Digging for Information

To learn which plants were original, the team dug long, shallow rectangles in several places. They dug deep enough to find clues.

In some places, the soil was darker than the dirt around it. Washington used rich dark soil for planting. It was more fertile. This darker soil showed where the original planting beds were.

The team dug up shallow sections of the garden to look for clues in the soil.

Digging Deeper

What the team found in the soil was even more interesting. They found pollen and seeds from Washington’s time. They collected samples and sent them to a lab. There, scientists determined the species of each plant. This helped researchers know whether a plant was indigenous to the region or exotic. They found both. It was costly to import plants, but Washington had the money to do it!