Continued from <-Heirloom Vegetables in Public Display Gardens, Part 2
John Bartram was a colonial plantsman, botanist, and naturalist extraordinaire. His Philadelphia garden is now the oldest botanical garden in the U.S. It has several areas of interest to heirloom gardeners, including a Kitchen Garden of herbs and vegetables, exhibits of plants Bartram listed in his 1783 (!) catalog, and flower gardens featuring plants of his day.
Located in the foothills of the Blue Mountains on the campus of Clemson University, this 270-acre garden has many fine collections, including three of particular interest to heirloom gardeners. One is the Hanover House, a National Register property, originally built in 1716 (!) by French Huguenots. Gardens surrounding the cabin include heirloom vegetables passed down in local families. The second is the Pioneer Garden, in which period-appropriate vegetables and herbs grow in plantings next to the 1825 Ransom Hunt Cabin. The third is Dr. David Bradshaw's heirloom garden, a large collection of historic varieties.
Living history is full of treasures -- including this one, a original 18th-century home with fine details. The architect was trained in South Carolina, and the home reminds visitors that Knoxville's early settlers brought a taste for gracious living with them. The Heritage Gardens on the site feature varieties handed down in families across the South, and are strong on beans, butterbeans, field peas, and crowder peas, as well as pumpkins and such. The grounds also include a small herb garden, and a kitchen garden.
The grounds of the Tennessee Agricultural Museum include a kitchen garden planted with heirlooms and herbs, as well as a perennial garden.
While much of this facility focuses on a large nature waterfront nature preserve with prairie and forested upland, it also includes the 1895 Martyn Farm. The house is an original, surrounded by a traditional farmstead, including a garden of heirloom vegetables.
Still a working dairy farm, Billings Farm & Museum shows visitors Vermont's rural past. The grounds, which date from 1871, were once the home of Frederick Billings, a gentleman farmer who was a prominent attorney, railroad magnate, and philanthropist. Today, the museum focuses on dairy farming and Vermont history, but also includes a kitchen garden planted with heirloom vegetables and traditional herbs.
Home of James Monroe, fifth president of the U.S., Ashlawn-Highland dates from the period 1799-1823 when the Monroes made their home there. Today, the house and surrounding grounds are being carefully restored. Much work has already been finished, and the grounds include a garden typical of the time. As it did originally, the Kitchen Garden still provides a variety of peas, beans, corn, squash, and tomatoes.
Gardening was part and parcel of colonial life, and this superb living history museum displays an entire community, circa 1776. The houses, shops, hotels, offices, streetscapes, and everything else here hails from the colonial era. So do the gardens, which have a well-deserved reputation for excellence. They range from aristocratic pleasure grounds for the governor to a work-a-day kitchen garden of vegetables and herbs, all carefully authenticated. The website also has some interesting research papers on late-eighteenth century vegetables. Very cool.
Everybody knows America is a country of immigrants, but hardly anyone knows what life was really like in their ancestor's old country. This living history museum has several historic farmsteads, each originals that were moved on site and are now restored and surrounded by period-approriate gardens and fields. Today, visitors can explore authentic German, Irish, and English farms from the 1600s or 1700s. The museum also has an American farmstead, circa 1850s and a home from the 1820s. Gardens and fields are planted to crops from the various times and cultures. Costumed staffers demonstrate skills of the day.
Founding father George and founding mother Martha Washington's estate once covered over 8,000 acres on the banks of the Potomac River. Today, it looks much like it did when the Washingtons lived here. The grounds include a large kitchen garden planted with heirloom vegetables, a pleasure ground, rolling meadows, groves of now-historic trees, and deep woods.
Not to take anything away from his accomplishments as founding father, statesman, and president, but here's the real story -- Jefferson was a gardener. He did a lot more than just putter around his back yard at Monticello. He transformed the grounds into a botanic garden of plants from all over the world. His kitchen garden, now restored, stretches 1,000 feet along a terrace and has an extraordinary display of vegetables that Jefferson grew. The grounds also feature a historic orchard, plus ornamentals. A very cool place.
The birthplace of Robert E. Lee, Stratford Hall Plantation brings to life the days of powdered wigs and tricorn hats. The gardens here, based on archaelogical and historical research, reflect the styles of the period 1700-1812. The heirloom vegetables here are also suitably vintage. So are the surrounding espaliered fruit, and the herbs, flowers, roses, and other flowers.
Built in 1825, the original Fort Vancouver was the headquarters of the British Hudson's Bay Company Columbia Department in the Pacific Northwest. Today, a re-creation of the fort presents life during the heyday of the trade in beaver pelts. The grounds include a log palisade, several furnished buildings, and a large garden documented from first-person accounts and period references. Each summer, a mix of heirloom vegetables, herbs, berries, hops, and other plants grow here much as they did during the fur trade. Even though the official park web site doesn't say a word about it, this garden is a worthy effort.
Wisconsin farm life in the 1920s and 1930s comes to life at this living history museum, which centers around a vintage farmhouse and associated outbuildings. The gardens here feature heirloom vegetables developed or maintained by Wisconsin gardeners. The ground also include a restored prairie, a museum, and more.