I took all your suggestions to heart and we left our garden buzzing with bees and full of weeds and fled south to Charlottsville again.
This time we explored Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, plantsman extraordinaire.
Dogs are allowed on the property so the Lab came with. I wondered if we would ever reach the top of the mountain, our pace was tree by tree, sniff by sniff, step by step.
We paused a moment in our climb by the family graveyard, still in use today, sniff, sniff. And then there we were at the top, surrounded by hedgerows of fig trees, acres of orchards, vineyards, vegetable gardens, herbs, flowers and purple mountain majesty.
And was I secretly delighted to see Mr. Jefferson's vegetable garden looking as shabby as my own?
You know it.
We packed a picnic and brought a bag of dog treats. We may have snacked on a fig, some grapes and a raspberry or two from the estate, unless this information would get us in trouble in which case we ate only our picnic.
We fell in love with a snail plant.
And of course the impeccable symmetry that is Monticello.
We were reluctant to leave but we had friends waiting a few miles away with their own garden, a dinner with vegetables and pork from their CSA share and stories to tell.
We'll be back. It's my kind of town.