Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Thomas Jefferson Influenced Collection

This morning was frigid although it was a sunny day with blue sky.  Larry, Bill and I did some touch-up shoveling around the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) route this morning in preparation for an event tonight which will utilize the show.  The HLS opens for the public tomorrow (Friday) night from 4:30 pm until 9 pm.  Details on the schedule, entertainment, pricing, etc. can be found on our website at  This has been the perfect amount of snow for the HLS as we have the 2" of fluff that I always hope will arrive to make the show look great.  I don't anticipate any power problems but I'll know later tonight if we have any more tweaking to accomplish.  Vern, Ron Y. and Jim D. worked on carpentry projects while Del, Gene, Pat and Dr. Gredler all worked on painting projects.  Bill O. also helped Larry with some projects and we saw Maury, Gary, Dick H., Rollie, Big John and others today.  

All the photos in this blog have something in common and also relate to an upcoming RBG collection for 2014-2015.  All of these plants were grown by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello.  Above is the corkscrew or snail vine (Vigna caracalla).  We're dedicating some space near the arboretum (the 13 beds formerly used for the All-America Selections Display Garden) for a historical garden featuring many of the plants grown by Jefferson particularly during his "retirement years" (1809-1826).  Our intent is to display 150 varieties of plants that Thomas Jefferson specifically grew in his garden.  We'll include vegetables, herbs, perennials and annuals and every selection will have educational signage.  Janice has already started the research and has been in contact with staff at Monticello.  Cindy is helping and I'll be involved as well once we decide on this historic plant palette.  It's interesting to see how much he grew in his garden and how many of those options still exist for the home gardener. Regardless, more to follow on our "T.J. Collection" for 2014.

various Brassica (kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, etc.)
lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
bronze fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)
sea kale (Crambe maritima)
eggplant (Solanum melongena)
watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)
chicory (Cichorium intybus)
castor bean (Ricinus communis)
nasturtium (Tropaeolum sp.)
beets (Beta vulgaris)
flatleaf and curled parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus)
artichoke (Cynara scolymus)
purple hyacinth bean (Dolichos lablab)

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