seed packets from colonial nurseries
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
There's no better way to feel connected to history and the land than to grow the same sunflowers, tomatoes, or peas as our Founding Fathers. The nurseries of three historic colonial landmarks sell heirlooms that are guaranteed to bring old-fashioned charm to your yard.

Monticello
Once a favorite at Thomas Jefferson's table, the Marrowfat pea is sold at the center for Historic Plants at Monticello alongside dozens of other heirloom edibles, such as the 'Costoluto Genovese' tomato, a novelty in early 1800s America; flowers, including the native blackberry lily; and trees. Order seeds at monticello.org.

Bartram's Garden
Colonial-era botanists John Bartram and his son William's elaborate Philadelphia nursery catered to the likes of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. The Bartrams popularized many of North America's most beloved natives, including the magnolia and the rhododendron. Go to bartramsgarden.org to order seeds.

Mount Vernon
The grounds of our first president's plantation, in Alexandria, Virginia, have been restored to look just as they did when George Washington lived there and feature 18th-century favorites such as foxglove, larkspur, and artichoke. Find the estate's hand-harvested seeds for sale at mountvernon.org.
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