by Debra Grube and Samantha Horvath
Mt. Vernon was built in 1735 by George Washington’s father, Augustine, and George acquired Mount Vernon in 1754. It began as a one and one-half story farmhouse, and over the next 45 years the building was slowly enlarged to create the wonderful 21-room residence we see today. Washington personally supervised each renovation, selecting architectural features that expressed his growing status as a Virginian gentleman planter and ultimately as the first President of the United States.
The gardens that surround the mansion, however, were just as important as the living quarters considering they sustained the food supply of the family and all the visitors that flocked to George Washington’s home every year. Even when the Washingtons were not present at the mansion, Martha Washington made sure the gardens were well tended, to be sure of the supply and abundance of fruits and vegetables upon their return. The upper garden was transformed into a pleasure garden, occupied by a myriad of beautiful flowers surrounding the remaining vegetable beds. Washington procured the pleasure garden, along with a green house, as an alluring keynote for his guests to admire the beauty and fragrances provided by his lush gardens.
In the attached video you will catch glimpses of the upper garden wall, which is currently being restored using LimeWorks.us’ Ecologic™ Mortar manufactured using St. Astier’s NHL 2 and a custom blend of aggregates and pigments to simulate the coloration of the historic garden wall. Although you will not see the actual mortar in use, these videos below share more about the Upper and Lower Gardens.
The Beautiful Upper Garden at Mt Vernon
The Lower Garden at Mt. Vernon