Garden & Patio

Mother’s Day Gift Guide


Give Mom a Gift as Unique and Beautiful as She Is

The Shop at Monticello’s Gifts for Her collection is inspired by Jefferson’s passions for elegant, functional design and nature’s beauty. From classic decor to exclusive garden supplies, a gift from this collection is sure to delight each Mom on your list. Shop the entire collection now >>

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Snail Flower, “the most beautiful bean in the world”


Heirloom flowers are cultivating a devoted following. This spring planting season, choose tried-and-true historic plants over mass-market plants like Jefferson’s beloved Caracalla Bean Vine (aka Snail Flower) just featured in The Wall Street Journal article “A Guide to Planting Heirloom Flowers-With Links to Thomas Jefferson and More.” Read the article >>

snail-flower-vigna-caracalla-4In 1792, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Benjamin Hawkins, “The most beautiful bean in the world is the caracalla bean which, though in England a greenhouse plant, will grow in the open air in Virginia and Carolina.” Imported from tropical South America, it was found in American gardens by the 1830s, when Robert Buist wrote in The American Flower Garden Directory, “Snail-Flower is a very curious blooming plant, with flowers … all spirally twisted, in great profusion when the plant is grown well.” This spectacular flower was popular in florists’ corsages by the late 19th-century.

The Snail Flower ships in late April, so order yours today! Shop our entire collection of hard-to-find plants now >>

Shop Spring 2016 Plants Now

NEW Red, White, and Blue!

“…the paper of July 4.76 was but the Declaration, the genuine effusion of the soul of our country at that time.” -Thomas Jefferson to James Mease, September 16, 1825

fourth-of-july-picnic-set-for-two-4Decorate and dine with festive American flare this Memorial Day or Fourth of July! These new selections are perfect for your patriotic summer picnic or party.

Looking for a ready-to-go celebration? The Shop at Monticello’s Fourth of July Picnic Set includes packs of 8 paper dinner plates, 8 paper dessert plates and 20 cocktail napkins, two sets of red, white and blue silverware, two travel wine glasses, a tin bucket, two reproduction Declarations of Independence, three little 15-star flags and four fun firecracker mini-torch candles, all packed in a stylish red-and-white striped canvas tote.

The Shop’s Travel Wine Glass with Liberty Quote is an essential picnic accessory, featuring Jefferson’s immortal words “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

cotton-bunting-4-x-8-4Draw on classic American designs and historical traditions for your patriotic gathering or Independence Day party. Red, white and blue cotton bunting made in the U.S.A. is the perfect design centerpiece for your celebration.

Salute the season with historical and modern American flag accents. Flag-themed rugs are a wonderful way to greet guests and flag-themed throws invite your guests, family and friends to wrap themselves in American comfort.

Accentuate your walls with a patriotic pop. Framed reproductions of American flags, historical prints and classic silhouettes, similar to those in Jefferson’s Monticello Parlor, showcase American pride and history.

For a truly inspirational experience, celebrate the Fourth of July morning at Monticello, the home of the author of the Declaration of Independence. Since 1963, more than 3,000 people from every corner of the globe have taken the oath of citizenship at the annual Monticello Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony. David M. Rubenstein will be the featured speaker on July 4, 2014 at Monticello’s 52nd Annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony—the oldest continuous naturalization ceremony held outside of a courtroom in the United States. Rubenstein is best known as co-Founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager.

Behind the Scenes: Monticello Hosts House Beautiful

“…it may be said that Mr. Jefferson is the first American who has consulted the Fine Arts to know how he should shelter himself from the weather.”

-The Marquis de Chasteluux, 1782 on his first visit to Monticello

House Beautiful November coverHouse Beautiful magazine, the leading authority on American home design and decoration, recently announced the launch of a “pop up” guest editor series and named renowned interior designer, Charlotte Moss, as guest editor for the November 2013 issue themed “The Arts of Living.” A trustee of Monticello, Moss saw the November issue as a natural opportunity to highlight Jefferson’s legacy at his mountaintop home.  She reached out to Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Executive Editor at Random House, and fellow Monticello trustee, Jon Meacham to collaborate.

As a result of this extraordinary collaboration, the November issue will include special sections on home fragrance, books, music, and wine, as well as images from a photo shoot at Monticello with displays curated by Moss, and an exclusive essay by Meacham titled “The Jeffersonian Ideal: Life at Monticello.”

To gather images and inspiration for the November Issue, Charlotte Moss and House Beautiful arrived at Monticello for a two day photo shoot with a full crew of photographers, editors, and assistants this July.

Then, Monticello staff, including Senior Curator and Vice President of Museum Programs, Susan Stein (below, center, to the right of HB‘s Orli Ben-Dor) and Director of Garden and Grounds, Gabriele Rausse, guided the House Beautiful crew around Monticello, answering questions and providing information for the magazine and web features.

The tour included a full walkthrough of the house and gardens (below, left) as well as a trip to the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Tufton Farm.



gabrieleAfter the tour, lunch was set up in the Orchard (above).

The House Beautiful crew tasted products from The Shop including Monticello Root Beer, Monticello Fig Preserves, and Monticello Peach Salsa.

Fresh picked tomatoes and basil from the Vegetable Garden were also served while Gabriele Rausse (left) gave a talk on Jefferson, wine, and gardening.

Next, Monticello staff and House Beautiful’s crew prepped for the photo shoot in The Greenhouse. Moss arranged the centerpiece in the staging area. Then everyone helped move the featured pieces into the Southeast Piazza .

Moss added the finishing touches to the table (below) and the photographer captured the scene.


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IMG_1923The following morning, House Beautiful and Moss (left) returned to capture a few last shots of Monticello.

Once the final photograph was taken, the crew got a chance to relax, enjoy the scenery, and swap favorite quotes from The Words of Thomas Jefferson on the steps of Monticello (above).

We loved hosting House Beautiful and we couldn’t be more excited about their magazine and web features of Monticello!

Visit The Shop for products featured by House Beautiful and inspired by Jefferson’s timeless genius and style.


What’s buzzing in our garden?

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Center for Historic Plants will be planting a five-acre garden habitat at Tufton Farm this year and focusing on the establishment of a healthy, thriving garden ecosystem. Over the past several years, the Center has researched the importance of pollinators in the garden just as Thomas Jefferson researched their role in his own gardens. Pollinators, particularly insects, are vital to a flourishing garden community because they pollinate flowers and serve as a food source for garden birds such as hummingbirds, orioles, and cardinals.


The Tufton Bee Yard with area cleared for new habitat

Paul Legrand, a Monticello volunteer, helped start, maintain, and fund bee yards at Monticello and the Center for Historic Plants after he noticed that there were no honey bees in the area. CHP staff saw a difference in the plants as soon as the hives were established. “Honey bees are extraordinarily efficient insects at pollinating. They work from dawn to dusk until their little wings wear out,” Legrand says. He added, “all the trees are healthier. The flowers are healthier, brighter, and more vibrant.”

Even if you can’t have bee hives, you can create habitat in your garden or backyard with The Shop’s Insect Hotel! Designed to attract the proper pollinators, the Insect Hotel will improve the quality of your plants’ fertilization and reproduction. The natural bamboo sections of the “hotel” attract wanted pollinators such as the ladybug and the solitary bee. Its stylish design is a sweet and simple touch to your yard or garden and enhances the health of your beautiful plants.

If you’re looking for more advice about pollinators in the garden, check out Attracting Native Pollinators . It details garden plans and techniques that optimize natural pollination and create flowering habitats. Addditionally, Monticello’s Birds, Bees, & Butterflies Seed Sampler offers a collection of flowers that attract the essential pollinators and liven up your backyard ecosystem.

Summer Garden Party

Thomas Jefferson was widely known for his hospitality and was fond of entertaining at his mountaintop home. Meals hosted by Jefferson at Monticello were, as famously described by Daniel Webster, “in good taste and abundance.”

Lattice Garden Bench

Lattice Garden Bench

Warm weather provides the perfect opportunity to take a party outside. Whether you’re tucked away in the shade on a sunny afternoon or under with the stars in the evening—outdoor entertaining is the way to create a special and memorable event. The Shop offers many great accessories to complement any outside venue, whether you’re hosting a small, intimate gathering or a large backyard event.

To throw the ultimate garden party, find furnishings that will give your guests a place to relax and admire the scenery. Our Lattice Garden Bench, both sturdy and stylish is a great first pick. The bench is made with durable steel, has a verdigris patina finish, and is powder-coated for weather-resistance. It’s classic design and small size make it an easy fit into any garden space.

Next, decorate your space with accents like a garden display of potted flowers on our Four-Tier Plant Stand. The stand is both a perfect showcase for your prized plants and a great place for guests to set drinks while enjoying your summer soiree.

Create an enchanting atmosphere by illuminating your dinner party with multiple lanterns placed around the border of your event space. Our Copper Lanterns are large enough to light a small area well and our small lanterns such as the Pinecone Tealight Lantern are great to feature on tables and steps to create a soft, warm glow.

Finally, choose fashionable ways to serve refreshments. A Stoneware Beverage Tub is a great way to keep drinks cool in the summer heat. Its distinctive flared shape and distressed, crackled finish, make this handcrafted ceramic tub more visually pleasing than a typical cooler. Serve additional summertime drinks in our Handcrafted Pitcher. The look of the hand-blown glass is timeless, and the pitcher is ideal for serving juice, tea, or cocktails.

You can even bring the garden to the table—literally—with the Garden Tool Salad Servers. Everyone will love the fun and unique design. With these select items, your garden party is sure to be a success.