Mount Vernon curator will discuss Washington’s gardens

Mount Vernon associate curator Adam T. Erby will present a lecture entitled “The General in the Garden: George Washington’s Landscape at Mount Vernon” at 2.p.m. April 2 at Historic Christ Church & Museum, 420 Christ Church Road, Weems.

Erby is responsible for both special exhibitions and historic interiors at Mount Vernon, reported publicity chairman Marilyn Hedges. For this presentation, he will bring to life the gardens the first President created at his estate along the Potomac River.

Erby, who has a bachelor’s from the University of Virginia and a master’s from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, is the lead author of a new book recently released by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and distributed by the University of Virginia Press, said Hedges. The General in the Garden: George Washington’s Landscape at Mount Vernon, explores Washington’s personal design efforts in the years between the American Revolution and the Continental Convention of 1787.

Erby will first examine Washington’s critical role in developing Mount Vernon, arguing that General Washington drew on British design sources and gardening manuals, but adapted them to his own circumstances, creating a truly American landscape, she said.

Erby will then trace the evolution of the estate’s landscape and re-created gardens across the more than two centuries since the first president’s death. He also will examine how groundbreaking archaeological methods and modern scientific analysis recently facilitated the rediscovery of long lost Washington-era garden features—a remarkable find that has allowed for one of the most significant eighteenth-century garden re-creations of our time.

The event includes a book signing and wine and cheese reception with Erby. Tickets are $35 and may be purchased at or at the foundation office.

Proceeds will benefit preservation and education programs at Christ Church (1735), a National Historic Landmark.