The American Horticulture Society’s book awards for 2013 are out, and here’s the one winner that I might just buy: A Rich Spot of Earth by Peter J. Hatch. The AHS notes that it’s “unquestionably a superb work of scholarship,” and an “homage to Jefferson’s contributions to our national gardening heritage as well as a treasury of information about the many varieties of plants he experimented with in his Virginia garden.”
Peter Hatch is none other than the director of gardens at Monticello for 35 years until his recent retirement. He’s a keen historian of Jefferson’s gardens, and knows more about that sacred soil than anyone on earth. Click here if you missed Adrian Higgins’ wonderful article about Peter in the Washington Post.
I visited Monticello in 2011 and enjoyed it so much I couldn’t imagine why I hadn’t been there since high school!! I wrote two stories about the trip for Garden Rant: about Jefferson’s kitchen garden and about the Ornamental Gardens at Monticello.
IF YOU GO
Or anytime, there’s a choice of three awesome tours: the house, the plantation tour, which tells the honest story of slavery at Monticello, and of course the grounds and gardens.
Photos and text by Susan Harris.