Monticello’s Gardens and Grounds are the subject of a talk by Peter Hatch on Wednesday, October 3, at 7:00 pm at 107 Shanklin Lab, the Kerr Lecture Hall, 237 Church St., Wesleyan University. The free talk is co-sponsored by The Middletown Garden Club, the Rockfall Foundation and Wesleyan University.
Peter Hatch has been the Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello for 35 years. He is responsible for the restoration and maintenance of the landscaping, vegetable gardens, vineyard and orchards of Monticello in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson’s own practices. He has lectured nationally and written a number of books and articles on gardening at Monticello, including his new book A Rich Spot of Earth:Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello. Hatch calls Jefferson’s 330 varieties of 99 species of vegetables and herbs “an Ellis Island” of introduced plants. Particularly revolutionary was Jefferson's refusal to emulate cool-season northern European gardens, embracing instead humid-climate foods like tomatoes, lima beans, and okra.
In addition to the maintenance of the 2,400 acres of gardens at Monticello, Hatch is an advisor to First Lady Michelle Obama on the White House Kitchen Garden, providing many heirloom plants for the project. He played a significant role in the development of the $7.5 million Thomas Jefferson Parkway with the Saunders-Monticello Trail, used by 120,000 people annually.
Parking for the event is available on campus in parking lot C or on Lawn Avenue.