Part Three – An Outdoor Space Worthy of Historic Events
When Jacqueline Kennedy lived in the White House in the years 1961 to 1963 not only did she successfully lead efforts to preserve the buildings and the historic character of the neighborhood surrounding the White House, but she also revitalized an outdoor space right in her own backyard. President Kennedy wanted to turn the rose garden just steps from the Oval Office into a focal point for outdoor ceremonies, receptions and media events and asked his wife to make it happen. The garden in question was created originally as a colonial garden by First Lady Edith Roosevelt to replace the conservatories that were dismantled when the West Wing of the White House was constructed in 1902. First Lady Ellen Wilson replaced the colonial version with a rose garden in 1913. The current design of the Rose Garden that evolved during the Kennedy years has a rectangular pattern featuring not only roses but multiple flower beds with 30 different types of tulips and grape hyacinth. There are boxwood hedges, and Lavender cotton, planted in diamond shapes, around the crabapple trees. Just this week President Trump welcomed the King of Jordan in the Rose Garden, which is exactly the kind of event President Kennedy envisioned. Although Jacqueline Kennedy is credited with the re-design of the Rose Garden itself, President Kennedy took an active interest in knowing the different varieties of flowers growing there.