A Walk with John Ousley
The White House As A Museum Walk is led by John Ousley, the first White House gardener. Why a gardener you ask? What could the White House gardens possibly have to do with a museum?
Well, objects tell stories! And so do bushes and trees and flowers. You cannot imagine how much it’s possible to learn about people and their lives from treasured items such as chairs, carpets, artwork, dishes --- and gardens! Do you know which U.S. presidents were farmers before they became president? Or which president wanted to create a forest of trees from around the world? What about the president who preferred gardening to governing? Or the one who planted that very special magnolia? Well, do you know all the Latin names for local flowers, bushes and trees? John Ousley knows everything about White House gardens and the U.S. presidents who loved or hated them.
John Ousley was the first official White House gardener (Remember, our Mr. Ousley is a costumed interpreter – obviously!). He was hired in 1825 by President John Quincy Adams (6th U.S. President) and replaced in 1852 by President Millard Fillmore (13th U. S. President). With these years of service in hand Mr. Ousley is highly qualified to treat you to a look at American history through the White House gardens as you stroll the President’s Neighborhood together.
If he’s terribly busy he might even ask you to lend a hand with the gardening. You do travel with your gardening tools, don’t you?
Stephen Spotswood (click here for bio), an award-wining DC playwright, wrote the lovely, poetic script for Mr. Ousley. It makes you almost feel the growth of the country during it’s early years.
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