Category Archives: Washington, D.C., gardens

Life in gardens: White House

Sadat and Carter at the White House, 1980, Library of Congress“President Jimmy Carter and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat have refreshments in the garden of the White House,” April 8, 1980, Washington, D.C. Photo credited to Marion S. Trikosko and Warren K. Leffler,via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.*

The previous spring, Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin had signed the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty on the White House lawn.

*U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection.

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Vintage landscape: spring rain

Showers, White House, early 1920s, via Library of Congress“Sidewalk in front of White House, Washington, D.C.,” early 1920s, by Harris & Ewing, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Whan that Aprill with his shoures sote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour. . .

– Geoffrey Chaucer, from “The General Prologue” of The Canterbury Tales

Translation: April showers bring May flowers.

Today is Whan that Aprille Day – a day to enjoy “alle langages that are yclept ‘old,’ or ‘middel,’ or ‘auncient,’ or ‘archaic,’ or, alas, even ‘dead.’” This is the idea of @LeVostreGC (or Chaucer Doth Tweet), who blogs at Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog.

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Vintage landscape: Tokyo

Akasaka, Tokyo, 1890s, from The New York Public Library Commons on flickrAkasaka, Tokyo, ca. 1890s, photographer unknown.  The image is part of “The Album of Photographs of Japan,” via The New York Public Library* Commons on flickr.

Cherry blossoms (sakura) in Tokyo are expected to open on March 30 this year, with the peak bloom being about April 6 to 15.

In Washington, D.C., The National Cherry Blossom Festival will begin on Thursday, March 20, and continue through April 13. Click here and here for more information on events and local accommodations.

The Washington Post has predicted this year’s peak bloom to be about April 9.

*Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs.

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Vintage landscape: tree delivery

White House tree delivered, Mar. 1922, via Library of Congress. . . to the White House, Washington, D.C., March 1922, by Harris & Ewing, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Thomas Jefferson, the second President to occupy the White House, directed that hundreds of small trees be planted in groves around the grounds (none of them exist today).

John Quincy Adams was the first to add ornamental trees. Andrew Jackson brought in the first sycamores, elms, and maples.

There’s more about the history of the White House gardens and grounds here.

What kind of small tree/large shrub do you think this was?

I never before knew the full value of trees. My house is entirely embossomed in high plane-trees, with good grass below; and under them I breakfast, dine, write, read, and receive my company. What would I not give that the trees planted nearest round the house at Monticello were full grown.

Thomas Jefferson to his daughter, Martha, (from Philadelphia), 1793

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The Sunday porch: view finder

094498pvAbove: View from the porch of the Flanders Callaway House, Warren County, Missouri, 1938, by Charles or Alexander Piaget, working with Charles van Ravenswaay (later incorporated into a 1985 HABS).*

All photos here via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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Above: “View from White House porch [looking north to Lafayette Park],” Washington, D.C., 1920, from National Photo Company Collection. President and Mrs. Wilson introduced sheep to the White House lawn. The wool went to the Red Cross.

The Sunday porch: views, via Library of CongressAbove: View from porch at Shady Rest Sanatorium, White Heath, Illinois, ca. 1920 – 1950, by Theodor Horydczak.

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Above: Looking north from the porch of the Kolb-Pou-Newton House [or Boxwood], Madison, Georgia, June 1936, by L. D. Andrew for HABS.

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Above: View of garden from the porch – Oakland Plantation, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, ca. 1988, by HABS.

095350pvAbove: Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Dickbrader and Mr. Arcularius on the porch of the Dickbrader House, Franklin County, Missouri, by  HABS.

150293pvAbove: John Calvin Owings House, Laurens, South Carolina, by HABS.

The Sunday porch: views, via Library of CongressAbove: View from the veranda of the Billings Farm and Museum to Blake Hill, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Woodstock, Vermont, 2001, by David W. Haas for HABS.

014310pvAbove: Porch of Smithcliffs House, North Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California, by HABS.

207863pvAbove: “View from north porch, looking northeast toward Fort George River – Kingsley Plantation House,” Jacksonville, Florida, 1005, by Jack Boucher for HABS.

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Above: “View from north porch looking south into Back Hall, with Reception Hall south door open [and closed] – Homewood (cropped slightly by me),” Baltimore, Maryland, 2005, by James W. Rosenthal for HABS.

To scroll through larger versions of these photographs, click on ‘Continue reading’ below and then on any thumbnail.

*Historic American Building Survey

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