Madison’s Cabbages to Kennedy’s Roses-How the White House grounds have grown with America.
Starting with the plant-obsessed George Washington and ending with Michelle Obama’s kitchen garden, All the Presidents’ Gardens is a rich and compelling narrative that masterfully reveals how the White House grounds reflect what is happening in the country.
The book is written in chronological order beginning with George and Martha Washington in the years 1789 to 1797, the original inhabitants of what was called Versailles on the Potomac.
Ms. McDowell takes us through the centuries and how those 18 acres surrounding the White House have been nurtured, designed, planted and re-planted, changing with the times as well as each of the families who lived there and contributed their own personal mark on the gardens.
The book is full of rich history of not only our Presidents, but the whys and hows each plant came to be in the garden. The stories are informative as well as entertaining.
Each horticulturist is mentioned as well as every shrub and plant growing in the garden, with information about every one. The book is full of lovely illustrations and photographs, along with quotes from our past Presidents and their families.
I found this book to be not only educational, but I will definitely keep it as a resource for my own garden. Ms. McDowell took on a huge task with this project and I for one am glad she did!
Marta McDowell lives, gardens and writes in Chatham, New Jersey. She teaches garden history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden. where she studied landscape design. A popular lecturer, she speaks to gardening groups across the country. She is also the author of Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life.
I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher.