Melania Trump, United States, Washington Monument discussed on C-SPAN Programming


There's going to be a seed packet of the type of seeds that would have been grown at the White House during the 19th century. That's a wonderful legacy. It really is in our backyard. I live in Washington, D C same house for 40 years. And my husband's always had a big vegetable garden. It was only during the pandemic that I started an actual flower garden. Maybe I should see whether whether the you know past presidents grew Iris, an MP, and he says, I'm hoping this year mine will come up for the first time. Well, I can tell you for a fact that the first lady Edith Roosevelt, the wife of theater, Roosevelt had P And you said irises and peonies, irises panties. She definitely had those growing. And what was the Janitor of the current Rose Garden. It was a colonial style garden during her time period at the White House. Um, I want to get to the Rose Garden, but first well, we'll start with this. The Rose Garden. I have been in and out of 1000 times. Lucky you. Lucky. Lucky me over the course of the arc of 40 years and seven presidents, beginning with President Gerald Ford. And the Rose Garden was always a formal office space. It was an official event space. It wasn't just for the dogs. Everyone while you could tell the president's dogs had been there, but but it was a beautiful setting, outdoor setting that was used constantly, even in somewhat cold, even somewhat rainy weather. Jacqueline Kennedy redid the Rose Garden. Was that a dramatic departure point from generations before or was it a process of evolution is definitely a process of evolution and kind of a dramatic point of departure. So I guess the answer to your question is both the so the really the history of that site As a as a garden space begins in 19. Oh, three with First Lady Roosevelt she developed A garden there in both also on the East side, where the where the current Jacqueline Kennedy Garden is located, Uh, what were known then and now is Colonial style gardens. Boxwood hedges, gravel walks, partiers of garden flowers, old fashioned favorites. In addition to peonies, there was flocks and asters and roses, too. But it was sort of typical of the kind of thing you'd see it. Maybe Mount Vernon and That lasted for about a decade until her successor, Ellen Wilson, completely redid for spaces in a more modern taste. Ellen Wilson was also a painter, and she had a more what I would call modern aesthetic. So during her the modern Rose Garden first kind of started to take shape the rectangular shape with the open Central lawn really dates back to that time period, then fast forward a little bit more by the 19 thirties. The basic plan was still in place, but I hate to say it, but garden was a little bit overgrown and not particularly well kept. I think any gardener can commiserates with that. And then during the Truman renovation of the White House between 1948 1952 the been pretty much the entirety of the self grounds was enveloped as one big construction site when the the White House itself was torn down to the bare walls in the studs see their famous photos. Of a of a bulldozer inside the White House. All the all the staging for that pretty well obliterated the previous iterations of the garden and then bring in Jack, Jackie Kennedy and JFK in 1962 with the modern Rose Garden. Yeah, and that's where Mrs Kennedy called in Bunny Mellon and have they did very, very extensive, lovely recreation. You know the White House grounds and the Rose Garden are really kind of formal places. I think, um, very few people in the public get to visit it personally, It is not a suburban backyard. But you you describe in your book and in your chats that it's more relaxed functions. It is a private place. For families, but it's almost kind of. I think you called it supernatural. Yeah, And I think most people in the United States or anywhere around the world sort of view. The White House has this sort of supernatural place. And to be fair, it kind of is, but it's also at its core, home and home office. And for those of us, uh, still going through the pandemic. That probably sounds pretty familiar, but the so it's instead of just being my home office or your home office. It's the home office of the president of the United States, the White House that was also known as the People's House. And so that really means the White House grounds are the people's ground. And if you start to think about it that way, it isn't so far removed from a typical suburban home typically suburban homes mine included have a more formal or dressy front lawn. That would be the north grounds of the White House, with the North Portico facing Pennsylvania Avenue and a more private, less formal backyard. That's the larger South grounds, looking down toward the Washington Monument. And that's pretty much what happens at at the White House today. Let's get to the issue of just how sacrosanct are the White House grounds. Are they untouchable? And I don't you're you're a historian. I'm a journalist. Neither one of us is a politician. But first ladies, especially in the modern era. If they want to go around changing things, there's resistance to that. There is, I think it's fair to say that people have had an opinion about, uh, Melania Trump's recent Rose Garden renovation. But hopefully as the history of that site, which I just briefly enumerated describes the The Rose Garden itself is a fairly in the history Ukraine history of the White House grounds, which go on for more than two centuries. 1962 is not that that long ago really and previous At that time..

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