July 7, 2011

Ira Flatow, The Founding Gardeners and Mount Vernon

Ah, Mount Vernon.  Second in my affections to only Monticello for a little horticulture meets history sight-seeing.  A recent visit to George's little place on the Potomac made me hungry for more specifics about our founding fathers' interest in gardening and just how hands-on these gentlemen really were in the horticultural affairs of their  plantations.

(What a view!  Pull up a rocker and have a seat, won't you?)

So when I heard Ira Flatow on NPR's Science Friday discussing a book about just this topic I about ran off the road.  (Not really.  I'm a nut, but not that much of a nut about the topic..I don't endanger lives or anything.)  

You can listen to the show too by  clicking here and if you are like me, it will whet your appetite for the book itself,

plus you will just enjoy listening to Ira.  (I have kind of a crush on him, as well as Thomas Jefferson, so the  show was kind of a two-fer, and I always like it when that happens.)  
I'll be doing a little fact checking too.  See if what the tour guides said about the gardens at Mount Vernon match up with the book, and if, indeed, George really did have a

hedge fetish ( or living fences as he called them) and if he really WAS
 afraid of being buried alive (Who knew?!)

Anyhoo, enjoy the rest of this little tour of Mount Vernon.  Oh, and no, they won't let you take any pictures inside.  :(

Yes, they compost at Mt. Vernon...then and now. 


  1. So weird--when I saw your headline, I said to my husband, "Someday I want to get to Monticello." I've been to Mt. Vernon several times and I love it! I will listen to the audio link and check out the book. Thanks!

  2. Excellent, dear Linda! Several years ago, I was so in awe when I visited ... so in awe! I had no idea George was such an avid farmer/gardner. A truly memorable visit plus my youngest son was chosen to place a wreath on his grave :)

  3. I loved this book! It gives a whole different perspective on our founding fathers. Thanks for the great photos.

  4. We lived in Fairfax County, Va. for a few years when my husband was in the Coast Guard back in the early 70s. We would ride our bicycles from the park on the Potomac in Alexandria out to Mt. Vernon. - a fun ride. I wasn't a gardener in those days, living in a little apartment. But I do remember the grounds being beautiful. Sounds like a great book - I love Jefferson and Monticello, too!


Please leave a comment! I love to hear from you!