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Would love to go back in time and spend a day gardening with Jefferson.

Great post!

Aww this is beautiful! One day I will have enough money and land to try to do a similar thing. Thanks for this post!

I love reading about Jefferson and his garden. A man ahead of his time, and a person to study for ideas as we move gardening into it's next phase. Linked to this post here.

Wish I were there!

I love the look of the long, long garden with beds perpendicular to the hillside.

I think I've developed an "intellectual crush" on Thomas Jefferson. Had I known him, he might have driven me crazy with his obsessive note-making, but as a gardener, plant-lover, & wannabe-scientist I can really appreciate the work he did. And here I was proud of myself for keeping a minimal garden journal for six months !

do you know what the pot-like things are in amongst the sea kale? They look a little like strawberry pots.

Anne, I wrote to Peter about your question (my notes only said the pots are "for blanching", which I honestly don't understand) and he wrote me back to say:

They are sea kale pots. Sea Kale is a cabbage family species, Crambe maritima, that grows wild along the seacoast of Great Britain. A perennial, the spring shoots are naturally blanched (covered to prevent production of chlorophyll) by shifting sands along the beach. The flavor of these shoots are improved when blanched, so gardeners imitate this by using sea kale pots that cover the spring shoots, which are harvested when they get to be 6” to 12” high. They are then prepared, according to Jefferson, like asparagus.

Wow. What a great blog post! What a farmer. What an amazing guy.
I love learning about the sea kale blanching, so thanks for looking into that. It sounds like a pretty labor-intensive plant.

So if Jefferson did not weed or edge, should the garden at Montecello be as manicured as it is?

If we find it hard to read his journal, it will be next to imposible for the generation currently starting grade school. Some school districts are no longer teaching cursive, They teach them how to sign their name. Wow, maybe that will be a job for us old fogies, get jobs reading old hand written documents like deeds etc.

A two acre garden! Now if that isn't something to be jealous about, I don't know what is!

While Jefferson was a "Renaissance Man" in every way- read Greek and Latin, farmer and architect, creator of the Constitution, let us not overlook that the garden was built and tended by slaves.

I find it quite a leap in logic to say that since Jefferson didn't write about weeding, they must not have weeded the garden. The man had slaves. I bet he had the cleanest rows in the county.

Speaking of Jefferson' garden...
I've been dying to grow the highly ornamental Vigna caracalla or Caracalla Bean, "the most beautiful bean in the world" as Jefferson put it.
It says on the website that its flowers are edible, but I was wondering if anyone knew whether the beans are also? Scarlet runner beans are highly ornamental--and edible beaned. I grow other Vignas in my garden with edible beans (yard longs and cowpeas) but am dying to grow FRAGRANT ones like the caracalla.

I read more about Jefferson and his gardens in The Founding Gardeners by Andrea Wulf which is just fascinating and readable - and includes the gardens of Washington, Adams and Madison and what their garden philosophy said about their governing philosophy. And we owe Madison a great deal today. Wonderful read.

I'm looking forward to make my own vinegarden :) luck to me!

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