Green the Grounds

White House Garden!

IMG_0733Never having taken a White House Garden tour before, I was expecting long lines and lots of hassles, but instead was greeted with the sound of this military band, and NO line at all (thanks to early arrival).  Other symptoms of a very happy experience included welcoming staff and volunteers everywhere, fast security screening, and glorious weather.

There were iconic photographs taken on the grounds everywhere, causing my history-loving companion to linger.  And linger.  Below, clockwise from upper left: presidential helicopter on South Lawn, Caroline Kennedy on pony following her dad into the West Wing, the "Beer Summit", and an accidental landing from – I didn't catch the year.

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This shot into the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden over a sea of mums is for James.  There were indeed gobs of mums, and they looked terrific to my eyes.  Sadly, visitors weren't allowed to go into this garden or the Rose Garden, as they had on previous tours – because of bottlenecks, I was told.  Bummer.

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The Rose Garden, with the West Wing in the background, from as close as we were allowed to see it.

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IMG_0713Above, note the putting green in the foreground. There's also a tennis court, now showing the telltale yellow markings of a half-basketball court.  And on the right, where presidents once played horseshoes, is the Obama girls' play set.  I couldn't resist these adorable kids beaming for their parents.

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How about these floral details on the south facade?  My friend the Erik Anderson the architectural conservator spotted and photographed them.

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IMG_0726 Next, the famous Kitchen Garden, which was looking fine and sporting its own weather-monitoring equipment.  Top gardener Jim Adams was on hand to answer everyone's questions about it.  I asked if the broccoli he's pointing had been attacked by cabbage worms (like most of my fall crops) but no, his were spared.  And he does absolutely no spraying, not even with organic pesticides.

Finally, the fountain on the South Lawn is no longer surrounded by bedding annuals (seen here), but by Knockout Roses.  Not the artsy choice some would prefer, but low-maintenance, and crowd-pleasing.

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For more of my White House Garden photos (only one duplicate) click here.

Posted by on October 18, 2010 at 6:02 am, in the category Green the Grounds.
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8 Responses to “White House Garden!”

  1. Laurrie says:

    I was very interested to see the knockout roses instead of annuals… so much nicer even if they aren’t the most refined plant. But you’re right, they are absolutely low care (compared to bedding plants especially) and they look great all the time. A good choice.

    Thanks for the tour of Our House.

  2. Glad to see the vegetable garden was not just for show, but is an ongoing enterprise. I love that their bees are working out well, too. 100 pounds per year seems like more than even the White House chefs could use. What a good example for the whole country.

    Thanks Susan!

  3. commonweeder says:

    I also was glad to see that the White House vegetable garden is a going enterprise. Think how good the soil will be after 8 years of care.

  4. Susan Reimer says:

    Susan,
    With your blessing, I have posted one of your photos on Garden Variety and urged readers to find the rest here and at your new digs. Nicely done, my friend!

  5. Great post. I get to D.C. every few years and always check out the US Botanical Gardens to see what is happening but I never knew I could get a tour of the White House Gardens…next time, I’m in for sure!

    But the Knockout roses??? Rats. Those darned things are going to completely destroy the rose breeding industry.

  6. Matt says:

    Darn it knockout roses, must you be everywhere. I swear they’re secretly Russian Spies! Those are some awesome pictures, I wonder how much the Obama’s are outside in their gardens. By the end of the presidency, I hope they have some nice family pictures.

  7. Layanee says:

    I am slightly green with envy at your visiting this garden. Did Michelle ask you for any advice yet?

  8. Donna says:

    Really loved your tour. I have not been to DC in a very long time so this was a treat.

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