|The Kitchen Garden|
Visitors began lining up at the Ellipse Visitors Center on both days at 7:30 a.m. to get timed tickets distributed on a first-come, first-served basis for the tours, which began at 9 a.m and ended at 3 p.m. Tours of the White House itself will resume on Nov. 5 on a limited basis.
Serenaded by a military band, thousands of visitors used the two-day window to get the first up-close glimpse of the White House (except for the annual Easter Egg Roll which was underwritten by corporate donors and the sale of souvenir eggs) since March.
Usually, the public is able to view the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, and the South Lawn of the White House, as well as the White House Kitchen Garden planted under the direction of First Lady Michelle Obama, during two seasonal touring times.
The garden tours were begun by First Lady Patricia Nixon 40 years ago. However, President John Quincy Adams developed the first flower garden at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue in 1825.
|Jefferson portion of the garden|
During the 16-day federal government shutdown earlier this month, the Washington Post ran a story about the garden being gangly and weedy.
The grounds are under the direction of the National Park Service and employees and White House volunteers were on hand to guide visitors and answer their questions. As expected, those attending (including us) snapped photos from just about every angle possible.
According to a booklet handed out to all visitors, the White House Grounds are the oldest continually maintained landscape in the country.