Monticello Gardens and Grounds: Everything’s Coming Up Roses…and Tulips…And Veggies

Posted by Jason Young
Photographs by P. Cornett

Though the ground may be hard and the bushes bare, winter is an all-important season of preparation for Monticello’s Gardens & Grounds team. We’ve been blessed with a few warm days this month – perfect for outdoor projects normally done with heavy mitts and wooly hats. Inside our greenhouses and out in the gardens, it’s a busy time on the Mountaintop. Here’s a look at what’s going on today to ensure peak outcomes in the months to come.


This month, two of the gardening team erected 51 posts for staking our 2020 tomato crops. As you can see from the photograph, the weather was on our side for digging day. Special thanks to Pat Brodowski and Mike Drotos for their hard work and strong arms!

And speaking of weather, check out the Tenby Daffodil, Narcissus obvallaris, flowering along the south-facing banks of Mulberry Row!

Tenby Daffodil (Narcissus obvallaris)

Inside the greenhouses, there’s a lot ‘growing on’. Seen here: seedlings of cabbages, broccolis and other Cole crops for the vegetable gardens, and sweet peas for the flower gardens:


Beginning next month, the G&G team will work together to clear a 2-mile path through the woods to allow for construction of a new deer fence. This new, state-of-the-art fence will provide crucial protection for the gardens from our ever-hungry, though cute hooved friends. Stay tuned for more updates and photos of the fence in the coming weeks.

And finally, in 2020 areas that receive less regular mowing and maintenance around Monticello Mountain will be seeded with native grasses and flowers. This is an attempt to increase diversity and show the grasses that Jefferson would have seen.

Phew – lots in store! To see the fruits (and veggies) of our labor first-hand, and to experience Jefferson’s mountaintop year-round, we encourage you to purchase Monticello’s Annual Pass. Benefits include unlimited general admission, free gardens and grounds pass, free general admission to the Heritage Harvest Festival, 20% discount in The Shop at Monticello and more! The pass is an incredible value – get yours today and enjoy Monticello in every season.