All the President’s Gardens by Marta McDowell tells the story of the gardens at the White House and how they have been shaped over time by different US Presidents
Discover the story of the White House gardens, how they have been used and how they have been changed by different incumbents.
‘The White House head gardener is not a man to dictate to President Eisenhower,’ reports the Milwaukee Journal, ‘but he’d be happier if those helicopters would stop landing on his lawn. They burn the grass.’ Eisenhower’s introduction of ‘Marine One’ in 1957 is just one of a host of challenges that have faced the White House’s 14 head gardeners. The story of this famous garden is told here with relish.
The rich history of the garden, the gardeners and their presidents is told at a rapid pace with gems of information on every page. President Hoover wanted his gardeners to be ‘invisible’. The state of the White House lawn drove President Kennedy ‘crazy’ according to First Lady Jacqueline. Hillary Clinton had a soft spot for sculpture and added pieces to the garden, which had to be cleared for installation by the secret service.
With a fascinating collection of anecdotes, artworks, botanical drawings and garden plans, as well as a tremendous selection of photographs of former presidents in the White House garden, this is an entertaining and comprehensive read. A list of plants that have graced the gardens, along with biographies of the head gardeners, completes this compelling and eminently readable piece.