Since many of us spent this past weekend grilling, lounging, and blowing things up in celebration of Independence Day, you may have missed a great, somewhat-related article and accompanying slideshow that ran in the New York Times Home & Garden section late last week. The topic? The legacy of experimental gardening at Thomas Jefferson’s historic Virginia estate, Monticello.
The article delves into how Jefferson, an avid and adventurous (but perhaps not very skilled by modern standards) gardener, wasn’t scared of screwing up when it came to tending to his expansive garden filled with 170 varieties of fruit and 330 varieties of veggies and herbs.
Says Peter Hatch, director of garden and grounds at Monticello and author of the upcoming book Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden, of the Founding Father and “seed-y missionary:”
He was experimental and had a lot of failures. But Jefferson always believed that ‘the failure of one thing is repaired by the success of another.’