Marta McDowell was interviewed by with Peter Donegan on The Sodshow – Thursday 17th November 2017. Press play just below to listen.
The Sodshow garden podcast and radio show airs weekly and is available in iTunes, all good podcast stores and via The Sodshow website.
Who is Marta McDowell ?
Martha they say:
lives, gardens, and writes in Chatham, New Jersey. She writes and lectures on gardening topics and teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden, where she studied landscape design. She also consults for public gardens and private clients. Her particular interest is in authors and their gardens —the connection between the pen and the trowel. She is the author of Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life.
Of The Book:
From the most momentous events in our nation’s history to our ﬂeeting cultural obsessions, the White House grounds have been a mirror of America. All The Presidents’ Gardens tells the untold history of the White House grounds. From George Washington’s obsession with plants and seed collecting to Michelle Obama’s focus on edibles, this rich and compelling narrative reveals how the story of the garden is also the story of our country. Far more than just an account of Lincoln’s goats, Ike’s putting green, and Kennedy’s roses, All the Presidents’ Gardens delves into the captivating events that have shaped our national consciousness.
With wit and insight, garden historian Marta McDowell traces the fascinating story of how our presidents and their families have left their imprint upon the eighteen acres surrounding the executive mansion. Fully illustrated with new and historical photographs and art, refreshingly nonpartisan, and releasing at the height of the election year news cycle, this is a must-read for anyone interested in the red, white, and green.
What I say:
I was really delighted when Marta’s book dropped in my post box this week. And if I’m honest, it’s been a while since I’ve said something like that about any book that may be categorised under “garden”. That being very honest is because most of the books I own are usually of the more horticultural or reference and used you might say more as part of my work as Donegan Landscaping.
This book however whilst holding an element of the botanical, is essentially about people and the gardens that they got to put their stamp on – in this case however, they were and are The Presidents of The United States of America – and their garden, that of The White House – and that, changes everything.
If you have a degree in horticulture, your interest is simply that of gardens and trends or in fact nothing to do with gardens at all, this book is a must have, one ine read and if you’ll allow make up my own words, unputdownable. A note of high praise to the photography and to the botanical detailing which is more that impressive.
From Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden to how the site for The White House was actually chosen, it is literally all there and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
All The Presidents Gardens is available via Timber Press and all good book stores.
— The SodShow (@sodshow) November 1, 2016