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Happy President’s Day. As someone who has had the pleasure of eating tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon and lettuce harvested from my own backyard garden, I’ve discovered that while some might label me “granola”, it would be more accurate to call me “patriotic.” Why? Well, I learned from my interview with Sam Watters and Ulysses Grant Dietz about their book Dream House: The White House as an American Home that from the early days of the White House, the gardens and grand landscapes were regarded as “proper appendages to the House of the People.” And like the Obamas now, many early administrations enjoyed nourishment from a White House kitchen garden.

Founding Gardeners - BookCome March, I’m looking forward to reading Andrea Wulf’s new book, Founding Gardeners. The Revolutionary Generation, Nature and the Shaping of the American Nation, and learning more about our founding fathers through the lens of their lives as gardeners, plantsmen and farmers.

“Andrea Wulf describes how, even as British ships gathered off Staten Island, George Washington wrote his estate manager about the garden at Mount Vernon; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’s faith in their fledgling nation; how a trip to the great botanist John Bartram’s garden helped the delegates of the Constitutional Congress break their deadlock; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of American environmentalism. These and other stories reveal a guiding but previously overlooked ideology of the American Revolution.”

So in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States, go play in your garden! Here’s some tips for growing late winter vegetables and early spring flowers.

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3 Responses

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Suzette Greer, Fairly Simpleton. Fairly Simpleton said: Home & Garden Tips: President’s Day: Founding Gardeners: Happy President’s Day. As someone w… http://bit.ly/hnfUIL theBalancedHome.com [...]

  2. Precision Lawn Care says:

    George Washington wrote of his garden at Mt. Vernon that when he was able to complete his public obligations he wished nothing more than to enjoy "domestic ease under the shadow of my own vine and my own fig tree,. . . with the implements of husbandry . . . around me." The Real George Washington by Parry,Allison & Shousen pg 76

    May you enjoy yours as much

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