White House Kitchen Garden Visit

It was a lovely weekend in October and we happened to be in Washington when the White House held their Fall Garden Tours. The opportunity to see Michelle Obama’s famous Kitchen Garden was simply too wonderful to pass up. We braved the long lines and got such a treat!

The kitchen garden is in a clearing on the south lawn of the White House (circled in red on the brochure). The plan is L shaped, though it has changed somewhat over the years. The plan shown here (sporting the First Family dog, Bo) was from the first year: 2009.

The garden is fastidiously tended and initially, the planting beds were at grade. They’ve since transitioned to raised wooden beds. The pathways are mulched with bluestone stepping stones on the main paths.

Even in October, the garden was going strong! We saw tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, mustard, pac choi, cauliflower, parsley, Brussels sprouts, squash, collards, tomatillos, broccoli, beans, basil, ginger and many herbs. There were also a few things we weren’t close enough to recognize.

A section of the garden is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, with the plants grown from seed passed down through the generations at his home Monticello.

One really can’t overstress the importance of the White House Kitchen Garden. Without this highly influential effort, many community gardens – such as ours – may never have gotten off the ground.