If you’ve ever wondered about The White House gardens, this book may be able to answer many of your questions. Readers will learn a bit of history and view rare photographs taken through the years, which makes this book a rare treat. The reader will learn how the gardens have changed and grown from the original designs of President George Washington. The children of the presidents would sometimes create havoc on the gardens as they played in the fountains, climbed in the trees, or as they let their goats roam and run through as William and Todd Lincoln did. Quentin Roosevelt was a garden menace, according to his mother. He carved a baseball diamond onto the White House lawn and climbed on all the trees. In 1882, drinking fountains were introduced to the gardens and Quentin was caught sailing boats in the fountains too! By 1893, plants from all over the world had been included into these gardens. The carnation became the signature boutonniere for President McKinley. In 1912, Helen Taft brought cherry trees to the national limelight. She had them planted around the Washington D.C. Tidal Basin. They have been viewed and enjoyed by visitors every year since. From magnolias for President Truman to pink chrysanthemums for Mamie Eisenhower, the gardens have grown and changed with changing times and inhabitants. President Kennedy wanted a variety of flowers that could be mixed in with the roses, while Michelle Obama created the kitchen garden to teach children to eat healthy. Throughout the two centuries of White House gardens, they have reflected the challenges that have faced our country. The White House gardens have helped to make Americans proud!
Marta McDowell did her research to create a rare treasure book of gardening history. She includes names and information about the White House gardeners and many of their plans. She also lists the two centuries of shrubs, trees, and vines used in these gardens. She was able to include rare photographs of the presidents and their family enjoying their private gardens and their more formal events in The Rose Garden or The White House lawns. This is truly a wonderful book for American history buffs and gardeners alike!
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