is still shared with the public today. On Monday, April 28th, Monticello will be hosting a garden party with celebrated landscape architect and author Thomas Woltz. Drawing on his work at Monticello, Woltz will speak about how modern design methods can improve ecology and reveal cultural and historic landscapes.
Thomas Jefferson was a passionate plantsman—an epicure. For decades, the 1,000-foot-long, 80-foot-wide terraced vegetable garden at Monticello was unattended and covered by layers of dirt. It was known only through writings until archaeologists began its excavation in the late 1970s. Peter Hatch, whose official title was director of gardens and grounds at Monticello until he retired, transformed it into a thriving approximation of Jefferson’s own experimental garden on his plantation estate in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Monticello’s garden now features tansy, ‘Green Globe’ artichoke, scarlet runner beans (on the poles), tree onions, and tomatoes (on the trellis), shown here.