Indulge Yourself at the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants

Saturday, May 18, 2013, boasts a springtime festival at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello—Wine & Roses. Wine & Roses is part of the Center for Historic Plants’ open house and will feature wine tasting, workshops, a tour of the gardens, plant sales, and a family activities table.

The Center for Historic Plants has its roots in Thomas Jefferson’s horticulture interests. The center was established at Monticello in 1987 and its members “collect, preserve, and distribute historic plant varieties and strives to promote greater appreciation for the origins and evolution of garden plants.” While Jefferson’s interest spanned a number of North American plants, this particular event will explore the history of rose cultivation, demonstrated at the picturesque Tufton Farm.

Tufton Farm “was one of Thomas Jefferson’s quarter farms and borders the Monticello plantation…Tufton served as important agricultural land, providing large amounts of crops and food sources for the Monticello plantation.” Today, Tufton houses the Center for Historic Plants, flourishing in a display of brightly colored flora.


Now that you know a bit about the history of Monticello’s plant life, you may be wondering what specific activities the Wine & Roses festival will entail:

10 a.m. – 11 a.m: A discussion with Doug Seidel about the “various types of old roses and their myriad virtues.”

11:15 a.m. – 12 p.m.: A garden tour led by Peggy Cornett, Curator of Plants at Monticello, “focusing on the antique rose collection.”

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.: The “Antique Rose Show” workshop with Doug Seidel.

1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Wine tasting with Gabriele Rausse, the Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello

1:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.: A rose propagation and culture workshop with Briar Hartsock, the Nursery Manager

2:15 p.m. – 3 p.m.: A garden tour with Peggy Cornett

Be sure to book your room at the Iris Inn, where you can return to comfort after a day of stopping to smell the roses!

Photo by TedMiles

Photo by TedMiles