George Washington's mind was rarely far from the lush gardens and majestic views at Mount Vernon.

George Washington oversaw all aspects of the landscape at Mount Vernon. He extensively redesigned the grounds surrounding his home, adopting the less formal, more naturalistic style of 18th century English garden landscape designer Batty Langley. Washington reshaped walks, roads, and lawns; cut vistas through the forest, and planted hundreds of native trees and shrubs. The well-ordered gardens provided food for the Mansion's table and were also pleasing to the eye. Eighteenth-century visitors to Mount Vernon were delighted by bountiful offerings of fresh vegetables and fruits, and reveled in after-dinner walks amongst all manner of opulent flowering plants.

The Vaughan Plan

Vaughan sketched a plan of the Mount Vernon mansion and the formal area around it in his journal, embellishing it with a perspective of the river and the Maryland shore beyond.

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Botanical Garden

No place at Mount Vernon better shows off the secret George Washington - his desire to be self-sufficient, his enchanting curiosity, and his determined optimism, undented by considerable failure - than his botanical garden.

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A Paddock for Deer

Following aristocratic British practice, George Washington fenced off 18 acres on the slope, between the Mansion and the Potomac River, to serve as “a paddock for deer” or deer park.

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The General in the Garden

The book explores General Washington's influence over the gardens at Mount Vernon and the preservation of the landscapes by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association which has been the caretaker since 1853.

The General in the Garden is published by the University of Virginia Press and is available for purchase at the Shops at Mount Vernon.

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Videos

See videos of our gardens and landscapes here at Mount Vernon

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