December 30, 2009

Favorite Places: Mount Vernon

George Washington's Mount Vernon is a reminder of the self-sufficiency of farms of historical significance.

Did you know that Washington introduced the mule to America? Washington improved the soil at Mount Vernon by practicing crop rotation and mulching. He brought in a gardener from Scotland to manage the kitchen garden and greenhouse.

The farm and reconstructed gardens are worth a visit alone, but touring the house, outbuildings, grounds and museum for at least half a day will give you the best insight into life during Washington's time. There are trails around the grounds to the cemetery and the different areas of the farm. A restaurant and a food court are available if you want to take a break during your visit.

My husband's family has a connection with Mount Vernon through John Jacob Frobel, a musician and teacher. Frobel also had a love of growing flowers and introduced a camellia that he named after Washington's nephew, Bushrod. Visiting Mount Vernon with my husband was enhanced by his knowledge and stories that he shared with me about the Frobel connection.

The setting of Mount Vernon, in the Virginia countryside south of Alexandria is beautiful. Overlooking the Potomac River, it must have been wonderful to take in the glorious view each day.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron; Location: Mount Vernon, Virginia, August 2009
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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