The Gardening Obamas?


Adrian Higgins of the Washington Post, a Rant favorite, did a lovely piece this week about the movement to convince the Obamas to plant a vegetable garden at the White House.  Higgins wishes for a White House vegetable garden, too, but not just any old utilitarian garden as a political statement.  Higgins imagines a walled English garden that might be a place of beauty and respite for the occupants of the White House for hundreds of years to come.

Bravo to Adrian for recognizing that food politics is not the only reason to make a vegetable garden. Beauty is a huge factor, too.


  1. I’m betting on veggie gardening getting a big bump this spring, and I’ve been encouraging my garden retailer readers to be prepared. Having a “grow local” message coming from the top will be the permission lots of folks are looking for. And how cute would the Obama girls look in overalls, staking tomatoes and pulling up carrots??

  2. Beauty is a huge huge part of my veggie garden — I built a sort-of-French potager, with raised beds in a decorative design. I plant with an eye to what will grow well in which bed, but its just as important to me that there’s a pleasing design. I want a beautiful garden that I can eat — and the aesthetics are a huge part of the love I have for it. Standing out there watering in the mornings, seeing whether and how the design I was after is coming into fruition, it’s the loveliest part of my summer.

  3. The White House victory garden is such a wonderful idea, it makes me short of breath. Think of the opportunities for inviting in local schoolkids to get dirty, sharing the products with Washington’s homeless shelters, and on and on. Garden rant is a great source of inspiration to me, as is Amy Stewart’s Dirt. I would like to invite the rant authors to visit my new blog, at, where I have listed your blog as a link, and Amy’s as a recommendation. If you like my blog and find it worthwhile, please consider adding me to your friends or links. Best regards to you, keep up the good work.

  4. Vegetable gardens grand and beautiful have long been part of French gardening history. Maybe the White House could honor France’s contribution to our independence and plant a potager. Certainly the vegetable gardens at Versailles and Villandry are fit for a ruler!

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