Testimonials

“Not since Jefferson himself has anyone combined such love and knowledge of all that blooms and grows and bears fruit at Monticello as does Peter Hatch. Indeed, were Jefferson to return I doubt there would anyone he would more enjoy talking to than Peter Hatch.” – David McCullough, Historian, author of Truman, John Adams, et. Al., dust jacket copy, The Fruits and Fruit Trees of Monticello, 1998

 

Peter Hatch joins White House chefs before ceremonial garden planting, March 30, 2011. Photo by William Yosses

Peter Hatch joins White House chefs before ceremonial garden planting, March 30, 2011. Photo by William Yosses

“A lyrical scholar.”  Adrian Higgins, Garden Editor, Washington Post, 2009

“Thank you so much for sending me a copy of your wonderful book. I think you will be pleased to know that it is currently on display in my office so others may learn about our Nation’s first community garden.” Michelle Obama, April 18, 2012

“A muscular man, who with his infectious laugh and wild hair, looks like a cross between Beethoven and a wood sprite.” Sam Witt, C’ville, Charlottesville’s News and Arts Weekly, 2009

Peter Hatch, Summer, 2004. Courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Peter Hatch, Summer, 2004. Courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation

“In brief, I believe Peter is the best in the business…. Jeffersonian in his versatility. An All-American prep star in ice hockey and a competitive long-distance runner, he has written important books and numerous articles on Jefferson and garden plants. He delights in working with his hands in the soil, but he is also a national leader among gardeners. Peter has served as President of the Southern Garden History Society and has received the Thomas Roland Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for “exceptional skill in horticulture”… You would honor yourselves by honoring Peter.” Daniel P. Jordan, President Emeritus, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, letter to Garden Club of America, 2010.

 

 “As Peter Hatch walked me through the rows of heirloom vegetables and herbs, I was instantly struck by his bright intellect and deep commitment to Thomas Jefferson’s memory. His enthusiasm was palpable, and his knowledge of Jefferson’s agrarian work limitless. Peter has come to know the land the way that Jefferson once did, by having his hands in the soil. This book delivers an important message at a pivotal moment for our country. Peter’s vibrant and enthusiastic passion for preserving Thomas Jefferson’s farming legacy reminds us all of the time-tested continuity and historical roots of this kind of agriculture.” Alice Waters, Foreword, A Rich Spot of Earth, 2012

Hatch with Alice Waters and wife, Lou, at Monticello Cabinet dinner celebrating “Year of the Garden,” April 20, 2012. Photo by Andrew O’Shaughnessy, courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Hatch with Alice Waters and wife, Lou, at Monticello Cabinet dinner celebrating “Year of the Garden,” April 20, 2012. Photo by Andrew O’Shaughnessy, courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation

“I grasped Peter’s genius instantly. I consider him a living national treasure for American Horticulture. As the director of gardens and grounds for Monticello, he has devoted his life and work to meticulously researching and restoring Thomas Jefferson’s pioneering garden. To the awe and delight of his various audiences, he combines the gifts of the scholar, the gardener, orator and the writer. His passion is infectious, and his work ethic inimitable…. How fortunate we are that Peter Hatch has restored Mr. Jefferson and his garden to the pantheon of American horticulture.” Leslie Greene Bowman, President, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, letter to Garden Club of America, 2010. 

"Peter Hatch's focus on the garden Jefferson created at Monticello yields one of the most compelling and insightful looks into his personality ever presented." Peter Onuf and Anette Gordon-Reed, book review, "Jefferson Spaces," Early American Literature.

“The smoothest talking white man I’ve ever known.” Dianne Swann-Wright, Historian, Museum Curator, Author, former Director of African-American and Special Programs, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, 2006

Hatch with David McCullough, November, 1999, courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Hatch with David McCullough, November, 1999, courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation

“One of the joys of my years on the Board of Trustees at Monticello was the opportunity to work with and get to know the remarkable Peter Hatch. He is one of those rare people who does his work superbly – with great concentration and expertise – and also has a rare gift for showing others why he loves the work. You want – when listening to Peter talk of plants and growing seasons and the history and love of gardening down the years – to learn it all, or at least as much as possible, yourself. He is the best kind of company in all seasons and his friendship is pure gold. I really can’t say enough for Peter Hatch.” David McCullough, letter to Garden Club of America, 2010.

“Peter has played an important and inspirational role in preserving Monticello’s unique historic landscape, as well as Thomas Jefferson’s contributions to America’s historic garden and horticultural legacy. His pioneering efforts and commitment to documenting, interpreting, and educating others as to Jefferson’s contributions to the field of horticulture, landscape design, and practical gardening is unparalleled in the field of historic preservation.” James Cothran, Landscape Architect and Author, Atlanta, letter to Garden Club of America, 2010.

 

Hatch with Annie Liebovitz, November, 2011, photo by Lisa Stites, courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Hatch with Annie Liebovitz, November, 2011, photo by Lisa Stites, courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation

“Over three decades, Hatch has meticulously restored Jefferson’s vision . . . Thanks to his scholarship we now know Jefferson the gardener.” Logan Ward, “Southern Heroes, Ten tireless champions of Dixie’s natural beauty,” Garden and Gun, 2012.

“Peter Hatch has added an important chapter to the history of Monticello and its gardens, but he has done something more. The Fruits and Fruit Trees of Monticello is simply the best study of early American horticulture in recent memory. It will become a classic.” William Howard Adams, author of Jefferson’s Monticello and The Paris Years of Thomas Jefferson, dust jacket, The Fruits and Fruit Trees of Monticello, 1998

‘A Rich Spot of Earth’, Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello:

“No one knows Jefferson’s garden better than Peter Hatch, who lovingly tended it for more than three decades. His beautiful new book, A Rich Spot of Earth, explains the significance of this revolutionary garden and gives fresh insights into Jefferson’s restless mind.” Steve Bender, Southern Living, 2012.

 

“Elegantly produced and artfully augmented by stunning, evocative photographs of the estate and the bounty it produces, Hatch's homage establishes Jefferson as the clear forefather of modern organic and sustainable garden movements.” Carol Haggas, Booklist, Starred Review

“Top 10 Books on Sustainability for 2013.” Booklist.

“...there is much interesting archive material, and pleasing vegetable still-lifes composed with the care of a Dutch master.” Ambra Edwards, Gardens Illustrated

“The book is particularly timely given the growing importance of the farm-to-table practice. From the rooftop plots of urban restaurants, to Michelle Obama’s organic White House garden, easy access to sustainably grown organic produce has become an increasing imperative. Jefferson, in his dedication to nurturing such a varied – and tasty – garden, stands out as a founding father of the farm-to-table movement.” David Masello, Garden Design, 2012

Beautifully illustrated, authoritative....It is wonderful to find out that the man who contributed so much to the republic in which we live also set his contemporaries - and posterity - such a salutary example in other ways as well." Martin Rubin, Washington Times

Cornucopia from Monticello Vegetable Garden, November, 2011. Photo by Robert Llewellyn, courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Cornucopia from Monticello Vegetable Garden, November, 2011. Photo by Robert Llewellyn, courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation

"A Rich Spot of Earth:" Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello presents a rarely seen side of the man. Here is Jefferson with mud-splattered boots laying out garden beds and carefully setting seeds with dirty hands: a Founding Father not on a lofty pedestal, but joyfully competing with neighbors in an annual contest to see who could bring the first spring peas to table." David Maurer, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Breathtaking. The photos are beautiful, the research is impeccable, and the story is captivating. From a historian's perspective, Hatch provides a new depth to the understanding of Jefferson's character. From a gardener's perspective, the book serves as an inspiration to grow and treasure heirlooms." Heirloom Adventures Blog

 

"A beautifully produced book, filled with historical images of seed catalogs, early 19th century gardens, and Jefferson’s diagrams, as well as almost sensual photographs of the fruits and vegetables the garden produces today....I learned an incredible amount about 18th century gardening and food here, including the idea of boiled lettuce, various species Jefferson may have played a hand in establishing in the United States, and the globalization of plant species in the 18th century."--Erik Loomis, Lawyers, Guns, and Money Blog

"The book is absolutely beautiful and tells a fascinating story. It provides pure pleasure for those interested in tasty food lavishly presented. And it opens up a new and interesting way of thinking about Jefferson, the Founding Father who remains most relevant and malleable for Americans."--Erik Loomis, Lawyers, Guns, and Money Blog

“Hatch’s book is on my holiday gift list for friends, a few gourmets, home gardeners and those who love the cultural core of America. This masterpiece is enriched with memorable anecdotes, words from Jefferson’s meticulous journals and photographs that prompt an urge to till the backyard soil.” Doc Lawrence, “Gourmet Highway, Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden,” Blog, Flavors and More