The Gardens

Jefferson's plan for the University called for a garden behind each of the ten pavilions, but he died without leaving a plan for each one. Serpentine walls, built in 1821-24, divide the gardens from each other, and straight walls of brick enclose their backs.

There are no extant records that describe Jefferson's original plans for the gardens. In the "Maverick Plan," an early engraving after a sketch by Jefferson on the layout of the Lawn, the garden areas are left blank. In the first half of the century the gardens fell into neglect: many of the enclosures disappeared and the interior planting disintegrated.

The Garden Club of Virginia restored the gardens in the period from 1948-1965, employing architect Alden Hopkins to create them according to Jeffersonian ideals. Hopkins based his designs on the landscape fashions of Jefferson's day, as expressed in contempory gardens (such as Monticello and Mount Vernon) as well as in books on gardening in Jefferson's personal library.

Now the gardens create a parklike setting behind the pavilions, where faculty, students, and visitors can roam at will and enjoy each garden's unique features and flora.