The Garden Guide

Monticello Garden

A late-eighteenth century Palladian house and garden designed and owned by America's third president. Thomas Jefferson read Palladio's books and had seen how his style had been interpreted in England. Monticello ('little mountain') owes something to Chiswick House. Jefferson used a copy of Whateley's Observations in which to write his personal views on Hampton Court, Stowe, the Leasowes and Blenheim. This was in 1786. Whateley had described the places which Brown designed and explained their underlying principles. Monticello has a garden-scale Brownian Park with a serpentine walk and clumps. Jefferson had been an keen horticulturalist since his teens and placed symmetrical 'clumps' of flowers near the house. This parallels the developing enthusiasm for horticulture in England. Though a product of Jefferson's personal genius, Monticello can also be seen as a time capsule representation of a late-eighteenth century English garden. The records in Jefferson's Garden Book have enabled an accurate restoration and it may now be a better example of its type than any surviving English gardens. One sees something of the character which William Mason created at Nuneham Park.
Photograph © Donnie Gladfelter
Photograph © Stephen Butler
Photograph © Dr. Kenneth A. Rahn
Photograph © Dr. Kenneth A. Rahn

Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, PO Va 53, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, VA 22902

All year, Daily, except Christmas Day, Open 8am to 5pm March through October, Open 9am to 4.30am November through February

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Nearby gardens

Designers and Influences