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All the Presidents' Gardens: Madison’s Cabbages to Kennedy’s Roses―How the White House Grounds Have Grown with America Hardcover – April 27, 2016
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“History is often best learned from stories, and there are plenty of anecdotes here. . . . The writing is conversational and inviting, as one might find when visiting a garden with someone who knows it well. Photographs, line drawings, paintings, maps, and other documents add to the interesting stories. . . . a delightful and elucidating work.” —Booklist starred review
"A delightful dig through White House gardens. [McDowell] plots their history from the Washington administration to the Obamas. . . . Her descriptions of the grounds and evolving garden tastes are complemented with a colorful array of illustrations. McDowell fills the book with juicy tidbits: the last cow to graze on the White House lawn (1912) was named Pauline Wayne; Herbert Hoover wanted ‘the help’ to seem invisible, so they hid behind hedges when he passed by." —Publishers Weekly
“Given its timeless grace, the visitor today might think that the Rose Garden was always a part of the grounds of America’s first garden, but as Marta McDowell’s absorbing book drives home, the 18 acres around the executive mansion have been constantly tweaked, changed and replanted over the past two centuries.” —The Washington Post
“Long may there be erudite and entertaining books like All the Presidents’ Gardens to enlighten and educate about American garden history.” —The American Gardener
“Marta’s ‘voice’ creates a sense of fascination within the reader. Her wit and insight shines through as she describes the White House Gardens, sometimes utilitarian and spare, and other times lush and extravagant. . . . The greatest achievement of Marta’s book, though, isn’t the precise documentation of the history of The First Garden, if you will, but in the way she weaves the tales of American ingenuity and preservation into it.” —NYBG's Plant Talk
“A well-presented history of the White House garden, which doubles as a companion to early American garden history.” —Gardens Illustrated
“This book’s deeply researched material is impressive. . . . The book is a kind of TMZ of presidential horticultural history that will delight gardeners and history buffs alike.” —Country Gardens
“A really fun book. . . . It’s also very well-researched by author Marta McDowell and exhaustively covers every administration from George Washington to Barack Obama, complete with lists of head gardeners and plants.” —Garden Rant
“Post-election rehabilitation for gardeners” —The Triangle Gardener
“Rife with well-researched anecdotes that illuminate the past as well as contemporary and historical photographs and illustrations, the book presents a fresh “nonpartisan” perspective on American life. . . . The book will be equally appealing to the horticulturalist and the history enthusiast.” —Coastal Home
“it’s full of fascinating archival photos and illustrations, and the stories and each garden offer glimpses of life in America (and the White House) through history.” —Houston Chronicle
“This charming, copiously illustrated book is a treasure trove for historians and horticulturalists alike.” —Elle Décor
“A fascinating insight for gardeners and historians of one of the world’s most famous homes.” —RHS Garden Magazine
“From the moment a spade first broke ground for construction of the White House, the 18 acres of presidential gardens have served as a backdrop to history: a social commentary, fashion statement and a lesson in agriculture for the nation. All the Presidents’ Gardens by historian Marta McDowell is U.S. history in full bloom.” —California Bountiful
From the Back Cover
From the most momentous events in our nation’s history to our fleeting cultural obsessions, the White House grounds have been a mirror of America. With wit and insight, garden historian Marta McDowell traces the fascinating story of how our presidents and their families have left their imprint upon the eighteen acres surrounding the executive mansion. Far more than just an account of Lincoln’s goats, Ike’s putting green, and Kennedy’s roses, All the Presidents’ Gardens delves into the thrilling and the heart-breaking events that have shaped our national consciousness.
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