Monday, July 9, 2012

A Visit to Monticello


My daughter and I visited a place I have always wanted to see in June and that was…..


Located on a hilltop near Charlottesville, Virginia it was once a working 5,000 acre Mansion and farm. Thomas Jefferson's gardens were once a botanical showpiece, a source for food, and an experimental  laboratory of ornamental and useful plants from around the world.

Monticello_BuildingWith all of this in mind I had longed to visit not only for the historical value of it, that being a home to one of our third president but also for the gardens I had envisioned in my mind.

Monticello_Gardens2 My imagination is sometimes a lot bigger than the facts when it comes to gardens sometimes. What I expect and what I get are sometimes two different things. Although the gardens were not as grandiose as I imagined and in fact were just a glimmer of what they  must have once been in Jefferson’s day, it was a beautiful place to visit.

We did not tour inside of the mansion because the waiting list  for the next available tour  was 6 hours long on the day of our visit.

But we did tour the lower rooms and basement area of the mansion where the kitchens, servants rooms and stables were located.

A gravel path encircled the perimeter of the front lawn of Monticello. Along this gravel path is where the flowers were planted. The peonies were long gone with our early spring heat but some of the flowers that were blooming along the pathway were a mixture of perennials an annuals.


Rose Companion

Canterbury Bellflowers

French Mallow Malva

M_Calendula Calendula

M_Johnny_Jumpups Johnny Jump-ups

M_Lavender Lavender


Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate.
Thanks Grace!

M_Red_Poppies2 Red Poppies

M_Sweet_William_Pink2 and many different colors of Sweet William. M_Sweet_William_Red

M_Sweet_William_Pink M_Sweet_William_RedWhite


M_Larkspur3 Larkspur


Sweet Shrub


Along the balcony which leads to the conservatory room…

…where potted Hibiscus were grown.


  M_Lavender_Loveliesbleeding Over the Garden Fence and Larkspur look beautiful planted together.


It was an amazing place to visit and it felt surreal to walk where one of our Founding Fathers who was the author of the Declaration of Independence  and where our third President once lived and gardened.


Happy Gardening,


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Joe Todd said...

Can you imagine when it was a working plantation.. Now I thought the vegetable garden was pretty impressive but then I'm a veggie guy LOL... Heaing west for a couple weeks not hot enough here LOL

Nadezda said...

Lona, thanks for sharing this tour to the Gardens Monticello! My favorite flowers are carnations Sweet Williams, the dark red color. Nice photos!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Oh, how I love this place! Thank you Lona!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Lona, this was a wonderful trip! I am such a fan of Thomas Jefferson and his love of plants and gardening. I can't remember if we saw his home when we went to D.C. many years ago. I think maybe we went to Mount Vernon.



Actually, Lona, rather than Love Lies Bleeding, that looks like Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate, only not as tall. I could be wrong though. I love it with the lavender. Wonderful history. Thanks for taking us along.

Astrid said...

Hi Lona
Monticello is on my list of places to still get to in the States. The architecture of the main house is so formal and yet so inviting. Your shots of the garden flowers are lovely - thx for sharing!

pogonip said...

My grandma went there when I was in high school. She brought me a book on Jefferson that I still keep. I wish we'd talked about his gardens though. Especially since my love of flowers certains springs in part from her dahlias and clematis and roses. Oh those lost opportunities!

Zoey said...

Thanks for taking me to a garden I would never see otherwise. Interesting seeing the lychnis there.

Alistair said...

Monticello is indeed quite some mansion and would be fascinating to look around it. Your plant pictures are truly outstanding Lona.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Wonderful photos of one of my favorite places! Wish I had gone one more time before we moved. Used to have the French Mallow, wonderful plant.

Lona said...

Joe: You both have a wonderful trip.

Nadezda: I was partial to those Sweet William blooms too. I loved the deep red ones.

Tatyana: It was a lovely visit.

Eileen: We should have gone to Mount Vernon when we were there too. That would have been interesting.

Grace: Thanks for the plant name. I must have been looking at the wrong plant stake. LOL!

Astrid: You will enjoy it. Get there early. LOL!

Roxy: I know exactly what you mean by lost opportunities. If would would only though to ask.

Zoey: They had bunches of it in the red and white. I like the silver fuzzy leaves.

Alistair: Thank you!

Janet: I loved the French Mallow too. I may need to grow some from seed. LOL!

Margy said...

What a wonderful visit. Thanks for sharing with us and taking awesome photos.

Karen said...

Hi Lona, what a wonderful tour! You take the best pictures. I've never been there, but it would be worth the trip.

This weather is so goofy...but what can we do?

I'm finding it tough to fit in exercise, gardening and blogging along with other silly stuff, like cooking and cleaning, into one day. Gosh, trying to get fit is hard work. You'd think it would happen faster, lol, and I have such a long way to go.

Always a pleasure to visit you, Lona!

sweetbay said...

I've always wanted to visit Monticello when the iris are in bloom. There's supposed to be a good antique iris collection there. Glad you got to visit!

Andrea said...

You have good basis to think big of the gardens, and your photos are really outstanding putting justice to their beauty. Thanks for the tour.

VW said...

Oooh, I have always wanted to visit there and Mount Vernon. So glad you could go. I have this silly dream that someday I'll get to meet him and George Washington up in heaven and we can all talk gardening, since they both loved it so much!

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

What a amazing trip that must have been, and so beautiful. I can see why the waiting list was so long, to see part of your countries history....wonderful.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Masha said...

Thank you for the virtual tour, I enjoyed it a lot! Great flower photography, you must have had a great time taking pictures there.

Gardening Under The Influence said...

I have always wanted to go there! So once I got over my envy, I enjoyed your pictures, and maybe, just maybe, I can finally find the time to go there.

Patrick's Garden said...

Always wanted to go. This is the next best thing. The plume poppies are always a favorite, Thanks much[.

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Łucja-Maria said...

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I send greetings from Polish.
Lovely photo and a flower.

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I wish you a nice, sunny weekend.
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The Redneck Rosarian said...

Wonderful post. President Jefferson left such a rich horticultural legacy for us to learn from and enjoy. I know you could have spent days wandering around the ground. When we visited about 20 years ago is was near Thanksgiving and not much was in bloom. You visited at a perfect time.