MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Colonial Gardens. Part 3 - Williamsburg

How much we can learn from the gardeners of the past! How much inspiration we can get from the replicas of their gardens, thanks to the efforts of thousands of professionals and volunteers! Jamestown, Yorktown and now, Williamsburg.
From 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg was the political, social and cultural capital of Virginia, Great Britain's largest, wealthiest and most populous colony.
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As the Colonial Guide states, in Williamsburg, "there are more than 90 acres of gardens and greens showing a range of 18th-century landscaping designs and a variety of uses, from purely decorative to strictly functional".
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I was glad to see my favorite foxgloves all over the place. Like tall exclamation marks, they attract attention in both primitive and formal gardens.

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I would gladly shop in the Colonial Nursery, below, but it's not a good idea to travel with plants by a bus, train or plane (yes, my trip included all these types of transportation). Info about the Colonial Nursery was borrowed from this site: http://www.history.org/history/CWLand/nursery1.cfm.div.
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The Colonial Nursery has 18th-century garden plantings, historically accurate plants and reproduction gardening tools for sale. Garden historians are on site to answer questions. Hot beds, cisterns, cloches, and unusual pruning methods are among the topics which the garden historians discuss.
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The seeds sold here represent those plants that would have been found in the gardens of a cross section of 18th century colonial society, and a smattering of other heirloom varieties.
Other goods, such as cloches, are also available for sale and represent the colonial nursery's intent to develop products that reflect the horticultural practices of the past. The purpose of these cloches is to trap heat at night and to force vegetables to bear earlier than they normally would. The short wattle fences, visible on several pictures, would have been used to keep small wild animals out of the beds at night.
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Do you see two bulls on the picture below?
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The pictures below are of the Governor's Palace. This place was the home of seven royal governors and Virginia's first two state governors, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.
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Credits: Colonial Guide, Vol.19, No.1, 2010; Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The garden posts with my photographs of two other parts of Virginia's Historic Triangle, Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center, are here: Part 1 - Jamestown , Part 2 - Yorktown .
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Posted by TatyanaS at MySecertGarden

21 comments:

  1. What gorgeous pictures. Now these brought back memories. I have been to Williamsburg and it was a wonderful place to visit. I loved all the gardens and plants and it was a fantastic learning experience. The gardens were all so lovely looking and those veggies all look so good but I loved the history of the place and the old buildings. The reenactments were so fun to watch too.

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  2. Oh Tatyana your first statement is so true. I love gardeners from the past, even 20 or so years ago. We as a society have missed so many experiences by living in an instant gratification world.
    Thank you for sharing the replicas of these gardens. Very much inspirational!

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  3. Lovely gardens - it would be so nice to walk through...

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  4. I want some wattle fences in my garden !!!! Really bad ! What a great field trip you took us on, and what a great one you went on , thanks so much ! Gina

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  5. Seems like a great way to spend an afternoon. If only you could picnic there!

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  6. Such beautiful pictures. I love the combination of formal and cottage elements. The row of peonies above the vegetable gardens and the plantings with the foxglove are wonderful. All of it's beautiful.

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  7. I would love to have gardens like those. Carla

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  8. What a beautiful setting, wonderful pics.

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  9. Great post! I really enjoyed all of your pictures of the different gardens. And the foxgloves add such height and texture to the gardens! Very inspiring..now..for some sunshine to inspire me further! :) Cheers, Jenni

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  10. What a lovely garden I love the terraced beds with flowers and vegetables. It is all beautifully cared for.

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  11. I am one of those oddish plane (and occasionally bus) passengers that have plants under seats and on laps. Maybe airline workers are used to us Alaskans behaving strangely. I've not had the occasion to tote plants by train...yet.

    Christine in Alaska

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  12. Great post Tatyana. Did the kids get to go through the hedgerow maze in the Governor's Palace garden? That was one of my kids' favorites.

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  13. Great photos! I've enjoyed your posts on Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown. We visited the area in 2001 and loved it! I have to say the gardens of Williamsburg were my favorite part. Oh, and touring the College of William and Mary! Awesome place!

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  14. I grew up in Virginia Tatyana and I never grew tired of visiting Jamestown or Williamsburg. I think I would appreciate the gardens more today (now that I'm a gardener too). They were so neat and tidy, weren't they? I love to collect cloches but hardly ever think to actually put them to work! It's nice to see them in action.
    ps love your new trillium additions.

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  15. Your pictures are beautiful and Williamsburg is one of my favorite places. I could easily live there, I think there is a lot we can learn for studying the past. Although it wasn't easy! I also love foxgloves and what a great time of year you visited where the flowers are in bloom. Thanks for sharing your trip - next year you'll have to come to New England! Linda

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  16. Beautiful post Tatyana! The arched covered walkway is especially appealing. Gorgeous gardens! :)

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  17. I think they achieved an english cottage garden look with those first set of photos. Very well done with the sweet william and the digitalis. The pink is stunning in that settting.

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  18. Oh I want to go there-- just lovely!
    There is something so special in viewing a working garden designed long ago. The vegetable gardens are just exquisite and that row of peonies-- oh my.

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  19. Thank you for posting these picures. I always love to see museums display life of days-gone- by for us to see. In this case for you to see and share with the rest of us.

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  20. What a wonderful visit to some awesome gardens. That peony hedge is simply cool the way it is situated on the hedge. Thanks for taking us along! Have a great weekend.

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  21. great tour Tatyana

    I enjoyed this along with the previous Colony gardens posts

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