I told you I had a Rose Garden…..The White House Garden Tour


As part of the White House Easter festivities, First Lady, Patricia Nixon, opened the South Lawn to a Garden Tour over 40 years ago.

The South Lawn is where the President departs in Marine One, where families gather for the Easter Egg Hunt and Roll and where the President officially welcomes visiting foreign Heads of State.

The President’s Garden

Prior to 1902, there were extensive stables, housing horses and coaches, located on the grounds of the present-day Oval Office, Cabinet Room, and Rose Garden. During the 1902 Roosevelt renovation, First Lady Edith Roosevelt insisted on a proper colonial garden to help replace the conservatory rose house that had stood here.

The Rose Garden is based on a traditional 18th century American garden. The current design of the garden dates to the Kennedy Administration. President and Mrs. Kennedy were interested in having horticultural features that followed the traditions of Presidents Washington and Jefferson. The West Garden has been called the Rose Garden since 1913 when Mrs. Ellen Wilson replaced the existing colonial garden with a formal rose garden.

The Rose Garden features a rectangular grass panel surrounded by flower beds and crabapple trees. The garden is steps from the Oval Office and is the stage for numerous receptions, bill signings and media events annually.

More than 30 different types of tulips and grape hyacinth are planted in the flower beds that are framed and crisscrossed with boxwood. Lavender cotton, planted in the shape of diamonds, surrounds the crabapple trees.

The Rose Garden was once a formal flower garden, but it was eventually converted to a broad lawn surrounded by flower and shrub plantings so that presidents could hold press conferences out in the sunny, open area with the West Wing colonnade as a backdrop.


If you look (very closely) you will see where the President’s basketball court is hidden.

Michelle’s Garden…


Spring 2014…Bring it on ….with Cherry Blossoms!

Cherry Blossoms anyone…..   everyone….



The plantings of (2,000) cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or “Sakura,” is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.

This and the rest of this very interesting story from:  http://www.nps.gov/cherry/cherry-blossom-history.htm  

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Believe it or not, my daughter Elizabeth and I thought we were sneaking down to the tidal basin ahead of the crowd at the crack of dawn, 7ish on Sunday morning.  You can only imagine the numbers of people during the day!

Camera ready…..


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Denny and Carrie – The places they’ll go, the stories they’ll tell…Boating on the Chesapeake….



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Did you know……

They (the guards at the tomb of the unknown soldier) must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. They cannot swear in public FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way.

After TWO YEARS, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.




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The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the largest Roman Catholic church in the United States and North America, and is one of the ten largest churches in the world.

Byzantine-Romanesque in style, its massive, one-of-a-kind superstructure is home to over 70 chapels and oratories that relate to the peoples, cultures and traditions that are the fabric of the Catholic faith and the mosaic of our great nation. The Basilica also houses the largest collection of contemporary ecclesiastical art on earth..



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Washington DC on a crisp Thanksgiving morning…


United States Botanic Garden..all ready for the Holidays!


The Garden Court in the entrance to the Gardens has a collection of representations of National buildings and monuments.  They are spectacular and all crafted from more than 70 different plant parts and pieces.  Each building’s complexity takes hundreds of hours to complete bringing gingerbread house traditions to a whole new level.

These incredible wonderful holiday delights are made of over 70 different kinds of plant material including pine cone scales, willow, screw pods, grapevine tendrils and acorn and acorn caps.  What a Holiday treat!


A Little More About Julia Child’s House in Georgetown

On Julia Child’s 100th Birthday, We Stop By Her Georgetown House

The culinary legend spent some formative years in Washington.By Carol Ross Joynt

Julia and Paul Child’s former home in Georgetown. Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.

Comments (2) | Published August 13, 2012

Were it not for its bright yellow color, it might be easy to miss the frame house at 2706 Olive Street, where Julia Child lived not once, but twice, and gave cooking lessons in the kitchen. In the Child history, the Georgetown home is a notable place, and worth a look and a mention as foodies worldwide celebrate her 100th birthday. She was born on August 15, 1912, in Pasadena, California, and died August 4, 2004, just before her 92nd birthday, in Montecito, California. Washington was a formative stop along the way.

Child and her new husband, Paul, first moved to Olive Street in 1948, after they’d met in Ceylon, where both were posted for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the modern CIA. He introduced her to his love of food, particularly French cuisine, and later that year, when they left Olive Street to move to France, she took cooking lessons at Le Cordon Bleu, the first steps along her path to becoming a culinary legend. Director Nora Ephron depicted this phase of their lives in Julie and Julia, with Meryl Streep as Julia and Stanley Tucci as Paul.

Over the next eight years the house on Olive Street was rented out to various tenants, but in 1956 the Childs returned. According to numerous writeups, they expanded the kitchen to include some new appliances, and Julia began to give cooking lessons to some of her Georgetown neighbors. She also began research for her landmark tome, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Who’s the owner of the house today? According to its property manager, Dan Walsh of the real estate company Thomas D. Walsh, the owner is Chelo Echeverria, who lives in Washington state. It is leased to tenants who pay approximately $4,400 a month, according to Walsh. Do the tenants know its history? “I don’t know,” he said, but did say he felt confident Echeverria was aware. As for the famous kitchen, Walsh believes it’s no longer, and that the old version got modernized “somewhere along the way.”