White House Landscapes: Horticultural Achievements of American Presidents

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From George Washington to George Bush, U.S. presidents have demonstrated green thumb talents and a very personal approach in the most famous front yard in the United States. Many American presidents and First Ladies have possessed expertise as gardeners, horticulturists, foresters, and landscape designers--as this book clearly shows. The history of the White House has been told many times, but almost always from the perspective of the building itself and the events that transpired within. White House Landscapes ...
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Overview

From George Washington to George Bush, U.S. presidents have demonstrated green thumb talents and a very personal approach in the most famous front yard in the United States. Many American presidents and First Ladies have possessed expertise as gardeners, horticulturists, foresters, and landscape designers--as this book clearly shows. The history of the White House has been told many times, but almost always from the perspective of the building itself and the events that transpired within. White House Landscapes provides a detailed, chronological account of the outdoor environment, describing the development of the grounds surrounding the mansion known around the world. Beginning with the vision of George Washington himself, this intriguing history looks at the varied contributions of the presidents and their wives in shaping this very special landscape. White House Landscapes contains fascinating historical facts: Thomas Jefferson built a stone wall that James Monroe eventually redesigned; John Quincy Adams planted an elm that survived until the 1990s; Andrew Jackson cultivated two acres of flowers; Franklin Pierce built a greenhouse; and, in more recent years, Lyndon Johnson added a children's garden to the grounds. The book also discusses presidential landscaping talents in other settings. Some achieved botanical acclaim before and after, as well as during, their White House years. Barbara McEwan offers nuggets of history from the presidents' lives that motivated them to make horticultural changes at the White House and elsewhere. Designed to appeal to history buffs and gardeners alike, this volume offers a tour of the White House Grounds one is not likely to find in most tourist guides. It includes archival and unusual photographs, prints, and drawings that document both change and continuity at the White House.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is a puzzling work. From the title one would assume that it focuses on the White House grounds, but it has comparatively little on these eclectic lawns and gardens. Rather, the focus is on the agricultural pursuits of the early presidents, especially gentlemen farmers such as Washington and Jefferson. In trying to cover the agricultural and horticultural activities of presidents from the Founding Fathers to Lyndon Johnson, the book attempts too much; many chapters on individual presidents, such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, are superficial at best. Occasional references are made to the White House grounds, but they are rarely integrated into the agricultural history. Not recommended.-- Richard Shotwell, Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, Mass.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802711922
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 2/25/1992
  • Pages: 224

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