Meet the Charleston native who curated the gardens at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
When Charleston native Eleanor Gould finished her graduate degree in landscape architecture at the University of Virginia, she got a job as a seasonal gardener at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and worked her way up to become curator of those gardens. Eight years later, Gould is now leaving for another high-profile position at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. But she leaves behind a legacy of beautiful, historically accurate work.
During her time at Monticello, Gould worked to ensure the gardens are relevant to Jefferson’s own plantings and time period. “The documentation that Jefferson left us for the gardens is unparalleled” she says. “It gives us a great opportunity to be as authentic as possible.” She also worked on large projects like the Heritage Harvest Festival, one of Monticello’s biggest events celebrating the estate’s legacy of farming, food, and gardening.
Monticello’s 1,000-foot vegetable plot is Gould’s favorite. “It is such a sweeping grand gesture of a garden,” she says. She regularly posted photos of the grounds on her Instagram page, capturing the change of the seasons and sharing quotes from Jefferson about the plants he grew. “There’s always something new to see in the gardens,” she says. @egould_ on Instagram
written by Demi Fuentes Ramirez