Wednesday, November 28, 2012

White House Garden Gets Full Time Gardener

That's the word from Obamafoodorama.  Over the course of 3.5 years the garden has evolved considerably.  If I remember correctly it started off as more of a family project, with the idea the daughters were going to get their hands dirty.  I haven't heard that in a while, about 3.4 years in fact. 

With the garden being in the public eye there's lots more emphasis now on how it looks, which means they do a lot of swapping transplants in.  Most real gardeners don't have that room, nor that concern.  Although I remember my aunt and uncle had a terribly obnoxiously neat and pruned garden, which went with the terribly clean and organized house.  But then my aunt was the youngest daughter in a house with German parents and a mother who apparently was a bit of an obsessive.  But I digress.

A full-time gardener seems overkill for the square footage involved, but I suspect he's got other duties.  As the concerns for how the garden looks grow, the garden itself becomes less realistic.  The first year garden a tourist could view and say to herself: "mine is just as good or better" or "I could go home and do that".  I don't think a tourist could say that now, and a first-time gardener might not realize how high the hurdle has been set.

There's more emphasis on the organic plants being used, though I'm not clear that they are claiming the garden itself is organic. I believe they could, since it's now been more than 3 years since the beginning and I haven't noted any reports or inorganic fertilizer or pesticides being used. 

So the bottom line is the garden is much more a public relations thing than an Obama family thing, not that there's anything wrong with that.  Perhaps it's an indication of how hard it is to maintain a normal existence in the White House.

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