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Mr. Jefferson, I presume…
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Mr. Jefferson, I presume…

Living in this area for 14 years, I have compiled a list of top daytrip destinations.  The #1 seed on that list has always been Charlottesville, Virginia, and more particularly, Thomas Jefferson’s home at Monticello.  It wasn’t until this last month that I was actually able to get to Charlottesville for this special day.  If you know me and have read my blog for any amount of time, you know I what i like:  Plants. Architecture. History. Books. Photographic Opportunities.  Monticello ticks off ALL of those interests in excess.


Sarah and Thom

I was visiting my sister in Richmond and we drove over to Charlottesville for the day.  It was a warm day and only a few days after the weird week that included both an earthquake AND a hurricane in the mid-Atlantic.  In fact, we passed the small town of Mineral, Virginia – the epicenter of the 5.3 quake – on our drive towards Monticello.  I made sure to ask the docent who led our tour about any effects at Monticello.  Surprisingly, there were none!  Such a surprise being so close to the epicenter, where areas in Washington, DC had some medium-grade structural damage…  Good news for this landmark, the only historical houses on the United Nations World Heritage Site list!

The house itself is beautifully preserved with many original furnishings, floorings, and decor, but unfortunately, they are off-limits for photography (there are images on the website if you do want to peek…), so I focused my photography on some of the incredible gardens surrounding the property.

Celosia in Monticello Garden

Celosia cristata “Pink Spiked” with Monticello in background

Monticello Gardens

Heirloom okra varietal – probably Hibiscus esculentus

Joseph's Coat in Monticello Gardens

Joseph’s Coat” Amaranthus tricolor

More Photos from Monticello

The true beauty of the garden/natural travel destinations is that you can go back at a different time in the year and have a completely new experience.  We particularly enjoyed seeing these late summer blooms, but the gardens would be spectacular throughout the year.  The day we went was warm and we didn’t get to venture out onto the trails and as much of the surrounding areas, so I am saving those experiences for my next trip – there will most definitely be one, and I’m not going to let 14 years pass before I go again!



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11 Responses

  1. Cassy

    Amazing plant photos. Looks like you had a lot of fun!

  2. JelliDonut

    I’ve always imagined the house to be much larger. Thanks for such great photos!

  3. Jennifer

    Great pictures! I visited Monticello when I was very young, and the part I remember most was the gardens. That was where I first saw snap dragons!

  4. Chandler

    Oh, I want to go to Monticello so badly! It’s been in my top-ten list for many years now. So glad you got to go at last—you’ve got me dreaming of someday.

  5. Rowena Philbeck

    Love it. Great pictures. I work in the Architecture library and A&M and have books with this in it. Would love to visit one day.

  6. MarthaH

    B and I got married right after 9/11 and had to postpone our trip to France, where we’d planned on hiking, touring, wine tasting and eating good food. Charlottesville had it all, so we went there instead. Later this week, 10 years later, we are going back to Charlottesville (though we’ve been many times in-between), and may include Monticello as we did then. Your photos are beautiful.

  7. pia

    Gorgeous! I’ve been twice and both times…it’s been pouring rain! Hoping to get there on a nice day at some point.

  8. Hannah

    I haven’t been to Monticello, though I lived a stone’s throw within it for almost 8 years. There are a lot of places I still need to see! Your photos are great, I love that strange yellow and red plant at the bottom!

  9. MelD

    How funny, coincidentally I am just reading Bill Bryson’s ‘At Home’, which has quite a lot of entertaining information about Monticello! When I get to the States and if I am in the area, I will definitely visit! Thanks.

  10. rachel

    i dated a fellow who was a grad student at uva, and charlottesville holds a warm place in my heart. lovely photos (as always). it’s such a charming town, and a gorgeous place to visit in the fall.

  11. Moni

    those photos are gorgeous!!

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