Sunday, October 17, 2010

White House in bloom

The view from the inside
Twice a year, the First Family opens the South Lawn to 30,000+ visitors to view the gardens. The tickets are free -- if you have some special VIP means of getting them. Thankfully, I do, but nonetheless, I doubt it will ever cease to be exciting to be on the grounds of the White House. There couldn't have been a more perfect day than today for the occasion -- gorgeous, sunny, warm, and not a cloud in the sky -- and the White House never looked so white. Up close, the place was basically glittering -- made me wonder how often they must paint it to keep it so pristine.

The tour includes photos of 20th century presidents and first ladies planting commemorative trees (the Clintons liked dogwoods), the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, which dates to 1965, the Rose Garden from 1913, the Children's Garden, a little haven created by Lady Bird Johnson in 1969, and the Kitchen Garden, Michelle Obama's contribution. There is also a tennis court that doubles as a basketball court and supposedly a putting green and swimming pool, but the latter two seemed hidden from public view.


Oval Office - Does it seem right that I mostly recognize these windows and columns from watching President Bartlet head to sleep in The West Wing?
Rose Garden
West Wing

Kitchen Garden - with pumpkins for the season. 1,600 pounds of veggies have been grown since it opened in 2009.
Children's Garden, with castings of First grandchildren's handprints and footprints
Jefferson Memorial in the distance

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