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Now That's Landscaping!

by Kristin Marino, All About Lawns Columnist

The work in your lawn and garden never seems to end. Between lawn maintenance, landscaping upgrades, and gardening, there's not much rest, even in the winter.

Imagine, then, how White House Horticulturist Dale Haney must feel. Yes, the president lives in the White House, but the rest of us are welcome to view the gardens just about whenever we want. What pressure!

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Here are ten tidbits you might not know about the White House gardens, landscaping, and the famously photogenic Rose Garden.
  1. The White House lawn is comprised of fescue grass. Gardening staff used to replace the fescue with zoysia during the summer, but have gone to keeping the fescue year round.
  2. The large grassy areas of the White House grounds receive heavy traffic and must constantly be aerated. For instance, during the last White House Annual Easter Egg Roll, 15,000 people walked on the South Lawn within a matter of hours. Talk about soil compression!
  3. The White House grounds are the oldest continually landscaped property in the U.S. White House reporters are probably glad to know that irrigation on White House landscaping is performed between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., before morning newscasts.
  4. There are 34 commemorative plantings by U.S. presidents in the White House gardens. The oldest presidential plantings are two magnolia trees planted by Andrew Jackson.
  5. Admission to the White House Rose Garden is free and open to the public. In addition to all the visiting critical gardening eyes, the Oval Office overlooks the Rose Garden, where the President and other world leaders can view it every day. Talk about pressure to get those roses perfect!
  6. President John F. Kennedy's daughter, Caroline, had a pony named Macaroni who at times roamed freely around the White House gardens. Two words: free fertilizer.
  7. As a delegate to Boys' Nation while still in high school, future President William J. Clinton met President John F. Kennedy in the Rose Garden in 1962.
  8. More than just a showcase for some of the countries most famous roses, the Rose Garden also features more than 30 different types of tulips, grape hyacinth, boxwood borders, and crabapple trees.
  9. Landscaping of the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden incorporates a large fescue grass panel flanked by a holly hedge to the north and south. Planting beds are bordered by boxwood and filled with tulips, pansies, and grape hyacinth. There's also an herb garden, where the white house chefs can often be seen grabbing herbs for the evening meal.
  10. The Children's Garden features a goldfish pond and trees for climbing. In a great landscaping scheme that we could all adopt in our own garden, footprints and handprints of Presidents' children and grandchildren are embedded in the garden's paved pathway.


About the Author
Kristin Marino has been a homeowner for ten years and really does have the greenest lawn in her neighborhood. Kristin holds a bachelor degree in English from the University of Nevada.

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