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Work at Jefferson's Va. retreat seeks his design

Wednesday - 9/18/2013, 4:10am  ET

POPLAR FOREST, Va. (AP) -- The shrubbery is being removed at Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest retreat in hopes of revealing Jefferson's original design for the gardens.

Work began this week to reveal the contours of the original ornamental gardens at the Bedford County attraction that was a getaway for the nation's third president. Workers removed boxwood and chestnut rose plantings dating to the mid-19th century.

Once that work is done, archaeologists will have access to the underlying features of the earlier landscape. It will aid their efforts to understand, restore and interpret Jefferson's original vision for the gardens.

The removal of the plantings and future excavation are supported by the Garden Club of Virginia. The work is the first step in the restoration of the ornamental grounds.

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