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All The Presidents' Gardens: Madison's Cabbages To Kennedy's Roses_How The White House Grounds Have Grown With America

A New York Times BestsellerThe 18-acres surrounding the White House have been an unwitting witness to history—kings and queens have dined there, bills and treaties have been signed, and presidents have landed and retreated. Throughout it all, the grounds have remained not only beautiful, but also a powerful reflection of American trends. In All the Presidents' Gardens bestselling author Marta McDowell tells the untold history of the White House Grounds, starting with plant-obsessed George Washington and ending with Michelle Obama's kitchen garden. History buffs will revel in the fascinating tidbits about Lincoln’s goats, Ike's putting green, Jackie's iconic roses, and Amy Carter's tree house. Gardeners will enjoy the information on the plants whose favor has come and gone over the years and the gardeners who have been responsible for it all. And readers everywhere will delight in the historical and contemporary photographs, vintage seeds catalogs, and rare glimpses into Presidential pastimes.

Hardcover: 336 pages

Publisher: Timber Press (April 27, 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1604695897

ISBN-13: 978-1604695892

Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #27,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #5 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Essays #117 in Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Historical > United States > US Presidents #156 in Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Presidents & Heads of State

As a garden history aficionado, I already knew how fascinating historical images of gardens can be -- allowing us to see how the way we beautify our yards and landscapes has changed over time.But I had no idea how much the White House gardens have metamorphosed over the past two centuries:1. Starting from the rudely-fenced swampy bog surrounding a burnt-out husk of a building (following the 1812 White House torching),2. through the early 19th century efforts to plant trees and shrubs to beautify the place,3. to the Victorian flowerbeds and glasshouse mania of the second half of the 19th century -- did you know that until 1902, a huge conglomerate of conservatories and multiple greenhouses were attached to the west side of the White House? I myself certainly had no idea, despite reading a number of books on the history of conservatories (Paradise Under Glass: An Amateur Creates a Conservatory Garden by Ruth Kassinger is an equally fascinating book about that topic). Learning this saddened me: to this advocate of limited government, Teddy Roosevelt's decision to sweep away the floral greenhouses and replace them with the West Wing is an unhappy indicator of the metastasizing growth of executive power -- might not the world be better off if our government spent more time growing flowers than making war and meddling in other peoples' lives?4.

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