Friday, September 11, 2009

Monticello ................

We decided this morning that we would take a ride to Charlottesville and visit Monticello again. We had not been there since the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center were opened in April of this year. A side view of the center is shown above. Below is a view of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants which is part of the complex. You can purchase seeds and plants of historic varieties. Notice the grass growing on the roof of the building. The new center features four innovative exhibitions, a film introducing Thomas Jefferson's world and resources for children. A cafe and gift shop are also in the complex.

We took the shuttle bus to the house. Even though we have been through the house several times, I still enjoy the tour and see something new each time. Cameras are not allowed inside, so I don't have any pictures.

The picture above is of the back of the house taken from the west lawn. Jefferson planted flowers along a graveled walk encircling the West Lawn. The range of species planted reflect the scope of his interests - Old World florist's flowers, local wildflowers, and strange plants. Jefferson also planted at least 160 species of trees. Below is the flowered walkway.

Below is a picture of the six acre orchard which surrounded the vineyards and berry squares.

I enjoyed looking over the vegetable garden. This is where Jefferson grew food for his family and also where he planted and studied about 330 varieties of more than 70 species of vegetables. His garden looked much better than mine.

Jefferson is buried at Monticello with other members of his family in a graveyard chosen by him in 1773. The graveyard is owned by his descendants and is still used as a cemetary today. The epitaph he wrote for his tombstone was "Author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia."

After looking through the cemetary, we decided to walk back to the visitor center rather than taking the shuttle bus. It was a nice walk through the woods on a beautiful day. On the way home we stopped at First Colony Winery for some wine tasting and to purchase a bottle to take home.

It was an enjoyable morning - we were back home by 1:30. We are planning on going back in a couple of months. If you get the chance to visit Monticello, please do so. There is so much to see.


Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

I need to go there. Kelly went there with school. I'm embarrassed to say the only museum we've been to since moving to Virginia was the Walton's museum! I've been there twice already!

Becky Mushko said...

I haven't visited Monticello in years, but I've always loved it. Thanks for taking such great pictures.

Mr Pineapples said...

Hey Sweet Vi

Thanks for visiting P blog - great to have you on board.

P has just returned from being in the USA - was there for a few months - in Misouri (Kansas City).

Loved it - and the American people were fantastic. Watch my blog for a massive analysis of it all.

I am reading the "Kite Runner" at the moment.

Keeping it Real

Gilly said...

that looks really interesting, though the chances of me going there are zero! I like the veggie garden - I bet there was an army of gardeners to do it though!

Joan said...

Thanks so much for sharing your travel photos. Monticello is definitely on my list of places to visit someday but, until I do, I can at least see what to expect when I get there.