Here we are again, with another slightly topical Curiosity of the Week. As we’ve been gripped by the US Elections, we decided to focus on an unusual link between the UK and USA for our latest curiosity.
This week, we take a look at a replica of a garden that once belonged to the first President of the United States, George Washington. Washington’s garden was created on his family’s estate at Mount Vernon in Virginia. A replica of this garden can be found, rather surprisingly, tucked away at an old manor near Bath.
An American Museum in the UK
Mount Vernon was the Washington family’s estate and George Washington’s burial site. In his lifetime, Washington extensively redesigned the gardens on the estate. He filled it with native plants, both ornamental and edible, providing nice scenery to walk in whilst enabling some self-sufficiency with vegetables and fruit.
A close replica of this garden can be found at the historic manor of Claverton, near Bath. It might sound odd to find such a garden in Somerset. But, when we tell you that Claverton is home to the American Museum it makes a bit more sense.
This might be the first time you’ve heard of the American Museum, so let us tell you a bit about it. The museum houses a fantastic collection of folk and decorative arts which help to tell the story of America, its history, and culture. It’s the only museum of its type outside of the States.
The gardens at the museum
First created in the 1960s, the replica gardens have undergone a quite a lot of work in recent years, to closely match Washington’s original garden in the States. The video below explains a bit more about the garden’s design and work carried out to create it.
Along with the replica Mount Vernon garden, the American Museum is home to a Lewis and Clark trail, an arboretum, and a New American Garden. The New American Garden is filled with an array of native American plants, and includes an accessible path called The Winding Way.
So, there you have it. A presidential garden, hidden in the UK.
The museum is closed at the moment, but if you’d like to visit or find out more about the gardens, take a look at their website here. If you’d like to discover more quirky gardens, why not read about an ominous looking poison garden in Northumberland or a delightfully mind-bending garden in Scotland?
We are always on the lookout for interesting customs, hidden places, and unique buildings and landmarks, to share with our readers. If you have an idea for Curiosity of the Week then please do get in touch, we welcome suggestions from everyone. You can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message via Facebook.