Friday, April 26, 2013

Today we headed to Mount Vernon.  It is a great day.  We were thinking about all the President's homes we have been to so far.  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe,and James Garfield.  They all very interesting men.  We did do a drive by George Bush's home in Midland, TX.  Rog's sister use to life just around the corner.  It is not memorialized by any stretch of the imagination.

Here Rog is out on a walk with the Washington's.

Love this stain glass

 Interesting bush

    Close up of flowers


   close up of flowers

 Mount Vernon is the home of George and Martha Washington and the most popular historic house in America.  This was proven to us by the row of buses lined up that had already dropped off their people.
George Washington made Mount Vernon his home from 1754 until his death in 1799.  During that time he enlarged the house to an impressive 221-room mansion and expanded the estate from 2,100 to 8,000 acres.

The upper garden, with its dual purpose of beauty and production, featured 3 large planting areas, each separated by wide paths.  The planting beds were edged with a tight row of short boxwoods.  Filling the center of each bed were dultivated veggies of all types, which would supplement the porduce of the lower garden.  The uppper garden's most formatl element was a set of boxwood parterres, which incorporated the French fleur-de-lis as a major design element.
The garden today was reconstructed after years of careful archaelogy and research.  

Before building his greenhouse, George Washington studied serveral designs, finally adapting a plan from a similar sturcture in Baltimore Maryland.  He and his gardeners tested their horticulturel skills by cultivating plants exotic to Virginia.  The greenhouse provided a winter refuge for tropical and semi-tropical plants such a coffee, orange, lemon, line, sago palm, and aloe.  The orginal green house burned down in 1835 it was rebuilt on the original site in 1951.

The stove room provided heat that palms, orange trees, and other tropical plants in the greenhouse in the winter.  Hot air from the stove flowed through a series of flues into the green house floor next door.  Fueling the fire consumed extensive quantities of wood.  A slave had to stay in the room 24/7 from fall to early spring.  
 George Washington would have told you he was first and foremost a farmer.

This is the hole into the greenhouse where the heated air would go.
  I am sitting on the back porch of the Washington home .  I am looking out on the Potomac River.   The big tree that does not look too good was here when George was living here.
  The kitchen house. 

    The weather vane on the house.  It is a dove with an olive branch.  

   The tomb where George and Martha and their family are buried now.  

We were there for the wreath ceremony.  They place a wreath at the tomb every day.

 Washington used the most modern scientific farming methods.  He introduced an innovative 7 year crop rotation, plant and experimented with soil enhancers to increase the productivity of his fields and much more.

He divided his Mount Vernon estate into five farms.  The Washington lived on the Mansion House farm, and the other four farms were for agricultural production.  
 George Washington invented this barn in 1792 to improve the processing of wheat.

upper level of barn
   lower level of barn

   Slaves spread harvested wheat on the outer circle of the floor.  Horses trotted in a circular path, and the impact of their hooves broke the wheat our of the straw.  The loose grain fell through gaps between the floorboards to the level below, where the grain was shoveled into bins, cleaned, and then sent to Washington's gristmill to be ground into flour.  This barn is a reconstruction of Washington's innovative treading barn, based upon his original drawings and specs.

We had a great day and a long day.  Hope you learn just a little of we did.  This was one more great man that help form our great country.

"Thank you George" 

There is so much to see and learn at Mount Vernon.  It is a must see. 

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