“The Juno of our groves”
—“Trees of use and ornament” —
Commemorating Lewis and Clark
In 2003, surveyors placed a monument on the lawn northwest of the house to commemorate the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The brass survey disk bears the design of Jefferson's Indian Peace Medal. Lewis and Clark gave the medal, symbolizing "Peace and Friendship," to tribal leaders that they met on their journey. It depicts a Native American hand (left) clasping a hand representing the U.S. government (right). The central triangle contains a point for determining the monument's exact location. Nationally, disks like this one have been placed at sites associated with the expedition.
"The Juno of our groves"
Likening the "Tulip Poplar to the queen or the Roman gods, Thomas Jefferson described this species of tree as "the Juno of our groves." Native to Virginia, Tulip Poplars are the tallest trees of the eastern forest, reaching 50-150 feet in height. Jefferson used them in his grounds at Poplar Forest and Monticello and recommended them to other gardeners in America and Europe.
The Tulip Poplars on the north lawn are the last survivors of a larger grove that grew here before Jefferson designed his retreat. Tree ring counts of two felled Tulip Poplars that were, until recently, part of the grove date them to the second half of the 18th century.
Jefferson later incorporated these trees into his design, where they formed a naturalistic grove.
"Trees of use and ornament"
In 1813, Jefferson reported that he was improving the property by "planting trees of use and ornament." These improvements included both native trees and more exotic imports from the South Pacific and Europe.
In the winter of 1812-1813, gardeners planted more than 300 trees individually, in rows and in clumps within the 61-acre enclosure that surrounded the house.