Today is the 269th anniversary of President Thomas Jefferson's birth. Jefferson left many legacies but in his mind the benefits that derived from gardening were at the top of his list. He wrote: "The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture." Jefferson's gardening legacy has endured today and is alive in the beauty of the restored gardens and trees that Jefferson cultivated at his home at Monticello outside Charlottesville, Virginia. Jefferson's legacy is also a part of First Lady Michelle Obama's White House Kitchen Garden. Peter Hatch, the director of gardens and grounds at Monticello, personally brought from the Monticello gardens Brown Dutch and Tennis Ball lettuce, Sea Kale, brussel sprouts and tree onions for this year's Kitchen Garden planting. According to Hatch, the Brown Dutch and Tennis Ball lettuce varieties were Jefferson's favorites and the Sea Kale is an heirloom British variety and relatively rare. Peter Hatch has written a new book A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden and will preview it at a Monticello garden party on April 23, 2012. First Lady Michelle Obama has also written a gardening book American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America which is due out the end of May.