Pavilion Gardens

Poe Alley, Charlottesville, VA 22903



Steps away from the historic lawn, the restored Pavilion Gardens at the University of Virginia reflect Thomas Jefferson's gardens at Monticello as well as landscape plans in Jefferson's collection of books. Other colonial gardens, such as those at Mount Vernon and Williamsburg, also provided inspiration. The plants were chosen from those known to Jefferson, many having been cultivated at Monticello. The garden walls were reconstructed from evidence provided by Peter Maverick's engravings of the academical village in the 1820s, archaeological studies, and standing pieces. Their graceful serpentine form helps to stabilize the walls, which are only one brick thick. The Maverick engravings also showed how Jefferson's spacing of the pavilions created gardens behind Pavilions I and II which are 90 feet wide while those behind Pavilions IX and X are 150 feet wide. "Necessary houses" or "privies" were also reconstructed in six of the gardens and now serve as garden sheds. In the East Gardens, where they are not reconstructed, the foundations are outlined in brick. The gardens are each numbered in accordance with the corresponding pavilions. Six gardens are divided in half by serpentine walls. The upper gardens are called Pavilion Gardens and are more formal and contemplative. The lower gardens are called Hotel Gardens as they correspond to the former dining halls on the range, called hotels, and are interpreted as utilitarian gardens and orchards for kitchen use. While professors and their families continue to reside in the pavilions, the gardens are open to the public. We welcome you to visit any of the gardens and experience a part of Jefferson's academical village.



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