All The Presidents’ Gardens

Q&A with Marta McDowell

North Jersey author Marta McDowell comes to Princeton to speak about her latest book.

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

In the midst of a tumultuous campaign season, author Marta McDowell brings us a place of political Zen: the White House grounds. Since its founding in 1800, our nation’s capital has been an 18-acre hub of garden inspirations, and McDowell captures it all in her new book, All the Presidents’ Gardens: Madison’s Cabbages to Kennedy’s Roses – How The White House Grounds Have Grown with America. From Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden to Michelle Obama’s Vegetable Garden, McDowell’s book provides an in-depth look at the evolution of the White House gardens and how they’ve influenced garden trends around the country.

On Saturday, June 11 at 3pm, the Chatham, NJ resident comes to Labyrinth Books in Princeton to speak about her latest title.   A passionate gardener, the author studied landscape design at the New York Botanical Garden where she teaches landscape history and horticulture. Here, view some of the period photographs in McDowell’s book that show our capital’s changing political landscape. To purchase All The Presidents’ Gardens, visit www.timberpress.com.

Sheep

Sheep safely graze the White House lawn during World War I, keeping the grass short when workers were hard to find; credit the Library of Congress. 

All the Presidents’ Gardens© Copyright 2016 by Marta McDowell. All rights reserved. Published by Timber Press, Portland, OR. Used by permission of the publisher.

Rose Garden

President Kennedy proudly showing the Rose Garden to Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands in April 1963; credit Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens

All the Presidents’ Gardens© Copyright 2016 by Marta McDowell. All rights reserved. Published by Timber Press, Portland, OR. Used by permission of the publisher.

River

When John Quincy Adams took his morning swims, he had a view of the White House in its picturesque setting; credit Marta McDowell

All the Presidents’ Gardens© Copyright 2016 by Marta McDowell. All rights reserved. Published by Timber Press, Portland, OR. Used by permission of the publisher.