A Mind Employed

Thomas Jefferson said “a mind employed is always happy.” He must have been one happy guy because a visit to Monticello proves the wheels were always spinning in his mind. The same man who drafted the Declaration of Independence, made the deal of the century with the Louisiana purchase, was our third President and founded the University of Virginia was also a happy gardener. Click on the link at the top of my home page “Monticello and Jefferson Rules” to learn more. Enjoy some of the sights from my Monticello visit.


At the right is Jefferson’s beloved Monticello with Gomphrena or Globe Amaranth blooming in the foreground. Try some of these flowers in your landscape, they’re unique, tolerate the heat of summer and make a great cut flower.

July is a month for lilies in the landscape. Some of Jefferson’s favorite plants were “bulb-like” plants because of their reliable performance and easy transfer or shipping as bulbs……

 The bee balm or Monarda at Monticello were a favorite of the butterflies. This plant has a great history too, used as a substitute for tea after the Boston Tea Party.

 It is said that at Monticello, you could start weeding at one end of the vegetable garden and when at the end, you could start weeding the new weeds growing back at the beginning. Jefferson loved his vegetable garden! Talking to one of the current day gardeners at Monticello, I asked about the Castor bean plants. I grow them for decorative purposes. They’re in the garden for medicinal purposes, part of a digestive “spring cleaning.”

Further east in Washington DC, a couple pictures I thought you might find a “kick in the plants.” Check out this picture of the Capitol taken from the Grant monument.

 Here I am in front of the “big house”. Thanks to Congressman Ehlers, we were able to get a tour of the White House. After the tour was done I proceeded to do some grooming of the annuals and a little weeding, didn’t take long for some important looking people to give me a “kick in the plants” and ask me to move on.  Oh well, Washington is an impressive important place, but me and my friends…..we’ll always maintain our sense of “humus!” Here I am with a gentleman hoping to occupy the White House. I’m showing you this picture because the picture of me and Obama makes me look short.

Don’t forget to click on Jefferson rules and I hope I’ll see you at the big Monticello event at the Meijer Gardens on August 14!