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Christ Church lecture series to explore Virginia gardens

Andrea Wulf
Andrea Wulf

New York Times best-selling author Andrea Wulf and three other internationally acclaimed historians will explore the theme of “Virginia’s Gardens: Past & Present” at Historic Christ Church & Museum’s 2017 Sunday Lecture Series.

All presentations are slated at 2 p.m. Sundays at Historic Christ Church & Museum, 420 Christ Church Road, Weems.

Each presentation includes an illustrated slideshow followed by a book signing and wine and cheese reception with the author, reported education director and curator Robert J. Teagle. Tickets are $125 for the four-part series or $35 for each individual presentation. Each presenter will have copies of books for sale as well.

Tickets may be purchased at or 438-2441. Proceeds will benefit preservation and education programs at Christ Church, a National Historic Landmark, said Teagle.

Daffodil expert Brent Heath kicks the series off on February 26 with “Heirloom Bulbs for Restoration Gardens.” A third-generation bulb grower, Heath is one of the world’s leading authorities on daffodils.

Heath will share the history of different bulbs ranging from 50 to 500 years old and show how to use them in restoration projects like colonial landscapes or family gardens. He will highlight the different colors, seasons, heights, shapes and sizes that these historic bulbs offer.

On March 19, Peter Hatch’s “Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden” will explore the innovative garden and cuisine Jefferson created at his 1,000-foot-long terraced vegetable garden at Monticello.

A celebrated author and professional gardener who served as Monticello’s director of gardens and grounds for 35 years, Hatch calls Jefferson’s garden “an experimental laboratory, an Ellis Island of new and unusual vegetable novelties from around the globe.” Hatch will examine some of the 330 vegetable and 170 fruit varieties Jefferson cultivated and his role in supporting farmer’s markets and promoting vegetable cookery and their inspiration for today’s farm to table movement.

The series continues April 2 with Mount Vernon associate curator Adam Erby as he brings to life “The General in the Garden: George Washington’s Landscape at Mount Vernon.” Erby will describe Washington’s design efforts in the years between the American Revolution and the Constitutional Convention of 1787, showing how Washington drew on British designs but adapted them to his own circumstances to create a truly American landscape.

Erby also will highlight the groundbreaking archaeological and scientific analysis Mount Vernon is using to restore the landscape and gardens to their appearance in 1799, the year Washington died.

New York Times best-selling author Andrea Wulf concludes the series on April 23 with “Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation.”

Wulf’s beautifully illustrated talk investigates the lives of the founding fathers and how their attitudes to plants, gardens, nature and agriculture shaped the new American nation they were creating. In a retelling of the creation of America, award-winning historian Wulf will show how plants, politics and personalities intertwined as never before.

Rappahannock Record Staff
Rappahannock Record Staff
From the Rappahannock Record news team

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