Happy Presidents Day – Adapted from Charles Luck Stone Inc.

Our friends at The Cultural Landscape Foundation have inspired me to spend a little more blog time dedicated to landscape architecture, so in the spirit of President’s Day, I thought I’d feature our first president’s estate – Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington near Alexandria, VA. George Washington’s accolades, accomplishments and contributions are vast, but his love for gardening and cultivating landscapes is not as well known. Washington’s mind – and letters home – frequently turned to Mount Vernon and his ideas for landscape design. His carefully planned gardens featuring unusual 18th-century flowers have been expertly maintained and are on display for visitors today. More than six acres are enclosed to create four separate gardens at Mount Vernon – the Upper Garden, Lower Garden, Botanical Garden and the Fruit Garden and Nursery. The gardens served many purposes, from testing new varieties of plants, to producing vegetables and fruits, to providing lavish displays of beautiful flowers. The Upper Garden was a research project for many years as historians, horticulturalists, and archaeologists looked for evidence of the locations of original plantings and pathways enjoyed by visitors when Washington was in residence. The Upper Garden re-opened in May 2011, with a new design that accurately reflects its appearance in 1799. During the three-year, forensic-style study, archeologists unearthed evidence showing how the garden had grown and evolved under George Washington’s care, and how it had changed in the 150 years since his death. The restored garden is both creative and practical, just as it was during George Washington’s time, with three large planting beds for produce framed by beautiful flowering trees and perennials. Ariel view of Mt. Vernon Estate Boxwood Fleur de Lis Upper Garden Flower Gardens leading to the Greenhouse Lower Garden

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