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Monticello ~ Thomas Jefferson's Home ~ Charlottesville VA

Monticello is Thomas Jefferson's exquisite mountain top home, in the rolling hills above Charlottesville. When you visit Virginia, you absolutely must work a visit into your itinerary. While it is difficult to capture the essence of Monticello in words, it is one of our all time favorite living history sites in all of America and is an utter obsession of mine. We have visited in the halted snow of winter, the gorgeous bloom of early spring, and the heat and oppressiveness of summer and never tire of it. Each visit brings new insight into Mr. Jefferson, his world, land, gardens and impact on our fledgling nation.

Thomas Jefferson was a patriotic visionary devoted to his country, founding father, 3rd president of a young United States of America, and perhaps best remembered for writing the Declaration of Independence that started it all. He was also a classical architect who designed every aspect of Monticello, from the main home to the gardens, adding continuous innovations as he went along.

As you swirl up the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain drive to his home, rising above Charlottesville, just a few miles up an easy road, you suddenly see a lovely stone and brick work bridge. Each time I see it, my heart skips a beat, we are here, the grounds of Monticello lay before us. Pull in to plenty of parking, and walk up to the Visitor's Center, where you can purchase tickets. Monticello is exceptionally well run, almost like a mini-Disneyland, with ticket counters, tickets with specific tour times, shuttles to whisk you from the Visitor's Center up to the actual property, with everything purring like clockwork.

Thomas Jefferson's Gardens

Early settlers planted much more seasonal gardens - had a pretty solid year round supply of veggies. During the winter, they used both dried, and kept hardy vegetables in cold storage bins. Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello is our all time favorite garden - he was a genius at keeping a supply of fresh foods flowing through his home year round. Brilliant man. His gardens were as revolutionary as his mind toward government, and he kept copious diaries outlining everything planted, and what the yield was, constantly tweaking it. His diet was very high on the vegetarian side, with meat more as a garnish. He was obsessed with vegetables and bringing them from all over the world, trying to grow them at Monticello and Poplar Forrest.

Fascinating! We do the garden tour every time we visit!

We love the old gardens in historic homes, the ingenuity and employment of wisdom lost today and learn so much with each visit. I am obsessed with TJ's gardens!