All the Presidents’ Gardens: Madison’s Cabbages to Kennedy’s Roses

Room 12

From the moment a spade first broke ground for the presidential mansion, the eighteen acres that surround the White House have been a backdrop to history. Wars, territorial expansion, economic booms and busts, the growth of agriculture and industry, the changing tides of taste and fashion—all have been mirrored in the lawns, trees, shrubs, and flower beds that serve as the nation’s “First Garden.” Hear garden historian Marta McDowell trace the story of how the White House grounds were conceived and how they have changed from administration to administration, from George Washington’s obsession with collecting trees to Michelle Obama’s kitchen garden. Find out how the White House grounds are a reflection of America’s enthusiasms.

Garden Design
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